Environmental Groups Ask For Arctic Ocean Oil Leases To Be Overturned

Environmental groups are asking a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision that OK’d the sale of petroleum leases in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s northwest shore.

The groups hope to stop a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell from moving forward with exploratory drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea, though Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe says the case is not likely to be decided by then.

The groups gave notice today that they will ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine that federal regulators failed to follow environmental law before conducting Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi in 2008.

Federal Judge Ralph Beistline in February concluded that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management had adequately considered the environmental effects of the sale.

Download Audio