Exploratory drilling in Beaufort sea temporarily blocked by federal court

Edward Itta, Mayor of North Slope Borough - photo by Lori TownsendLate yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals placed a temporary injunction against Shell Offshore’s plans for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort sea this summer in order to give plaintiffs a chance to present their arguments against it. The North Slope Borough and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission filed the suit, fearing the activity would disrupt whale migration during the fall hunt. North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta says after 30 years of fighting the concept of offshore development, he was pleasantly surprised by the decision. He says it’s important for North Slope residents to know their way of life will be protected. The Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case on August 14, 2007.

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

  • Court Order (PDF)
  • Photo: Edward Itta, Mayor of the North Slope Borough in his Barrow office in June 2007; photo by Lori Townsend, APRN