Greenpeace Activists Banned from Arctic Rigs

Greenpeace protesters have climbed down from an Arctic-bound drill rig in the Pacific. The activists said rough waters drove them off their high-seas bivouac on Shell’s Polar Pioneer this Saturday — nearly a week after they climbed aboard.

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On Saturday, a federal judge in Anchorage also granted Shell’s request for a temporary restraining order against Greenpeace.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ordered Greenpeace to stay more than half a mile from the Polar Pioneer and Shell’s second rig, the Noble Discoverer. But she declined Shell’s request to have the order apply to all of the support vessels they hope to deploy in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

Shell could try again as part of a longer-lasting injunction. For now, their temporary restraining order will expire on April 28.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at