Despite his presidency prioritising climate change, Barack Obama has given Shell the go ahead to drill for oil and in the Artic Ocean. Despite widespread protests, including 13 Greenpeace activists hanging off a bridge in Portland, Oregon two weeks ago to stop a US icebreaker from making its way towards Alaska to riskily explore for oil in Arctic seas.

Community resistance against Shell’s plans to secure new oil reserves in the Arctic was also high. What is more, political peers are also resisting President Obama’s misguided move to destroy the pristine Arctic. Two days ago, Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton defied Obama’s ecological destructive folly and tweeted “The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it's not worth the risk of drilling. –H”.

Environmentalists immediately praised Clinton’s decision to oppose drilling in the fragile biome. Commentators have equated this move to be indicative that Clinton will be on the left in environmental policy.

Obama’s approval of Shell’s Arctic drilling is bold and short-sighted since the Arctic’s delicate ecosystem is particularly vulnerable to an oil spill and the consequences of an accident would have a profound effect on the environment and local fisheries. The presence of moving sea ice severely increase the risks of oil drilling, complicate logistics, and present unparalleled difficulties for any clean-up operation.