Environmental Groups Challenge Shell Drilling Plan

Environmental groups are asking a federal appeals court in Atlanta to throw out a government decision to approve a Shell exploration plan for the Gulf of Mexico. The plan involves five proposed wells under more than seven thousand feet of water. KUHF business reporter Andrew Schneider reports.


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Today’s filing marks the first case to test the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s permitting process since the Obama administration lifted the moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf.

David Pettit is an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of four environmental groups that filed the suit.

“Shell’s own calculation of their worst case blowout scenario would be that it would take 128 days to drill a relief well, and during that time, 45 million barrels of oil would spill, which is about nine times what we saw in the Deepwater Horizon matter.”

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will take several months to issue a ruling in the case. In the interim, Shell will be allowed to proceed with exploratory drilling.

Shell discovery in the Gulf
Image is from the Shell press release.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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