US Presidential contender, Hillary Clinton, has moved to distance herself from President Obama’s pro stance on offshore drilling within the Arctic waters, coming out against the plans.
The debate on whether or not to drill in the region has been raging on within the US for years, but has come to the boil over the last few months as Royal Dutch Shell has sought to explore for oil within the nations Arctic waters.
The comments from Clinton came the day after authorities, backed by the US Government awarded Shell with the final permits, allowing the company to push ahead and drill their exploration wells to a depth where oil is believed to exist in commercially viable quantities.
In a tweet to her 4 million followers, Clinton said, ”The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling. -H.”
The move by Clinton throws an incredibly authoritative and heavy weight behind the argument against, and will be seen internationally as a potential game changing moment from a woman who has her eyes set firmly on the White House.
The comment could be an expensive one for Shell, with the current offshore Arctic exploration costing the company an eye watering US$7 billion, and the exploration licence bought from the US Government for US$2.1 billon alone.
The comments may well be seen by some as a mere political move from a woman who seeks election, and possibly an awkward one by others from a woman who was Secretary of State in the same government that granted the permits.
It will however also be seen as a dangerous move from a woman who could well end up in the White House, a move that could well see the end to US offshore Arctic drilling, and a move that could well see a court case looming from companies trying to seek damages for the billions of dollars wasted getting the green light from the same government she seeks to lead.