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WWF Statement on Shell’s Decision to Suspend Arctic Drilling in 2013

In response to today’s decision by Royal Dutch Shell to forgo its 2013 drilling season in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director of WWF’s Arctic work:

“Shell has wisely decided to suspend its Arctic operations next year. Throughout the 2012 season, Shell's experience proved time and time again the inherent difficulties in meeting challenging Arctic conditions and the safety standards required by the federal government.

“Shell has been touted by some as the most Arctic-prepared in the industry. Its decision to halt drilling operations because it could not do so safely should be heeded by others in the industry as they reexamine their future in this inhospitable environment. Similarly, the federal government must also consider reforming plans for Arctic offshore drilling in the year ahead.

“The loss of power of Shell's tow ship and the grounding of its drill rig in January were clarion calls for our nation to re-think the future of drilling in America’s Arctic. As President Obama calls for our nation to move toward a clean, renewable energy future, we must also continue to question the need for rapidly expanding fossil fuel development in the Arctic.”

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Media contact: Chris Conner, 202-495-4786