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Shell Offshore, Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc.

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20051
Nos. 12-35332, (9th Cir., 03/12/2013)

The Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction prohibiting an environmental activist group from interfering with an oil company's outer continental shelf (OCS) exploration activities in the Arctic Ocean. The lower court's preliminary injunction barred the group from coming within specified distances of vessels involved in the OCS exploration from committing various tortious and illegal acts against those vessels and their occupants. Despite the group's arguments to the contrary, the action presents a justiciable case or controversy. Although the injunction was limited to the 2012 drilling season, which has since expired, the court has "every reason to believe that the underlying wrong will recur." The oil company has drilling rights under a multi-year lease, and there is no reason to believe that the group's anti-drilling campaign was limited to the 2012 drilling season. In addition, the lower court had jurisdiction to issue its order and did not abuse its discretion in doing so.