The beautiful Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, just off the coast of Alaska, are prime habitat for countless species: from gray and bowhead whales to the endangered fin and humpback whales and more than 3,000 belugas.
Shell Oil plans to send ships 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.
Please don't wait -- take action right now and tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to block Shell Oil's drilling plans before it's too late.
- Interior Secretary
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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