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Petitioning President of the United States

Stop Shell from drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge

Shell was scheduled to begin its Alaska exploratory drilling this summer, but thanks to all of you they have again postponed their plans till the summer of 2012.We now ahev to make sure we protect the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for good.

Company spokesperson Curtis Smith says planning for the projects will continue to move forward, but considering the effect on the environment and the ongoing disastrous oil spill, the government would be reckless to allow drilling any time soon.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could and SHOULD derail Shell Oil's plans for exploratory oil drilling in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Imagine what a spill would be like up there with ice covering the ocean, and no boats or equipment around to try and contain the spill?

It is hard enough to forget the oil covered seabirds, otters and seals that slowly died after 10 million gallons of crude oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez in 1989 - in Alaska.

To make matters worse drilling may take place in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), an area renowned for unique wildlife - fyi, the Refuge constitutes the last 5% of the Alaskan North Slope not open to oil drilling. Drilling operations already exist throughout the rest of the area. The Refuge is the last area wildlife can live peacefully.

Drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge will definitely leave its mark. Brian Moore, legislative director of the Alaska Wilderness League, explains that drilling in the refuge will have devastating effects: “Oil exploration is planned to take place in the most critical and sensitive area of the refuge. 130,000 caribou, the last large migrating mammal in the U.S, migrate hundreds of miles to calf here in late May and June, in this one area, and this is where they want to put oil rigs! Gravel roads and drained wetlands are not conducive to them giving birth. It is also devastating to denning polar bears. The polar bear population is already declining and is already threatened by extinction. Oil drilling and extraction may increase the odds of losing the species. Native Alaskans, Gwich’in Indians, whose life revolves around this piece of land will have the most important thing in their culture, the calving ground, taken away from them Gwich’in Indians, rely on the migratory Porcupine Caribou herd as a key source of food and clothing.] It is cultural genocide.”

Brian Moore, knows just how harmful drilling can be. “Prudhoe bay has 400 toxic spills a year,” he says with concern, “that’s more than one spill a day. These spills don’t only affect the drilling site but lands adjacent as well. Devastating effects are real and clear. Environmentalists have not made them up.” It is hard to forget the oil covered seabirds, otters and seals that slowly died after 10 million gallons of crude oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez in 1989. Naturally, environmentalists cringe when plans arise to drill in an area full of wildlife. The possibility that drilling may take place in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), an area renowned for unique wildlife and pristine habitat, is a shock to any nature lover.

read the full article here

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