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Shell wants judge to uphold permits

Shell wants judge to uphold permits

May 4, 2012
JUNEAU, Alaska — Subsidiaries of Shell Oil Co. trying to head off challenges to permits that put them one step closer to exploratory drilling off Alaska’s northern shores.

Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. and Shell Offshore Inc. have asked a federal judge to rule that the National Marine Fisheries Service properly issued harassment authorizations for whales and seals. A spokesman for Shell Alaska has said that the permits provide authorization to work near the animals as long as the impact is minimal.

Attorney Kyle Parker, in a filing dated Wednesday, says the seasonal nature of Shell’s exploration work, scheduled to begin this summer, along with what he calls the extensive and time-consuming permitting process leaves the authorizations vulnerable to legal maneuvers that could restrict Shell’s ability to use them.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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