Shell’s unsuccessful test in Puget Sound raises new questions about the company’s ability to successfully drill offshore in the Arctic and, more generally, about the ability of containment devices to function properly in the harsh Arctic environment. The outcome of the containment dome test, the fact that Shell may have missed warning signals that something was wrong and Shell’s problems using ROVs, which could be required in an Arctic environment, raise troubling questions about whether Shell can drill safely in this harsh and sensitive area. [emphasis added]Here's the full text of Markey's request (pdf).
Markey, who is the ranking Democrat in the US House Natural Resources Committee, quoted from several of the emails that are starting to come out as a result of Federal Freedom of Information Requests, some of which were released by Seattle public radio station KUOW last week. The advocacy NGO, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has filed two sets of requests for information on the testing of the failed containment dome, and on other aspects of the testing regime Shell has or is undergoing in order to drill in such pristine and challenging waters.
Although KUOW in Seattle and the BBC have been dogging this story, as has Progressive Alaska, and the blog firedoglake, there has been no indication that any Alaska media outlet has either filed an FOIA, or is investigating the safety issues regarding the Arctic Challenger's viability for its supposed mission.