US Blunts Arctic Oil Warning

Report's recommendations cut on US, Swedish objections
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 2:18 PM CST
Rig Supervisor Rod Klepzig stands on the drill rig overlooking construction materials on Oooguruk Island off of the coast of Alaska's North Slope Wednesday Sept. 26, 2007 and discusses preparation for...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A top researcher for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was poised this week to deliver a stern warning against the oil drilling operations sweeping the Arctic—until politicians pulled the teeth from his report, Der Spiegel reports. The report needed approval from the Arctic council that commissioned it—but the US and Sweden insisted on watering down the document.

The final document, presented at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Norway, is missing several sections, most crucially the 60 recommendations. Sources say the US even tried to remove any use of the phrase “climate change.” “I am disappointed,” said John Calder, who also thinks some countries, especially Russia, withheld crucial data. Environmental danger or no, though, drillers are pushing north.