Petition Closed
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.

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Letter to
President of the United States
thank you for your efforts in protecting the Arctic and the Wildlife Refuge from drilling.

Thanks to you Shell has now postponed their plans for exploratory drilling till 2012. However, company spokesperson Curtis Smith says planning for the projects will continue to move forward, and considering the effect on the environment and the recent 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 for good. 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?

And those spills do happen, 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 - 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.

I am urging you to do all that is in your power to stop this.

In their defense, the recoverable oil in the refuge, possibly amounting to as much as ten billion barrels, is enough oil to supply the entire needs of the United States for about 18 months.

While that sounds trivial, I realize it isn’t – the US consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day, and at a rate of 1.5 million barrels per day from Alaska, 7.5% of America’s oil consumption could be met for over 20 years.

Put another way, this much Alaskan oil could reduce American oil imports by about 15%, American imports from the Middle East by over 25%. The effect of Alaskan oil on helping manage oil prices is significant.

But you know what? Americans could reduce oil consumption far more than Alaska can produce oil, simply by eliminating the SUV’s commercial vehicle exemptions from fuel efficiency standards, and by developing hybrid technologies, and by aggressively raising fuel efficiency requirements.

What is really at stake in Alaska is the precedent. If the Alaskan refuge is opened to drilling, the California coast and the Rocky Mountains will be next.

With peak oil as a global threat we have to invest in renewable energy sources and find ways to protect whatever we have left - we have to move away from that insane 'drill, baby, drill' philosophy.

It is time to set the course straight. For Americans and for many other people around the world you stand for Hope. Let our hope not be in vain.