Hillary Clinton says Arctic drilling 'not worth the risk'


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday staked out her opposition to Arctic oil exploration, a day after the Obama administration gave Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) final approval to drill off Alaska.

"The Arctic is a unique treasure," Clinton said in a Twitter post. "Given what we know, it's not worth the risk of drilling."

On Monday, the Obama administration gave Shell final approval to resume drilling into the oil zone off northern Alaska for the first time since 2012.

Shell obtained the leases during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

Arctic drilling is sure to be a contentious issue in the presidential campaign as more Arctic lease sales are scheduled for 2016 and 2017.

Environmentalists oppose the drilling, saying any spill would harm walruses, whales, and polar bears in a region scientists say is already vulnerable to climate change.

The Arctic contains 20 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas, the U.S. government estimates, making it a coveted resource. (by Emily Stephenson, Amanda Becker and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Caren Bohan, Reuters)