美国政府批准壳牌在北极水域采油
来源: 互联网  时间: 2015年05月14日 

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration Monday gave conditional approval to allow Shell Gulf of Mexico to start drilling for oil off the Alaskan coast this summer, a major victory for the petroleum industry and a devastating blow to environmentalists.

The decision adds a complex new chapter to the environmental legacy of President Barack Obama, who has pursued the most ambitious environmental agenda of any president but has sought to balance those moves by opening up untouched federal waters to new oil and gas drilling.

Shell has sought for years to drill in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea. Federal scientists believe the region could hold up to 15 billion barrels of oil.
The Interior Department decision angered environmentalists who for years have demanded that the administration reject offshore Arctic drilling proposals. They fear that a drilling accident in the treacherous Arctic waters could have far more devastating consequences than the deadly Gulf of Mexico spill of 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the water.
Both industry and environmental groups say that the Chukchi Sea is one of the most dangerous places in the world to drill. The area is extremely remote, with no roads connecting to major cities or deepwater ports within hundreds of miles, making it difficult for cleanup and rescue workers to reach in case of an accident.
The closest Coast Guard station with equipment for responding to a spill is more than 1,000 miles away. The weather is extreme, with major storms, icy waters and waves up to 50 feet high. The sea is also a major migration route and feeding area for marine mammals, including bowhead whales and walruses.
The move came just four months after the Obama administration opened up a portion of the Atlantic Coast to new offshore drilling.
华盛顿——周一,奥巴马政府有条件地批准了壳牌墨西哥湾公司(Shell Gulf of Mexico)今年夏天开始在阿拉斯加海岸开采石油,这对于石油产业是个重大胜利,但对于环保人士却是个灾难性打击。
这个决定给奥巴马总统在环境方面的政治遗产增添了一个复杂的新篇章。奥巴马推行的环境政策是历届总统中力度最大的,但他也寻求开放尚未开发过的联邦水域,开展新的油气开发项目,来平衡这些举动。
多年来,壳牌一直希望能在北冰洋楚科奇海的冰冷水域进行开采活动。联邦政府的科学家认为,该区域的石油储量可高达150亿桶。
内政部(Interior Department)的决定让环保人士倍感愤怒。多年来,他们一直要求政府驳回在北极水域开采石油的提议。他们担心,倘若情况复杂的北极水域发生开采事故,就会产生比2010年墨西哥湾的严重漏油事故更为惨重的后果。当时,深水地平线(Deepwater Horizon)钻井平台的爆炸共导致11人死亡,并致使数百万桶原油泄漏到了水中。
石油产业和环保组织都表示,楚科奇海是世界上开采起来最危险的区域之一。那片水域非常偏远,数百英里之内,没有连接大城市或深水港口的道路,所以一旦发生事故,清理工作将很难开展,救援工作者也将难以到达。
距离那里最近的配有应对泄漏事故所需设备的海岸警卫队(Coast Guard)工作站也远在1000多英里之外。那里气候极端,常有大风暴,海水冰冷,海浪可高达50英尺(约合15米)。这片海域也是弓头鲸和海象等海洋哺乳动物的重要洄游路线。
仅四个月前,奥巴马政府才刚刚开放了大西洋沿岸的一片水域,用于新的海上开采项目。

编辑:tantan