What would be the cost if an oil spill occurred in Arctic Alaska, home to thousands of whales - belugas, gray and bowhead, and endangered fin and humpback whales? What cost to polar bears, their habitat already melting due to global warming? What cost to almost all the Pacific walrus that inhabits these waters?
Shell Oil plans to send ships within weeks to start exploratory drilling there. And the Gulf drilling disaster has shown us that there is no fail-safe way to drill for oil offshore.
Fill out the form to the right to take action today. Tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to block Shell Oil's drilling plans before it's too late. His safety review is due out by May 28th, so we still have a small window of time to influence his decision!
- Secretary of the Interior
In light of the Gulf oil spill, it is imperative that you cancel any plans to explore or drill for oil and gas in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off the coast of Alaska. These waters are prime habitat for polar bears, whales, walruses, seals and water birds like loons and eider ducks. A spill in these frigid waters would be catastrophic, potentially affecting not just marine animals in the immediate area of a spill, but all wildlife, shorebirds, and waterfowl that inhabit the coastal areas of America's Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
There is simply no safe way to drill in these waters. Studies have shown that even seismic testing of potential drilling sites is known to have an impact on marine animals' habits and lifecycles. And, according to the Minerals Management Service -- your own agency -- there's a 40% chance of a large spill if development were to take place in this remote location. Making matters worse, the technology to clean up a spill in icy Arctic waters doesn't even exist.
Please put a halt to the Royal Dutch Shell planned drilling this summer by prohibiting federal agencies from permitting any oil development or exploration in Alaska waters until further, comprehensive research can take place.
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