The Coast Guard had to evacuate the crew of an oil drilling barge off the coast of Alaska after engine troubles on its tow vessel left the barge drifting.
Then, the Coast Guard got itself into a pickle while trying to help the Shell rig that was stuck in monster seas.
I ended the second post with:
Tell me again, Obama administration and Drill-Baby-Drillers, why the hell we’re taking risks like this? Something about corporate profits and lobbyists and political pressure was it?
This week’s grounding of a rig off the coast of Alaska adds to a series of mishaps in Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s seven-year quest to tap the vast oil reserves of the Arctic and emboldened critics who say it can’t be done safely. [...]
The Kulluk’s grounding caps a series of episodes that have dogged Shell’s effort to tap Arctic oil. Environmental groups today said they would ask President Barack Obama to suspend all current and pending Arctic drilling permits until operators prove they can work safely in the region’s harsh conditions.
“This string of mishaps by Shell makes it crystal clear that we are not ready to drill in the Arctic,” Charles Clusen, director of National Parks and Alaska Projects for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said on a conference call. “Shell is not Arctic-ready. We are asking the Obama administration to immediately put a hold on all permitting activities.”
And from an L.A. Times editorial:
The grounding of the Kulluk occurred within 50 miles of a major Coast Guard facility, allowing for a quick response. But what if the same problems had been encountered 800 miles away? In just the first season of Royal Shell’s Arctic operations, the region already has proved to be a far more perilous place for oil exploration than proponents foresaw. The rigs probably should not head back to the Arctic seas this spring; federal regulators will be endangering a valuable and fragile environmental resource if they don’t reexamine what’s needed to drill safely under the most challenging conditions.
Why is it that the powers that be somehow manage to ignore the obvious or are so astonished when the “unexpected” occurs. Many of us predicted this, or worse, could happen, so it comes down to this: When will profits finally take a back seat to reality… and the sanctity life?
At what price do we continue this insanity? We’re endangering living things and the health of the planet.
This is fast becoming my mantra: “Pro-life” my ass.