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Greenpeace Activist Scale Building

October 16, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Environmental activists using hooks and suction pads scaled 15 floors of the downtown Atlantic Richfield Co. headquarters Wednesday to unfurl a giant banner protesting Arctic oil drilling.

As firefighters positioned air bags on the ground, two Greenpeace members climbed window-washing rails on the 51-story Arco tower before stopping about 6 a.m. to stretch a banner reading, ``Arctic Oil Global Warming, Chill the Drills.″

They came down six hours later and were arrested along with three other activists on the ground for investigation of trespassing. Authorities later took down the banner, which covered four floors and three windows across.

It was the latest in a series of protests against Arco’s oil development in the Arctic, Greenpeace spokeswoman Kale Cruder said.

``Arco is trying to explore for new oil that we can’t afford to burn if we are to avoid dangerous climate change and global warning,″ she said.

Arco spokesman Al Greenstein said it was a consumption issue rather than one of production.

``Oil and gas will continue to be a major energy source in this country for decades to come. It’s whether we produce it domestically or import it,″ he said. ``Merely eliminating Arctic oil development isn’t going to affect consumption.″

In August, Greenpeace activists briefly delayed Arco Alaska Inc. from moving an exploration drilling rig into position in the Beaufort Sea. Drilling is expected to begin at the site off Alaska’s northern coast in several weeks.

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