The Fish and Wildlife Service said it could not authorize sound from Shell’s planned drilling of wells roughly nine miles apart to disturb walruses in the Chukchi Sea, because a 2013 requirement mandates a 15-mile buffer zone.
The trip moves Shell physically closer to resuming exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean next month, even though the company is still seeking four essential federal approvals to launch the work.
Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline released a summary of the lab tests on Friday, as state and federal lawmakers intensified their scrutiny of the company’s ruptured Line 901 and the oil spill near Santa Barbara last month.
Lawmakers voted 247-180 to support a bill allowing states to opt out of the Obama administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state’s governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.
The American Petroleum Institute launched its “Vote 4 Energy” with a pledge to stay above the partisan fray while ensuring that energy policy is part of the political discussion leading up to the November 2016 elections.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said there are enough votes in the House and Senate to overturn the United States’ longstanding ban on crude exports. But a former Navy commander urged caution.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether the restriction highlighted by environmentalists opposed to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign would derail the company’s plans, but it could be a major stumbling block.
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