THANK YOU for Saying NO to Drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean!

Norway coast guard boat oil spill

A recent oil spill off of Norway's coast shows how difficult - if not impossible - it would be to clean up a spill in Alaska's waters.

Even as Republicans in Congress continue to do Big Oil’s bidding, YOU joined more than 250,000 people from across the country to demand that oil companies keep out of America’s Arctic Ocean.

Earlier this week, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) introduced legislation that would waive environmental laws – even as we continue to clean up the largest manmade environmental disaster in U.S. history – and force the Obama administration to allow risky drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, more than 250,000 people called for no leases sales in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the nation’s 2012-2017 offshore drilling plan during a public comment period that ended today.

Many cited the lack of science and the inability to clean up an oil spill in Arctic waters as reasons why the federal government cannot include lease sales in Arctic waters in the new five-year plan. Currently, there is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic’s extreme conditions. In addition, there is a serious lack of scientific data on the Arctic, which is often called “the least understood area in the world.”

“Americans have spoken loud and clear, and safeguarding the pristine Arctic Ocean has come out ahead of embarking on a potentially devastating search for oil.”

Defenders’ offshore drilling expert Richard Charter said, “Americans have spoken loud and clear, and safeguarding the pristine Arctic Ocean has come out ahead of embarking on a potentially devastating search for oil. The risk of another massive oil disaster such as the one that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico less than a year ago – or worse, is simply too great to hand over the keys to an industry looking to make a profit at any cost.”

Keep drilling out of Alaska's Beaufort Sea (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

America’s Arctic Ocean is a national treasure. Home to many of our nation’s most beloved wildlife species – polar bears, walrus, ice seals, bowhead whales, beluga whales and more – these Arctic waters are the “garden” for the Inupiat people of Alaska’s Arctic coast. This fragile and abundant marine environment is under great stress from the impacts of climate change – the Arctic is projected to be free of summer sea-ice by 2030. With so much at stake, the federal government must not allow a headlong rush into risky drilling in America’s Arctic Ocean.

Learn more:

See how Defenders is working to protect wildlife and natural habitats from the dangers of offshore drilling.

Didn’t get the chance to speak up? You can still help! Call the White House and let the president know that you OPPOSE drilling off American coasts.