ExxonMobil is the largest oil company in the world. 25 years ago today, it was responsible for one of the worst oil disasters ever. The Exxon Valdez spill devastated Alaska’s Prince William Sound, its economy, and its communities.
Now ExxonMobil wants to venture even further north, into a remote and harsh area of the Arctic. There, it will set up a massive rig and start drilling.
Today, to mark the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill and to protest ExxonMobil’s plans to put yet more northern ecosystems and communities at risk, Greenpeace activists staged an action. They scaled the rig, which currently sits in port in Ølen, Norway before its trip to the Russian portion of the Kara Sea. The activists unfurled banners to bring attention to ExxonMobil’s plans and to call for their cessation.
The window to drill in the Kara sea is only 8-10 weeks long. ExxonMobil plans to begin drilling this year. Luckily for ExxonMobil, Russia’s regulations for drilling in its waters are not that strict. For instance, there is no requirement that ExxonMobil provides a relief rig, which would be crucial if spilled oil were to be kept from getting under Arctic ice. If ice got under ice, it would be irrecoverable and utterly catastrophic.