The Deepwater Horizon disaster is less than a year behind us. The oil industry is looking to stretch its tentacles into new territory – America's Arctic Ocean – without the technology or know-how to clean up a spill in the Arctic's extreme conditions. Yet Shell Oil continues to claim that drilling in America's Arctic Ocean is safe, boldly suggesting that they could clean up more oil than in the temperate Gulf Coast waters.
Currently, there is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic's extreme conditions. The Arctic is known for extreme cold, extended periods of darkness, hurricane-strength storms and pervasive fog - which impact everything from working conditions to getting around the region. For eight to nine months of the year, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are covered by ice.
There also is virtually no supporting infrastructure in the region - the nearest Coast Guard station, which would provide federal emergency response capabilities, is 1,000 miles away.
As the oil industry pushes to drill in America's Arctic Ocean, we must remind the Obama administration that we can no longer rely on the oil industry's "mop and bucket" brigades to protect our irreplaceable natural treasures. Tell the Obama administration to prevent dangerous new drilling.