Shell Stops Arctic Oil Drilling – But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet

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Protests by environmental groups are not really why Shell is abandoning its Arctic oil drilling. The company’s retreat is fueled by something else.

Arctic Oil Drilling

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its plans to produce oil in Alaska's Arctic waters, a surprise move that has understandably delighted many who feared the project would pollute one of the planet’s most pristine regions.

But environmentalists shouldn’t celebrate just yet.

While it is undeniable resistance by conservation groups was a contributing factor, the multinational oil and gas company didn’t halt its operation because of environmental activism.

It pulled the plug on the project after "disappointing" results from a key well in the Chukchi Sea, which basically means Shell is as greedy for fossil fuels – and money – as ever.

Read More: Can The Melting Of The Ice In Arctic Lead To War?

Arctic Oil Drilling

As Arctic sea ice melted to its lowest level on record in 2012, oil companies rushed in to begin drilling the far north – with Shell first in line.

Despite various reports citing dangers of such explorations that could potentially raise the temperature of the region even more, the voracious appetite for more fossil-fuels has only increased.

And it’s not big oil corporations who are to blame for the mess. World leaders like President Barack Obama hold equal responsibility.

Arctic Oil Drilling

Although the United States is a self-proclaimed leader in the fight against climate change, Obama gave Shell the go-ahead in August to drill two oil exploration wells in the Chukchi Sea.

He made the decision while ignoring a January study that concluded vast reserves should “remain unused in trying to keep within the 2C temperature limit,” as well as the extreme protests held by Greenpeace activists.

It was a hypocritical move but one that would bring monetary benefits of the domestic oil and gas boom. And that’s exactly why Shell will continue to damage the environment by pursuing energy projects elsewhere on the planet.

Recommended: This Is How Climate Change Has Already Messed Up Our Lives

The Alaskan decision is no doubt big news – but for environmentalists, the fight against corporate manipulation is far from over.

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