Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 18, 2010

Inupiat warns of oil spill in Chukchi Sea

Obama administration approved drilling plans for
Drilling critics warn of dangers from a spill in the Arctic
SHELL: Company's win in court has it poised to begin.
The Associated Press
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Inupiat Eskimo whale hunter George Kingik follows news accounts of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He cringes when he imagines crude fouling his backyard, Alaska's Chukchi Sea.
"They're not ready for the Arctic," Kingik said from his home in Point Hope, 700 miles northwest of Anchorage. "It's completely different up here."
Shell Oil two years ago spent $2.1 billion for leases in the Chukchi, the arm of the Arctic Ocean that the United States shares with Russia, and the home to one of America's two polar bear populations.
The federal Minerals Management Service estimated the sale area contained 15 billion barrels of conventionally recoverable oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of conventionally recoverable natural gas. Shell is poised to begin exploratory drilling this summer on leases as far as 140 miles offshore.
Alaska Native groups and environmentalists are hoping a judge or the Obama administration will intervene.

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