Shell Oil has decided that drilling for oil and gas in the Beaufort Sea outside of Alaska is probably not worth the aggravation right now:

"Shell Oil has canceled its drilling and other exploration plans for next year in the Beaufort Sea while it focuses on court challenges to its offshore plan.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that federal regulators improperly granted Shell permission to drill in the Beaufort. The court ordered the Minerals Management Service to reconsider how exploratory drilling would affect wildlife and Inupiat Eskimo subsistence hunting and fishing."

I reported back in October that Sarah Palin was going to be disappointed with her "drill, baby, drill" plans for Alaska, because of these environmental concerns about drilling in the Beaufort. She wasted no time putting out a press release expressing how sick she was about Shell's decision:

"Governor Sarah Palin today expressed her disappointment in Shell Oil Company’s decision to cancel drilling activities in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of Alaska’s Beaufort Sea for 2009.
The decision comes on the heels of a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 20. “Alaska’s economic past and future are tied directly to the development of our abundant natural resources," the governor said. “The loss of this exploration activity will cost our state’s families hundreds of jobs next year.”

Looks like she might need to start palin' around with Begich soon enough.

--Brentin Mock

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