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Take Action to Protect Arctic Ocean from New Leasing

We cannot let a spill like the Gulf Oil Disaster foul the Arctic Ocean next! Please comment by March 31, 2011 to the Interior Department that there should be no new leasing in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the new 5-Year OCS Leasing Plan.

Take Action to Protect Arctic Ocean from New Leasing

UPI A.J. Sisco

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission Video

 

On Feb. 3 Shell Oil cancelled its plans for 2011 to drill in Beaufort Sea waters offshore the Arctic Refuge --these sensitive waters are secure for another year! While continuing its push to drill its existing  Beaufort and Chukchi leases, the corporation also seeks more areas.  Shell's spokesman told Alaska News Nightly regarding the Interior Department's 5-Year Plan, "for energy companies like Shell, sustainability can only come from access to new supplies.  You can argue as soon as we get into production anywhere that field's life cycle is trending down, so to combat that you need access to new acreage...

In contrast, Fran Ulmer who served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill spoke in Fairbanks about the report 's analysis of the path to this tragedy and recommendations for future offshore drilling.  The report clearly stated that the risks of drilling in the Arctic must be addressed comprehensively before proceeding with drilling in such challenging waters. We cannot let a spill like the Gulf Oil Disaster as seen in this video foul the Arctic Ocean next!  

Please comment by March 31, 2011 to the Interior Department that there should be no new leasing in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the new 5-Year OCS Leasing.

To Send via BOEMRE form: http://ocs5yeareis.anl.gov

Or use this handy online alert:http://www.capwiz.com/alaskawild/home/ 

For Snail Mail:  J. F. Bennett, Chief, Branch of Environmental Assessment

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)

318 Elden Street, Mail Stop 4042, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817

You may want to make these points:

*  There should be no new leasing in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the 2012-2017 5-Year OCS Leasing Plan because:

     o   there is no proven technology to clean up oil in broken Ice and there is not adequate spill response capability in the Arctic;

     o   The Arctic is extremely remote and the closest Coast Guard Station is over 1000 miles away making oversight of a spill response extremely challenging;

     o   We still know far too little about the combined impact of oil development and climate change on species such as bowhead whales, walrus, ice seals and polar bear; and

*  A comprehensive ecosystem baseline program has not been done since the 1970's and new systematic studies to address the changing Arctic seas are needed.

*  We just don't know enough about the ecosystem and the environmental and social impacts to conduct drilling safely in the Arctic Ocean.  

 

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