A petition filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission represents a novel bid by Arctic drilling foes to highlight the risks of the activity — going beyond potential environmental perils to the financial factors that might be more persuasive to shareholders.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the Obama administration will decide soon whether to yield to Shell’s request for an extension of its Arctic drilling leases. Statoil and ConocoPhillips have made parallel requests for leases that will begin expiring in 2019.
The Interior Department’s proposal would for the first time impose specific mandates on offshore drilling in isolated U.S. Arctic waters — updating rules that were built decades ago for the much more temperate Gulf of Mexico.
The Obama administration’s proposal for 10 auctions of drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico, three targeting Arctic waters and one of Atlantic acreage is alienating both environmentalists and the oil industry.
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