Despite ruling, Alaska senator optimistic on Arctic drilling this summer

|By:, SA News Editor

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich says he remains optimistic that yesterday's federal court ruling against the U.S. government’s handling of offshore drilling leases won’t stop oil drilling in Arctic waters this summer.

The decision could affect Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) plan to revive oil exploration in the Arctic this year after a series of problems in 2012 and 2013; Shell's only comment so far is that it is "reviewing the opinion."

Environmentalists, of course, hope Begich’s optimism is misplaced, and are asking the Obama administration to seize on the ruling as a chance to shift course on Arctic drilling.