I always remember where I was at the time I first hear about important world events. And the day Shell dropped its Arctic drilling program was no different. Sipping my tea and watching the 6 o’clock news I heard the words “And today a win for all environmental lobbyists as Shell announces it will be ceasing all drilling exploration in the Alaskan Arctic…”
Wait… what? Did I hear the correctly? Yes, yes I did!
On September 28th 2015 Shell announced it was halting all exploratory activities in the Arctic ‘for the foreseeable future’. Shell claimed their turn around was due to poor results from their test well drill, high costs and wavering federal environmental regulation. However I think we can all agree that the huge amount of public opposition and protest played an important role in this very significant environmental win.
But the fight’s not quite over yet.
The Arctic plays an important role in regulating global temperatures by reflecting the sun’s heat with it’s giant ice sheets. It’s also home to many endangered animal species and to 13 million people who rely on the ice to live.
So while one oil company is out of the Arctic for now, work still needs to be done to keep them all out, for good.
So while this move marks an important step in the right direction, we still have work to do. But what it shows is that people really do have power, and if we can stop one giant company in it’s tracks, we can certainly stop more!