This article just had me shaking my head. It's just one of those times that nothing I say can do this article justice. I'll let the article speak for itself
Arctic Ocean Drilling: Shell Launches Preemptive Legal Strike
By Kim Murphy
February 29, 2012, 5:12 p.m.
Reporting from Seattle—
Royal Dutch Shell launched an extraordinary preemptive legal strike Wednesday against opponents of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, filing suit against more than a dozen environmental organizations likely to challenge its plan for drilling exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
In a petition for declaratory relief filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the oil giant seeks to have the court rule that the U.S. government complied with federal law when it approved Shell’s oil spill response plan for upcoming exploratory well-drilling in the Arctic.
The move is a clear attempt to beat environmental organizations to court and avert potentially costly delays for a project on which Shell has already spent $4 billion without drilling a single well.
The oil company launched a separate petition against Greenpeace, whose activists last week boarded the drilling rig now moored in New Zealand and scheduled to begin drilling in the Arctic in July. Six activists, including television actress Lucy Lawless, climbed the rig before being arrested.
A hearing was underway Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Anchorage on the company’s request for a temporary restraining order prohibiting Greenpeace from engaging in “illegal and dangerous actions” tied to the upcoming offshore drilling program.
“This is a very unique legal approach. I’m not sure anything like this has ever been done before,” Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh told the Los Angeles Times.
The suit names the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Audubon Society and several other groups which for years have filed lawsuits and appeals challenging the federal government’s offshore leasing programs in the Arctic, the lease sale under which Shell gained the right to explore in the Chukchi, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of air quality permits for drilling operations.
Op de Weegh said Shell attorneys were convinced that conservationists would probably file suit against the oil spill response plan recently approved by the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and wanted to make sure that didn’t occur on the eve of drilling — an outcome that, since drilling can be done only during the ice-free summer months, could delay operations for another full year.
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