Shell scored a "key approval" from the Department of Interior to drill for oil in the Arctic on Thursday. The New York Times calls the move "another sign that the Obama administration is easing the regulatory clampdown on offshore oil drilling" and reports:
Thursday’s decision to tentatively approve Shell’s plan to drill four exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off the North Slope of Alaska represented a major step in the company’s efforts to exploit the vast oil and gas resources under the Arctic Ocean, although a number of hurdles remain. The company has spent nearly $4 billion and more than five years trying to win the right to drill in the frigid waters, against the opposition of many environmental advocates and of Alaska natives who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.
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