Shell Asks EPA to Bend Air Pollution Rules So It Can Drill in Arctic

James Brooks/CC BY 2.0

Apparently Shell's Arctic drilling ships aren't nearly clean enough to meet EPA standards for air pollution, so rather than using cleaner ships Shell has asked the EPA to bend the rules.

Greenpeace breaks down the request in Shell's revised permit application: One ship, the Noble Discoverer (pictured above) needs the requirement for NOx emissions increased by 400% and have the limits on ammonia emissions removed altogether. A spill response ship, the Nanuq needs the bar for particular emissions increased 10x. Another response ship, the Arctic Challenger was unsuited for Arctic weather conditions based on the original standards agreed upon by Shell and the Obama administration, so Shell asked for the ship to be reclassified.

Greenpeace's executive director Phil Radford calls the move "a classic bait and switch, one more in a litany of broken promises from Shell when it comes to drilling in the Arctic."

Not a bad characterization of the situation...

Tags: Air Pollution | Arctic | Oil