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Shell's "Happy" Mood Smashed By Ice

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14 September 2012, 4:17 PM
Mass of sea ice forces drilling to halt, raises doubts about spill cleanup
Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Florian Schulz /

Shell’s vice president of Alaska operations was quoted last Saturday as saying "Happy, happy, happy." Then the ice showed up.

Hours after Shell began drilling in the Artic, operations were forced to shut down to accommodate a drifting 30-mile by 12-mile hunk of sea ice, moving at a rate of a mile every 30 minutes. That’s what ice does in the Arctic—it is unpredictable, unforgiving and moves in with the high winds just in time to ruin a happy day.

A week ago, the Department of the Interior approved drilling in “non-oil-bearing zones” and Shell immediately began drilling its first exploration well in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Northern Alaska in the early morning hours of Sunday. The drilling lasted only a few hours before the company took a “precautionary” move and disconnected the drilling rig from the seafloor anchors and temporarily moved the vessel off the well site. One wonders what would happen if such an ice mass moved in while Shell was trying to respond to a major oil spill.

The window for Shell to strike oil this season is rapidly closing as Shell is approved only until Sept. 24 for drilling into the oil-bearing zones. The company has asked for an 18-day extension but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that extension decisions won’t happen until after the final permits to drill deeper have been issued.

Drilling deeper this year has not been possible so far because of challenges with the Arctic Challenger, the oil spill response and containment barge, which had been undergoing retrofitting and testing in Washington State for months. Until Shell gets Coast Guard and various agency approvals of this vessel and moves it in place in the Arctic, Shell can’t drill for oil.

The Arctic Challenger left Bellingham, Washington in the middle of the night last week and hasn’t been seen since. Sea testing? On its way to the Arctic while undergoing sea testing? We don’t really know, even though the administration and Shell both promised the communities of the Arctic and the rest of us—transparency.

The latest government approvals to Shell’s ever-changing set of standards, specifically the air pollution and sea-worthiness of vessels, have been made without any public process and in some cases the official documents have only been released to the public after repeated requests. The public has yet to see Shell’s official request to extend the drilling season. That’s about as transparent as the gooey waters of an oil spill.

Earthjustice continues to represent its clients in challenging flawed and unlawful oil-spill response plans, air pollution permits and leases. Our aim remains to protect the pristine American Arctic waters from harmful industrial activities in the short term with a long-term focus of conservation based on best available science.

The implications of a failed Arctic ecosystem will affect us all through the rapid effects of climate change. And there’s nothing “happy, happy, happy” about that.

The only real solution is for environmental groups to do like Green Peace used to before they became gov't friendly. Take active action and sink Shell's boats, cut their anchor points, and don't le them in the area. BP and Exxon have already showed us they don't give a crap about our environment and Shell is no different. Unfortunately our friendly gov't has a jump on us and has outfitted Homeland "Security" with enough power and weapons to contain groups of citizens of any size. I just hope the greedy mega-corporations die along with the dollar before they totally destroy the world. And people that hae their heads so far up their butts they cannot envision that we could develop viable alternative energy solutions just need to die off as well so the real innovators can create a new, clean world. It was people like you that have laughed at Chris Columbus, Henry Ford, Isaac Newton, Tesla and so many others. Actually if it wasn't for Edison, we would probably have some incredible energy soltutions now thanks to Tesla. But you guys that love your oil don't even know who Tesla is.

We don't know who you are anonymous, chicken s--t (fill in blanks)

come on Earth Justice, join forces with GreenPeace, Care2Cause etc and start lobbying the governments and add up all the signatures :) I am pretty sure there will be more than 2 mln in total! Greenpeace have already collected 1.8mln signatures

For those who haven't done it so far - please sign here:

And prey to your deities the greed gives up for several years.

Google to locate many petitions you can sign to support the groups that are out there looking out for environmental concerns. They are effective and give you the opportunity to speak up or just add your support by signing on. Also. you can vote for whomever you want. No one can physically keep you from exercising your freedoms. Just face it, that the victor will be President of the United States no matter what the other side believes. Let's hope they can work toether like mature adults for the good of our beautiful American country.

Looks like everything was going great until God showed up!

I'm with you. If the Congress and Salazar can't say no to greedy oil-the the good Lord certainly did.
What a bunch of gutless, money hungry sobs-particularly Salazar!

I'm with you. If the Congress and Salazar can't say no to greedy oil-the the good Lord certainly did.
What a bunch of gutless, money hungry sobs-particularly Salazar!

Shell, and the other oil companies do not, and I expect never did, care about collateral damage. When working in 3rd world areas, they do whatever they please, expecting no bite back, and that has become a part of their culture.

3rd world areas love it when they are there!

When have oil companies ever done the best thing for the environment? Drilling in fragile areas, spills, messing up the environment, all that awful stuff. So sad that oil lobbies can control the planet. It's too fragile for them to continue to exert so much power and pressure. It's 'way past time to really get very serious and think GREEN.

Agreed! . . . . for thousands of years! ! ! So what can we do about it?

The consumer has ultimate power. If we don't buy the products, they go broke. We, the people, can actually force the greedy to seek new ways to covet our money if we demand safe and clean alternatives such as using water and solar energy for fuel for example. If it means walking, bicycling, car pooling or taking an electrically powered bus, or buying a hybrid car or building your own electric car, sure it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, but it will drive our point home. If at least 5% of the population does this, some entrepreneurial entity will always step forward and help meet this new demand, and that is a prime scenario that proves the power of the consumer, and human innovation and creativity. Although water and solar energy seem to be from free resources, let corporate greed or better yet, sustainably responsible company start-ups, figure out how to make money from it. This is just one example of what we can do about it. Submitting your signature whenever you can really does make a difference. Our causes go viral within hours thanks to the power of the internet! This is a very powerful way individuals acting collectively can do, and are doing, something about it. :)

What planet are you from? Solar is not FREE,( it's really more expensive) and were do you think electric comes from? Also water is not FREE. You would not be on the internet or this site if not for electric. Electric cars, have you checked the prices?

They never will. They only care about profit & they love taking our money to help them make their obscene profits. djf

You are soooooo! clueless.

Thank you Earthjustice for the work you have done on this issue (crisis). Keep up the good work. Is there a petition or something that you could have us sign to be sent to Congress or Shell or whomever. I would be glad to add my name to the list of disgruntled citizens protesting Shell's disregard for OUR environment.

Before all you people start high 5-ing each other, shell is not going to stop. They are concerned with the enviorment like many other companies. Wake up

Thank you Earthjustice for the work you have done on this issue (crisis). Keep up the good work. Is there a petition or something that you could have us sign to be sent to Congress or Shell or whomever. I would be glad to add my name to the list of disgruntled citizens protesting Shell's disregard for OUR environment.

The Planet will ALWAYS find a way to stop IDIOTS. I have seen it in the Mid West. New constructio and along comes the tornadoes.

Can windmills withstand a tornado?

It is important to keep working to tell the Public What MONEY IS DOING TO OUR EARTH.

Money is not the problem. It is the valuing of it beyond the truth.

I am in fear for all life around these drilling rigs.
What exactly is the plan when there is a major oil spill? I know these companies talk about
their safety precautions....but, we are talking Mother on earth does anyone create a plan to stand up to Mother Nature? It is inevitable these oil rigs are accidents waiting to happen. What excuse can they possibly use to explain away the death and damage caused by a blown rig?
Down with oil. There are so many other sustainable ways of creating energy.
Why do we continue to do the same ol' same ol'?
It really says nothing about man's ingenuity and thought processes.
We want change .... but we are stuck in a rut.
The same mistakes are made daily with the promise that if anything bad does happen.....these oil companies will be there, pronto, to take care of the problem before it gets worse.

Now that's what they got for acting smart. Shell Oil have again screwed up this ill-fated operation in America's Arctic and they brought this embarrising mess on their own. However, I do happen to have a unique god-given way to put an end to the disasterous oil-gas drilling in The Arctic, and that is take this matter right directly to The World Court. If you do, make sure you have plenty of hard evidence and 100% accurate proof on why oil and gas exploration in The Arctic poses a hazardous, but dangerous threat, to the region and the rest of The World. So you and your friends, families, place of worship, relatives and community leaders should act now if we want to get this message to the ranks of international justice. And for anyone who is reading the comment section of this report, it is your duty that you should do exactly the same if we want to avoid the doomsday effects of climate change. The World Court's website is

Excellent idea. I sent my email and I hope many others will also.
Stop this insanity and protect our earth.

I really don't think that if they stop drilling it will do any good,the oil Companys will figure out some way to keep the price of gas going up,there needs to be someone out there who can stop them from there Greed,we all know it is about how much money they can steal from us to fill there pockets.I don't have an answer,but I do know that Mother Earth will Change this and the Creator,and soon.It has gone on for to long.

