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Arctic oil rush sparks Greenpeace reaction

Posting in Energy

Greenpeace will argue today that the 'Arctic rush' of oil companies must be regulated.

The government will be asked today to support regulation of the oil industry in its rush to exploit Arctic natural resources.

At a House of Commons meeting scheduled today, Greenpeace will ask the UK government to put a halt to the 'Arctic rush' of oil companies, who are constantly seeking out new sources for dwindling natural resource supplies.

The Arctic 'oil rush' is now possible due to climate changes causing ice to melt -- opening up wider expanses of ocean every year. However, this means that resources previous difficult to access can be exploited by powerful players in the oil industry.

The environmental activist organisation believes that more should be done in order to help create and maintain a sustainable world, and caving in to the demands of oil companies will delay the necessary transition to renewable energy sources that is required.

Choosing to deny the inevitable for the sake of profit and carving up more environmental landscapes is not the best route to take when addressing energy supplies, according to the organisation. Ruth Davis, chief policy adviser at Greenpeace said:

"The reckless rush to exploit Arctic oil and the Coalition Government's blind support for it, urgently need scrutiny."

Greenpeace are able to make their case as the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs took the decision to create a special review called 'Protecting the Arctic'. British MPs will be asked to reconsider their support for companies drilling in the north, such as Cairn Energy, unless regulations and conditions are changed to protect the Arctic as much as possible.

In June 2011, 18 Greenpeace activists braved the Arctic seas, scaled a Cairn Energy's oil rig, and effectively shut it down. Their reasons for doing so were that the Leiv Eiriksson rig had the potential to devastate an unspoiled environment as well as destroy Greenland's fishing industry.

Greenpeace is no stranger to making its voice heard, and the organisation's activists are passionate. If the UK government chooses not to take heed, we may see a repeat of previous environmental activist activity.

Potential oil spills could be catastrophic, and regulations must be put in place to limit this risk.

Image credit: Nick Russill/Flickr

(Via: The Guardian)

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure