05/31/2013 11:43 am ET Updated May 31, 2013

Rachel Maddow: Shell Covered Up The Fact That They Moved Kulluk For Taxes

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Rachel Maddow concluded earlier this week that "oil companies lie."

Although this is not the first time the MSNBC host has criticized an oil giant, recent revelations about Shell's Arctic drilling led Maddow to reiterate her stance.

In an investigation conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Shell official admitted that the Kulluk, a drilling barge that ran aground on December 31, 2012, was being moved in an effort to avoid a possible $6 million tax.

"Our preference for the timing was to be gone before the end of the year, driven by the economic factors," said Sean Churchfield, operations manager for Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska. "The end of the year to my understanding was when the tax liability potentially would have become effective."

During her show, Maddow discussed how Congressman Ed Markey is a champion of energy legislation in the House, one who recognized Shell’s true intentions months before it came clean. "Shell was thought to be the gold standard,” Maddow said in reference to the Obama administration’s special permission for the company to engage in Arctic drilling. “If anybody was able to drill the Arctic, Shell can."

However, she went on to explain, the two Arctic drilling barges deployed by Shell were plagued with issues. The first was under criminal investigation for failing safety requirements, while the second was the Kulluk.

Churchfield’s admission caused Maddow to come to certain conclusions about the safety of drilling itself: “If Shell is considered the best and the brightest in the oil industry... maybe that proves we cannot safely drill in the Arctic,” she said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Rachel Maddow is a CNN host. She is a host for MSNBC.



Shell Drill Ship