Dan Carpenter and The Associated Press
The grounding of the Kulluk has prompted a national environmental group to question Shell Alaska’s preparedness for Arctic drilling operations. The news comes on the same day that a U.S. House coalition says it's calling on the Interior Department and the Coast Guard to jointly investigate the Kulluk and other incidents.
When the Kulluk went adrift in severe weather Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard rapidly initiated a response from nearby Air Station Kodiak. Shell says a fast response by the Coast Guard wouldn’t be an option for their remote drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea, but the company says it's prepared with its own cleanup assets.
Eleanor Huffines is a manager with the U.S. Arctic Program of the Pew Environment Group, part of the Pew Charitable Trusts. She says while the group is not opposed to responsible drilling off of Alaska’s coast, better operational standards are needed -- and that Shell’s Arctic assets are untested.
“The assets are on paper; we just want to see them demonstrated in Arctic conditions the way that they're supposed to operate,” Huffines said.
Read the full article, Environmentalists, U.S. House Members Question Kulluk Grounding, on the KTUU website.