Committee in UK Says Arctic Drilling Should Stop

Written by on September 22, 2012 in Policy & Ocean Law

A committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK is calling for a complete stop of drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic until certain safety issues have been taken care of.

Arctic Ocean ice floes. Photo credit NOAA.

Arctic Ocean ice floes. Photo credit NOAA.

The Environmental Audit Committee has previously voiced their concerns that a spill could cause catastrophic environmental damage.  The MPs say that current oil spill cleanup methods are not adequate.  They are calling for a pan-Arctic spill response standard, full liability for firms and an environmental sanctuary in the Arctic.

Both BP and Shell are involved in Arctic drilling projects.  BP’s plans are temporarily on hold and they wouldn’t provide the MPs with evidence that they have an adequate plan for spill response.  Shell has stopped drilling for the winter, but they claim that their spill response is adequate.

“There appears to be a lack of strategic thinking and policy coherence within Government on this issue, illustrated by its failure to demonstrate how future oil and gas extraction from the Arctic can be reconciled to commitments to limit temperature rises to 2°C,” the MPs said.  “The Government should seek to resolve this matter.”

You can read more from the BBC here: MPs call to halt Arctic drilling amid safety concerns.

To learn more about drilling in the Arctic, check out some of these links:

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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