Less than one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and just weeks after a significant oil spill in the frigid waters off the coast of Norway, Shell and other oil companies are pressuring the Obama administration to open up the fragile and remote waters of the Arctic to harmful new drilling.
The Chukchi and Beaufort Seas -- sometimes called the Polar Bear Seas -- are vital to the survival of America's threatened polar bears, walrus, bowhead whales and so many other Arctic species.
Yet Shell Oil and other companies are charging ahead with plans to industrialize this crucial area.
We only have until Thursday to make our voices heard -- the Obama administration will make a decision after the public comment period ends this week.
Join Defenders of Wildlife in sending a loud, clear message to the Obama administration about the importance of protecting the Polar Bear Seas.
Take action today and tell them NO harmful offshore drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
- J. F. Bennett (Chief, Branch of Environmental Assessment, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares about protecting Arctic wildlife, I strongly urge your administration to exclude new drilling plans for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas from the five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf.
The Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, sometimes called the Polar Bear Seas, are vital to the survival of America's threatened polar bears, walrus, bowhead whales and so many other Arctic species.
Yet Shell Oil and other companies are charging ahead with plans to industrialize this crucial area without proper protections for the amazing wildlife that could be devastated by an oil spill.
Here are the facts:
* Big Oil can't clean up a spill in these remote waters. Last year's BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and recent new spills off the coasts of Norway and in the Gulf of Mexico show how ill-prepared these companies are when disaster strikes.
* Arctic drilling won't reduce American gas prices. It will take years, even decades, to get oil from the Arctic. Even then, there is no guarantee that oil won't simply be shipped abroad to meet the rising demand in China, India and other countries.
* Drilling could devastate Arctic wildlife. Thousands of sea otters were killed when the Exxon Valdez ran aground. The BP disaster claimed the lives of hundreds of threatened and endangered sea turtles and other wildlife. Now imagine the damage that could be wrought on polar bears, walrus and other wildlife by a spill in an area that is more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest Coast Guard station.
For all of these reasons, I strongly urge you to exclude these vital waters from future offshore drilling plans.
Thank you for considering my comments.
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