As I was posting before, before being knocked of the net ..a lot of good points here but it simply comes down to conservation of finite resources - it really is that simple , however to convince the american public to do so will be very difficult !
we as citizens of the USA have to realize that we are fortunate to live in on a patch of earth that is "blessed climatically and it is that fact , not that we are better in anyway , that its our politics , our religion , our way of life that have gotten us where we are ! ( well I should say it is our wastefully way of life that has gotten us where we are " environmentally " behind the 8 ball ).
well brothers and sisters we are about to blow , "are blowing our biggest advantage "our climate -our environment " .
the difficultly lies in changing the mind set of the public , we should be doing this before we are forced to .it's easier , more effective and manageable to have a focused plan, than being forced to conserve in the final hours - it's our choice , folks we need to do this now !
the easy part is this -just forget what you've been programed as a good consumer to do . you don't need things to make you better, that comes from within . if you're not happy without it -having it will not make you happy - happiness come from within. ... get where i'm going here ?
the point is American became "great " during /after WW2 becoming the largest industrialized nation - unsustainable wealth -lifestyles were created that were used as benchmarks , and as americans more is better ! the question now is it really and for whom ?
ask your self these questions , why am I doing this or that you'll find you can't honestly justify your actions , can all the wealth in the world buy or restore an eco system ? dying of thirst what would you give for just a glass of water ? then you'll know
I know , been there done that , made lots of mistakes and changed my lifestyle,
yes I was living the BS too, but now I thoughtfully conserve all resources I use your children have a future , hey I'm a single guy no children -so if I can do it why can't you pay it forward too!

P/s thanks for letting me vent , please think and vote third party R's and D's they are the different sides of the same coin , playing good cop bad cop - keeping the same old boys in power !


Here is an even greater way to get the message out. That is contact The United Nations and The World Court. If you want to contact The United Nations, make sure you notify their environment- humanitarian department on their email address is, that way we will provide more legal power that will save The Arctic from the climate crises. In 1963, an international meeting was held that was aimed at keeping Antarctica completely safe from exploration for any kind, and it was unanimiously 100% ratified. The same worldwide safety agreement should be given to The Arctic. And for The World Court, you have to make sure you give them plenty of hard evidence and 100% real facts about the real causes of climate change. And the email address for The World Court is So make sure you gather up your friends, families, relatives and even community leaders to make the call, that way we will gather up more legal power that will save The Arctic from climate change. Act Now!

Note the increasing parallels between Big Oil and Gas industry and the Nuclear Industry with both deploying ever more risky technologies and causing problems they cannot solve while dumping the costs on U.S. taxpayers.

All while Europe quietly goes about working in larger and large amounts of solar and wind tinto their energy mixes.

40 years ago, there was a movement called Zero Population Growth.

We need to cut the Earth's human population to supportable levels instead building more oil rigs. Humans don't seem to be able to do that so we better work with nature rather than destroying it. Solar and Wind are our best hope but the energy companies can't figure out that today's investment could eventually pay off bigger than fossil fuel in the long run.

Um, do you suppose we can make this retroactive? About forty years worth? That always seems to work for Mitt . . .

Just how do you purpose to Stop the human population from growing? You can not STOP people from having children here in the U.S.A. We're not in some foreign country that tell people they are only allowed one child. Stopping people from having one child after another would wreck the welfare system as well. Welfare pays people more money for every child they have. Increases in food stamps, increases in cash assistance, more money for medical coverage.
Our government needs to do something about our climate, they need to pull the plug on drilling in the Arctic, and to stop all the free handouts to all the people collectiing benefits. What they should do you wnat assistance, then you'll work at places like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Sheetz, 7-11 stores, Arby's any job would do. But NO that would be considered a violation of rights.
Our government needs to focus on finding other sources of energy.
Drill here in the U.S.A. won't make prices any cheaper...made in the U.S.A. pay the same as impoted oil or maybe pay more simply because its made here in the U.S.A.

China started their 1-child policy when their population was between 250 million and 300 million, in 1978. Today, their population is over a billion -- about 4 times larger than when they started their policy. China sez that their 1 child policy kept them from having an additional 400 million people (and the US sez "No, no -- it's only 100 million .. don't exaggerate).Anyway, check out these population graphs, mostly for China........................

