Amsterdam Judge Joins Greenpeace in Asking Energy Company for Arctic Spill Response Plan


Image: Radio Nederland Wereldomroep via flickr
Greenpeace is celebrating a small victory today: an Amsterdam judge suggested yesterday that Cairn Energy comply with Greenpeace's request to release its secret Arctic Oil Spill Response Plan rather than grant an injunction against the organization, as the company had wanted.A Greenpeace blog describes the scene in court:

Cairn's lawyers looked dumbfounded and stuttered about not knowing why their client won't release it.

The judge went on to say that BP's skimping on a second valve cost the world billions as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He said BP must regret that they didn't have their plans scrutinized in the first place because someone would have noticed the lack of a second valve. Safety is in everyone's interest - by being transparent perhaps there is an opportunity to make the spill plan stronger. In fact, he asked Cairn, why won't you release your plan? Right now? Why don't you release it now?

Apparently, the judge also asked how Cairn would pay for cleanup if a spill should occur. Greenpeace continues: "He was highly unimpressed when Cairn's legal team tried to reassure him that it had a cap on financial exposure. The judge said he didn't think the concern is over the health of Cairn's finances - the concern is the impact on the environment and the cost of the clean up!"

Greenpeace is trying to notify its 18 activists who were arrested after scaling Cairn's rig in the Arctic over the weekend to demand the plan be made public. It's not over yet though: the judge is expected to issue a final ruling on Wednesday.

More on Arctic drilling:
US Not Ready to Drill in Arctic: Gulf Spill Response Leader
Offshore Drilling Bad for Environment, Energy Security, and Job Creation: Oceana
7 Greenpeace Activists Charged With Felonies in Anti-Drilling Protest

Tags: Energy | Oil | Pollution