The U.S. Department of Interior announced this morning it is allowing Shell Oil to proceed with its drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea. Peter Granitz reports.
This is just the latest hurdle overcome in Shell’s quest to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.
The Department of Interior granted the go-ahead to Shell to begin installing some of its safety mechanisms, including a mud-lined cellar that will eventually house a blowout preventer.
On a conference call, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stressed today’s announcement is not final. It does not permit Shell to drill exploratory wells for oil.
“The action we are taking today is one we are very comfortable in taking, because we are confident it can be done safely and without risk to the environment,” Salazar said.
He says Shell needs to improve its containment capacity on the Arctic Challenger. Drilling cannot begin until that vessel is approved and in the Arctic.
- For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus.
- The U.S. Senate is working on the health care bill, and Alaska health commissioner Valerie Davidson is in Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's senators, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. One-quarter of Alaska's population currently is covered by Medicaid.
- Police posted this security video of the suspect on its Facebook page and described him as white, 25 to 30 years old, 6-foot-3 and skinny with scruffy facial hair.
- Uber and Lyft are negotiating with the City and Borough of Juneau over the collection of the city's sales tax. The companies insist it's the drivers' responsibility to collect and remit the 5 percent tax on fares.