And i agree with the 1st reply to this Anonymous .. that if we can't hold down our population by using our intelligence and communications skills (which is a large part of what we use in defining ourselves as human), then we've screwed ourselves, and maybe .. Like the Moties in Niven/Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye ... we will bounce back in a few thousand years...up to several hundred million people by them ..., maybe

China and Japan will soon be at war, that will eliminate a large part of their population

You know, their is more that you can do. You can check with the United Nations' environmental- humanitarian department and even the highest ranks of the World Court, so make sure you gather up plenty of hard evidence and real facts about the main causes that global warming have caused, that way we will give The Arctic enough legal power that will save it from the doomsday effects of climate change.
The email address to the United Nations' environmental- humanitarian department is and The World Court's official email address is

No, you can't stop people from breeding in "this here free USA," but encouraging a conversation that stresses the importance of decisions we make in the long run/big picture, has a way of channeling decisions in the right direction. All you have to do is look at the situation on the ground now; the weather is going haywire, possibly partly due to a natural cycle, but coupled with the acts of humanity, it is creating an atmosphere where the possibility of starvation is in the cards. Starvation is already rampant in other parts of the globe. Those people are here now: We can't feed them, so why add to the misery by installing another layer over the already overpopulated earth? We need to put on our far-sighted glasses and make decisions accordingly.

I believe if you got a tax credit for not reproducing,instead of adding another hungry mouth,fill one that is here. Instead of drilling for more oil,look up and use the sun,use the wind and a little grey matter the good Lord put in our heads.We need to put our feet down and stand fast to the BS our elected officals are giving us and hold them accountable.

It seems to me that the enviromental movement is run by sociapaths they have no clue about how we humans are gonna be tossed into war without oil they only care about whatever makes them feel good at the moment. if they had there way with the enviroment only they would have cars to drive and only they would have houses to heat with oil. and only they would have toilet paper and nobody else.

Yes, yes yes!

You got it wrong. Environmentalism, which used to be called ecology, is about balance and sustainability. No one is saying go back to the dark ages, but if we don't live our lives in balance with the resources we have, not only will no one have anything, but no one will be able to live, except the few survivors who will be in the dark ages again. Population control for the human species is imperative. God gave us brains instead of twice a year estrus, and it's time we start using them. The fisherman around the Cheasepeake moaned and groaned and made fun of the "tree huggers" in the 70's who were warning them that if they continued to overfish the East Coast and didn't change the way they fished as well, they would destroy the area. The fishermen laughed and said the environmentalists were trying to take away their livelihood, etc. NOW that they have almost destroyed fishing up and down the East Coast and can't make a living, they are working WITH the "treehuggers" to restore what they destroyed. It seems to me a better way is to preserve it in balance, first, rather than having to restore what we destroy, and this goes for the Arctic as well, and every other area the greedy jerks want to get into for their own profit. Yes, we need fuel. Let's look at the other countries who started in the 70's to slowly explore and grow alternative energy resources. Had we done that, we'd be there already and using technology that creates thousands of jobs as well as increasing our exports of technology and hardward for these new energy sources. Let's get with it.

How much money do treehuggers make? I need a job ,any job.

Environmentalists, REAL environmentalists, live the way they preach. They invest in whatever way they can into environmentally sound practices. I don't have a car, I ride the bus when I can and bike or walk when I can't. I buy as much of my heating and electricity from clean and renewable energy resources when I can. I also freeze my ass off through the winter. I'm afraid you don't really know many environmentalists if this is how you feel.

You must lead a dull and boring lonely life sitting in your dark cold apartment

What a worm. The "environment movement" as you say should not be a movement or a fad. It is a continous way of life. The problem is that our nation has been far too reliant upon fossil fuels when there has been a "movement" to implement other forms of sustainable energy. Hydrogen has long been a very promising form of energy, but no investors?? As long as greed is the primary focus then the debate will continue amongst the small minded conservatives who continue to back coal and oil...2 of the oldest and most pollutant forms of energy there are.

You need to learn to spell and how to use correct grammar if you are going to be publicly complaining. As it is, with your mis-spellings, your incorrect grammar and your assertions without sources you come across as trailer trash spouting what you saw on Faux News. Really? Toilet paper? Environmentalists are anti-toilet paper? That's the kind of thing that drives the liberals crazy because it reaffirms the concept that so-called conservatives are idiots. Actually with the proper information you may very well be a thoughtful person but as it stands you can't tell that from your postings. Try again when you aren't angry or drunk or something.

What is Faux News?

Yeah! Drill, burn, and use up everything as quickly as possible. That's much more rational!


Romney is all about corp. greed We must keep him out of our Goverment & Ryan is even worse. Don't let the 1 percent take over our great nation

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