Interior Secretary Ken Salazar released the following statement today after Shell announced it would not drill into oil-bearing zones in the Arctic this year:
"The Interior Department will continue to work with Shell as it oversees the company's preparatory drilling work and other data-gathering activities in the Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The Department has set rigorous safety, environmental protection and emergency response standards for any exploration activities in the Arctic, and throughout this process, Shell has demonstrated a commitment to those standards. Through Shell's efforts, tremendous progress has been made and valuable lessons will be learned as the company carefully and deliberately moves forward with Arctic exploration activities. As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, we look forward to continuing to work with Shell to maximize the remaining opportunities this drilling season provides while doing so in a manner that expands domestic energy production, creates jobs, protects people, and safeguards our natural resources."