Seven American Greenpeace activists, including two who daringly painted a message in crude oil on an offshore drilling ship on May 24, were arrested. The seven face three separate charges for the incident.
Port Fourchon, La - At least two of the activists had gained access to the offshore drilling ship owned by Shell, painting the message "Arctic next?" on the side of the Harvey Explorer. The protesters used crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill for the message, Greenpeace said. "... Shell hopes to use the ship to support their plans for exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska in July. But before that can happen, Secretary Salazar has to approve their plan. He’s literally deciding what to do as you read this." Greenpeace was protesting offshore oil drilling in the Arctic, capitalizing on a visit to the Gulf of Mexico by the US Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar last week.
Greenpeace warns the potential for a disaster in the Arctic is just as likely as the Gulf of Mexico, saying "The only way to prevent disasters like the Gulf oil spill is to stop new oil drilling and wean ourselves off of dirty and dangerous fossil fuels like oil. A ban on Arctic drilling would be a first step towards a comprehensive ban on all new drilling in the United States.
We need an energy revolution and it needs to start right now. Secretary Salazar can help us take a step in the right direction by canceling Shell’s Arctic drilling program. Tell him to just say “NO” to Shell’s plans right now."2TheAdvocate said the seven protesters face charges of "unauthorized entry of critical infrastructure and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling." The seven were held at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.
Shell has said it was disappointed with the activists, reported Dow Jones Newswires. The market for offshore drilling shares has taken a huge hit since the Deepwater Horizon incident, reported Business Week.
President Barack Obama extended a temporary moratorium on off-shore exploration and drilling activities for another six months. Lease sales were also halted.
Efforts to halt the release of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico have failed.
The New York Times learned from BP documents that BP had concerns about the safety of the Deepwater Horizon for the past year.