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Local Hearing & Comment Period for Offshore Drilling

Posted by Northern Center at Mar 29, 2016 04:04 PM |

At a time when we need to be turning away from climate-disrupting fossil fuels, the Department of the Interior has announced that it still plans to open up the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, the third-largest pool of carbon in our planet, to offshore (OCS) oil development. Tell the Obama Administration, NO to oil & gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic!

If we want to have a reasonable shot at limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, scientists tell us we must leave ALL of Alaska's offshore oil and gas in the seafloor. Our state's communities and wildlands are already suffering massive climate disruptions, and this is after only 1°C of warming. Arctic Ocean drilling would spell climate catastrophe for Alaska.

As if climate chaos were not reason enough, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) itself has estimated a 75% chance of a large oil spill resulting from its proposed Arctic offshore lease sales. Such a spill would be devastating to the Iñupiaq  coastal villages on the Arctic Ocean, who rely on subsistence harvests of marine mammals already threatened by climate change. 

The case against Arctic Ocean oil is so clear that even Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who presides over BOEM's offshore drilling program, has been hemming and hawing on the issue. "We're particularly interested in hearing from the public and Alaska Native communities about whether these areas are appropriate for leasing and what steps we may need to take the protective and important resources found in them," she recently told reporters. Strong public opposition has already prompted the Interior Department to reverse earlier plans for offshore lease sales in the Atlantic. 

ACTION: It is critical that the Interior Department hear the voices of Alaskans like you! Please join us at the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitor Center for a public testimony period on Monday, April 4 at 6:30 pm. 

  • submit comments to BOEM orally, on April 4 at the Morris Thompson Center 
  • submit written comments to BOEM online
  • show opposition in numbers to Arctic Ocean Drilling by showing up the public hearing on April 4
  • Sign a petition in opposition to the offshore drilling

Rarely do Alaskans have the opportunity to weigh in on an issue that is so critical to the future of the entire planet. Our state has been described as a "canary in the coal mine" of climate change impacts. Opening up a new pool of dirty oil is the last thing we need. Stand with thousands of Alaskans in telling the federal government "enough is enough:" NO to offshore oil. It is time that we, the Alaskan people, take charge of our future by showing leadership in the worldwide transition to a clean-energy economy.

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