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O’Brien Response to Shell Oil’s Abandonment of Oil in Arctic

SEATTLECouncilmember Mike O’Brien issued the following statement in response to Shell Oil’s announcement to give up on its expensive and controversial push to produce oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters:

“Shell abandoned ship today ‘for the foreseeable future,’ both claiming that it failed to find enough oil to make further drilling worthwhile and citing an unpredictable regulatory environment. This about face from big oil is really a big win for those of us who spoke out against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans and called for a just transition from our current fossil fuel dependence.

“From the beginning I have said life as we know it depends on bold, immediate action, especially when a harbinger of catastrophic climate change is moored in our backyard. The people of Seattle, the Mayor, and the Seattle Council were resolute in our opposition to Shell’s presence in our city and it’s pursuits in the Arctic. I firmly believe that our actions, in combination with #ShellNo activism in Seattle and across the country, created the regulatory uncertainty Shell hinted at today. It goes without saying that today’s news is as much as a victory for the planet and our climate as it is for our local community.

“Of course, the work to protect the Arctic is far from over. It is unacceptable that President Obama and Secretary Jewell can still issue permits for companies to drill in the Arctic, and we must continue to press the issue to encourage the President to permanently halt all Arctic oil exploration. But today I will celebrate this important victory as a critical first step in the right direction.”

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