EPA to Shell, Alaska: Drop dead

“Shell Alaska has dropped plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea this year … company Vice President Pete Slaiby said Thursday.

The recent remand of air permits issued by the Environmental Protection Agency was the final driver behind the decision, Slaiby said at a news conference.

Alaska receives upward of 90 percent of its general fund revenue from the petroleum industry, and top state officials reacted strongly to the decision. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, blamed the Obama administration and the EPA.

“Their foot dragging means the loss of another exploration season in Alaska, the loss of nearly 800 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs,” Begich said. “That doesn’t count the millions of dollars in contracting that won’t happen either at a time when our economy needs the investment.”

The EPA issued Shell an air permit, but the agency’s review board granted an appeal because of limited agency analysis regarding the effect of emissions from drilling ships and support vessels.  …

The subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has invested more than $3 billion in exploration off Alaska’s coast since 2005, Slaiby said.  …

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said it was unfathomable that a company could buy federal leases but not get onto them within five years.

“It’s also unfathomable that they cannot get an air permit after five years when they can get one in the Gulf of Mexico within months,” he said.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said actions taken by the Obama administration will result in higher gasoline prices and a loss of jobs and revenue.”  “Shell: No Beaufort Sea drilling in Arctic for 2011

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