In DepthENERGY

As Arctic drilling starts, Shell-funded researchers keep watch

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Science  21 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6250, pp. 778
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6250.778

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Summary

This week, Royal Dutch Shell received the federal go-ahead to begin full-scale exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Northwest Alaska. Since 2010, the company has given more than $15 million to an environmental research program that is jointly managed by the firm's scientists, outside researchers, and representatives of the native Alaskan Inupiat villages that face the most acute potential environmental impacts from drilling. These studies have focused on ice movements, currents, and the behavior of whales and other animals. Participating scientists have lauded the work as important, but others want environmental research to be conducted by unbiased bodies instead of funded by industry.

  • * in Barrow, Alaska