Puget Sound

Mon, 2012-12-03 21:27Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Shell's Arctic Oil Spill Gear "Crushed Like a Beer Can" In Simple Test

Royal Dutch Shell, the massive multinational oil company, badly wants to be ready to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean next summer. This year, the company's plans to begin drilling in the treacherous seas of the Arctic were thwarted by its late start and repeated failures to get even basic oil spill response equipment into place. 

But the full extent of the company's failed attempts to test oil spill response gear was recently revealed by Seattle's NPR radio affiliate KUOW. Shell has faced repeated criticism and regulatory scrutiny over its cavalier attitude towards Arctic drilling, and the KUOW investigation makes clear why Shell is not “Arctic Ready” by a long shot.

Documents obtained by KUOW through FOIA requests indicate that Shell's oil spill response gear failed spectacularly in tests this fall in the relatively tranquil waters of Puget Sound. 

The containment dome - which Shell sought to assure federal regulators would be adequate to cap a blowout in the event of emergency at its Arctic operations - failed miserably in tests.  The dome “breached like a whale” after malfunctioning, and then sank 120 feet. When the crew of the Arctic Challenger recovered the 20-foot-tall containment dome, they found that it had “crushed like a beer can” under pressure.
 

Fri, 2008-02-29 11:05Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Whiff of cynicism lingers over Washington State’s call for road tolls to flight global warming

Two bills expected to clear the state legislature this session would give the green light to tolls on major highways around Puget Sound as a way to reduce traffic and greenhouse-gas emissions. A recent study says Washington State could raise $36 billion over 20 years through variable tolls.

Transportation is the single largest producer of carbon dioxide in Washington, so environmentalists say it makes sense to move toward tolls that take cars off the road.

So far so good.

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