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For Immediate Release, August 16, 2011

Contact: Rebecca Noblin, (907) 274-1110

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Shell's Oil Spill in North Sea

Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the Center for Biological Diversity, issued the following statement today in response to Shell’s 55,000-gallon oil spill in the North Sea, which now includes a second leak:

“Shell’s oil spill and lackluster response in the North Sea is deeply troubling, especially because the company plans to drill up to 10 new wells in the Arctic, where a spill would be impossible to clean up. The Obama administration should take this lesson to heart and deny Shell’s permits to drill in Alaska. Shell claims it can clean up 90 percent of spilled oil in the Arctic, but past experience shows this figure is wildly inflated — only 8 percent to 9 percent of the oil was recovered after the Exxon Valdez spill, and about 3 percent was recovered after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But what’s worse is that in the North Sea, where 55,000 gallons of oil has escaped into the ocean, Shell is not even trying to clean up the spill; instead the company’s claiming the oil will be ‘naturally dispersed through wave action.’ Allowing thousands of gallons of oil to gush into the North Sea without attempting cleanup is unacceptable, as is Shell’s apparent reluctance to release details about the spill. In the face of Shell’s North Sea spill, President Obama cannot honestly claim that allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic is safe.”

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