Norwegian Court Rules Against Lawsuit Calling For End To Arctic Oil Exploration — Arctic Oil Development Is A Go

The lawsuit that was filed by environmental groups in response to Norway’s announcement of plans to continue oil exploration in the Arctic has been dismissed by a court in Oslo.

What that means is that the court ruled that the argument that such oil exploration was in violation of “people’s right to a healthy environment” wasn’t true — so, full-steam ahead for Arctic fossil fuel development, in other words.

To explain that further, the lawsuit alleged that the 2015 oil licensing round that saw Statoil, Chevron, and others, granted licenses to developed Arctic oil reserves was in violation of the country’s constitution — which states that citizens have the right to a “healthy” environment. That lawsuit was filed by Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth Group.

Reuters provides more: “But the Oslo district court said the government’s oil and gas plans were acceptable. ‘The state, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, is acquitted,’ it said. The court ordered the environmental groups to pay the state’s legal costs of 580,000 Norwegian crowns ($71,700). Greenpeace said it would decide whether to appeal within the next two weeks.

“Norway is Western Europe’s largest producer and exporter of oil and gas and plans to keep pumping for decades despite its support for the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. Norway’s output from the Arctic remains small, but the region is believed to hold the greatest potential for new discoveries that could gradually replace production from rapidly maturing North Sea and Norwegian Sea fields.”

That would be putting it lightly. Even if current global oil reserve figures are assumed to be accurate (which they may well be inflated, as regarding economically recoverable numbers), then the Arctic and Antarctic regions would still be home to essentially all of the world’s large, high-quality oil deposits.

The Reuters coverage continues: “The government’s lawyers had argued that the case was a publicity stunt that would cost jobs if it was successful…In its ruling, the court dismissed the environmentalists’ arguments that Norway should be responsible for greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas exported to other nations, rather than just from exploration and drilling off Norway. The court also said the risks of Arctic drilling were limited.”

So the drug pusher has no responsibility for possible outcomes, to put that a different way. And besides, if he were to stop pushing, then he would lose his job and have to take a cut in lifestyle and social status. Why would he agree to that?

So the takeaway of this is that Norway (and the US, and Russia, and Canada, and Denmark/Greenland, etc) are looking very likely to try to extract all of the oil that they can over the coming decades from the Arctic. If someone else decides to burn it … “well, hey, how was I supposed to know that’s what they were going to do with it?”

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