US Senator introduces bill to prevent offshore Arctic drilling

Washington: A US Senator for Oregon on Friday introduced legislation to bar any new offshore drilling in the Arctic.

Democrat Jeff Merkley’s “Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015” would prevent any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas or any other mineral in the Arctic planning area. The bill has to go through committees, debates and discussion.

Arctic Ocean drilling has been frequently in the news in recent months because of Shell’s plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, a campaign that could be a matter of a few days or weeks from starting.

Merkley, the junior senator for Oregon, in June was a leader among senators who sent a letter to US President Barack Obama asking him to rescind Shell’s exploration permit.

On Friday Merkley told local TV that drilling is Arctic waters is “a crime against the environment and it must not be tolerated”.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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