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WWF Statement on Royal Dutch Shell’s Decision to Scale Back Offshore Drilling in Alaska this Summer

Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to put off efforts to drill for oil in America’s Arctic Ocean this summer reiterates the difficulty – and elevated risk – of Arctic oil exploration. We’ve learned a critical lesson from Shell’s initial foray into the Arctic: despite billions of dollars in investments, it was still unable to overcome the natural and logistical challenges to safely operate in harsh Arctic conditions. While local communities and wildlife may be safe from spills for one more year, we remain concerned that future offshore oil exploration cannot be done without placing those communities at too great a risk.

- Layla Hughes, Senior Program Officer for Arctic Oil and Gas Policy