This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
The Arctic Ocean is believed to hold vast reserves of oil and gas, worth trillions of dollars. But can they be safely extracted and shipped?
Given recent events, experts are increasingly skeptical. The challenges posed by extreme weather and sea conditions of the far north appear – at least for now – to be beyond the abilities of the oil company seeking to drill there.
Two of President Barack Obama’s closest advisers – former Environmental Protection Agency head Carol Browner and John Podesta, who headed the president’s 2009 transition team – are saying they don’t see any way to safely drill for oil in the Arctic. Their concerns are echoed by departing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as well as a key insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, and the French oil company Total.
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