Right now, Shell's Kulluk drilling rig is getting towed up the Pacific Coast to the Arctic.
The Arctic has never been drilled for oil, not even under President George W. Bush. But at the end of March, the Obama Administration approved Shell Oil's inadequate spill plan for the Beaufort Sea.
Drilling in these pristine waters could begin as soon as this summer. This is the eleventh hour.
But President Obama still has to approve the final Permit to Drill -- and a decision could come by the end of this month.
Tell the Obama Administration: Don't let Shell Drill in the Arctic.
The Arctic's Beaufort and Chukchi seas are like nurseries of the earth -- providing crucial breeding ground and food supply for countless species of wildlife. Upsetting this habitat would have broad ripples through the wildlife food chain literally across the globe.
Almost exactly two years after the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill, the impacts are still being felt by the Gulf Coast and Gulf marine life. In many ways, we still don't understand the long term damage caused by the massive volume of spilled oil and toxic dispersants.
In his State of the Union Address earlier this year, President Obama promised: "I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago."
But there is still no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the extreme arctic environment -- which includes hurricane force storms, 20-foot swells, pervasive sea ice, low temperatures and months of darkness.
It's not late for Obama to call off Shell's drill bits. Tell Obama: Stand up to Big Oil and protect the Arctic.
President Obama says his energy plan is "all-of-the-above."
But between pushing the southern, export portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and now opening the Arctic to drill for oil that won't do anything to reduce gas prices, it seems a whole lot more like President Obama's energy plan is "oil-above-all."
President Obama needs to stand up to pressure from the oil industry, and admit what we all know: Drilling in the Arctic is a terrible, misguided idea, that's just not worth the risk to this one of a kind area, or the damage we know it will do to our climate.
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