Yesterday, President Obama issued permanent protections from future oil and gas drilling for some of the Arctic Ocean’s most significant marine areas. The President’s action is an important and positive step to limit risky drilling, and will help protect the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, including vital walrus habitat at the Hanna Shoal.
At the same time, however, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a draft proposed program that calls for additional oil and gas lease sales in other areas of the Arctic, even though oil companies have not shown they are able to operate safely and responsibly in the Arctic. Extreme conditions like changing sea ice, fog, and high winds make meaningful cleanup all but impossible. A disaster like the Deepwater Horizon in the Arctic would devastate marine wildlife and jeopardize food security in Alaska Native communities.
Join us in sending a message to BOEM: No Arctic Ocean drilling.
Stand against reckless drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Tell BOEM not to sell Arctic oil and gas leases in the 2017-2022 program.
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Breaking news: Shell has announced 2015 plans that could bring not one, but two drilling rigs to the Chukchi Sea. That spells double trouble for the Arctic—say NO to Shell’s plan.
Shell’s already tried and failed. When Shell tried to drill in the Chukchi Sea two years ago, it had to stop after just one day because a huge ice floe drifted into the area. A couple months later, the company’s drillship caught fire. Their proposed oil spill containment system? It was “crushed like a beer can” during testing.
By the end of the season, Shell’s drillship was hobbled by mechanical difficulties and had to be towed to Asia.
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It’s common sense–tourists are more likely to go to a clean beach. Offshore energy companies need the latest data and maps to make the most accurate plans for successful development. Right now, Federal ocean programs are spread across more than 20 different agencies that often work independently of each other.
That’s why we need a common sense National Ocean Policy that coordinates these different ocean programs in order to both use and protect the ocean in the best possible ways. But some lawmakers are attacking the policy with extremist rhetoric.
Our Government Relations Director Emily Woglom recently weighed in on the benefits of the National Ocean Policy and the misleading attempts to block it.
You can help by calling your Representative today and asking him or her to vote against any attempt to block the National Ocean Policy.