September 14, 2012
“Last week as Shell was getting ready to poke the first hole in the Chukchi Sea floor in Arctic Alaska to begin exploratory drilling, I was getting ready to give two talks in Alaska—the concluding lecture of the Next North Symposium at the Anchorage Museum on 9/8, and one at the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks on 9/11 as part of the Northern Voices Speaker Series hosted by Northern Alaska Environmental Center in partnership with the Gwich’in Steering Committee. While there something remarkable happened over the weekend—perhaps the shortest–lived “beginning” of drilling anywhere. “Only a day after Shell Alaska began drilling a landmark offshore oil well in the Arctic, the company was forced on Monday to pull off the well in the face of an approaching ice pack. With the ice floe about 10 miles away, the Noble Discoverer drilling rig was disconnecting from its seafloor anchor Monday afternoon in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles from the northwest coast of Alaska,” the Los Angeles Times reported.”
Subhankar Banerjee is the editor of Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point, a collection of essays about climate change, resource wars, and human rights in the Arctic.
Listen to Subhankar’s recent interivew on KPFA’s Uprising Radio.