Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coast Guard plans for Arctic drilling protests

The U.S. Coast Guard is expecting an aggressive protest effort as Shell Oil drills for oil in the Chukchi Sea this summer, and is planning a very active response of its own.

Protests would likely take place in Seattle or Dutch Harbor, two staging areas for the summer offshore oil exploration effort in the Arctic.

“We’re going to have what we call ‘deployable specialized forces,’ a force of small boats that will be staged in Dutch Harbor during the month of June,” said Capt. Buddy Custard, chief of staff for the Coast Guard in Alaska.

Custard was speaking to the Alaska Legislature’s Northern Waters Task Force at the Capitol March 16.

Custard and Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, spoke about some of challenges coming with what she called the “industrialization of the Arctic.” Read More