On August 29th, Saturday, the United States President Barack Obama went up and defended his decision of allowing Royal Dutch Shell to carry out oil drilling procedures in the Arctic Ocean in accordance with what he labeled as being rigorous standards, responding to the heavy criticism of various environmental groups.
He sent out his message while on a three-day Alaska tour that aims to draw the public and the industry’s attention to powerful images depicting the eroding coastlines and melting glaciers in a wakeup call effort for Americans in the Lower 48 states regarding the urgent need of addressing the climate change issue.
The trip comes along the lines of a broad campaign focused on sealing an international deal later on this year to lower carbon emission levels in the long-run, a global effort that the White House hopes is to cap the legacy of Obama regarding climate change.
It also points out some inherent contradictions related to his climate and energy policies. On onehand Obama is a heavy advocate for the world to lower its usage levels of fossil fuels, on the other hand, it was his administration that gave the OK to Shell earlier this current month to carry out drilling operations in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea region.
Eco groups have argued that drilling in the Arctic is going to expose whales, polar bears and walruses to spillage-related risks and is going to further expand the usage of the particular kind of energy that is blamed for inflicting climate changes.
“I am well aware of the public’s concerns regarding offshore drilling, and I too harbor the same concerns,” Obama commented in his weekly address.
“I still remember the BP spillage that took place in the Gulf of Mexico,” he further added, referring to the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig explosion that occurred back in 2010 and took the lives of 11 people, spilling millions of barrels of oil right into ocean waters.
Obama highlighted the fact that Shell purchased its exploration leases before he was in office – when George W. Bush served the role of U.S. President – and commented that his administration designed the highest of standards regarding the company’s potential drilling operations.
“The economy of the U.S. simply needs oil and gas till it is able to make the transition to renewable energy and should use domestic fossil fuels and not imports,” he added.