GAO Raises Questions About Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan

A new report from the Government Accountability Office – or GAO – raises questions about Shell’s plan to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The report, released Friday, finds the Interior Department has strengthened oversight of oil and gas operators since the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It also says the industry is in a better position to respond to a similar blowout type incident. But the report points out containing a spill in the arctic would be much more difficult. Frank Rusco, an author of the report, says that’s partly because ice will form over the ocean in the fall and winter:

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Annie Feidt is the Managing Editor for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO Public Media in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49th state just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie