Shell has been granted a permit to start drilling in the Artic Ocean.
The Interior Department gave conditional approval in May for the company’s long-delayed application to drill in the untouched waters of the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. In July, the administration issued a permit that would allow Shell to start drilling at the top of the seabed but would not allow the drill to penetrate into the oil reserves until Shell had quick access to a “capping stack,” which is used to shut down wells in case of emergency spills. The ship carrying that capping stack arrived at the drilling site last week. Environmentalists have criticized Mr. Obama for moving forward with the drilling.