As noted earlier today, the Obama administration on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell “conditional approval” to drill an Arctic oil lease off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea – a move that has environmental groups in a tizzy.
Shell actually gave up on its hopes of drilling in the Arctic a little over a year ago after a setback in federal court, and at the time, environmental groups and the media were satisfied that the situation made sense, given the administration’s well-known posture on environmental issues and energy.
The mainstream media have been silent this week on why the Obama administration, with its pattern of uniform and ruthless hostility to the fossil fuels industry, has given this approval. Even the New York Times, which is usually able to mouth a narrative planted by administration officials, has offered no explanation.
The best it can come up with is a general statement that the administration has sought to “balance” its ambitious environmental agenda by “opening up untouched federal waters to new oil and gas drilling.” This claim is based on one previous action: