Obama Administration Clears Way to Begin Arctic Drilling

Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic drilling program has cleared a major bureaucratic hurdle to begin drilling for oil and gas off Alaska's northwestern coast this summer. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday approved the multi-year exploration plan in the Chukchi Sea for Shell after reviewing thousands of comments from the public, Alaska Native organizations and state and federal agencies. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the approval "is an important milestone and signals the confidence regulators have in our plan. However, before operations can begin this summer, it's imperative that the remainder of our permits be practical, and delivered in a timely manner."



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