Obama administration protects Atlantic from harms of drilling, leaves Arctic vulnerable to devastating oil spill

Printer-friendly version
WASHINGTON (11/08/2011) -

The Obama administration today announced its Proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017. The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO for Defenders of Wildlife:

“The Obama administration made the wise decision to protect vast tracts of the country’s oceans from oil and gas exploration. However, the inclusion of the Arctic Ocean in the country’s five-year drilling plan is indefensible. From the extreme and unpredictable conditions of the region to the lack of a realistic spill response, the risks of a drilling disaster in the Arctic remain too high to authorize exploratory drilling. While the announcement proposes to address these threats by deferring drilling for a handful of years, the only way to protect this fragile marine environment from the threats posed by dangerous oil and gas exploration is to take it off the table altogether.

“Instead of enabling our country’s addiction to oil for five more years, the administration should strengthen its efforts to wean America off dirty fossil fuels, accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.”

###
Links:

See how offshore drilling threatens the Arctic’s fragile marine environment.


Shell may begin drilling in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea as early as next summer. Read about the oil giant’s inadequate oil spill response plan and the threat it poses to bowhead whales and polar bears.

Contact(s):

Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226; cleutwiler@defenders.org

You may also be interested in:

Polar Bears, © Joan Robins
Species at Risk
Often referred to as the largest land carnivores in the world, polar bears are actually marine mammals, spending much of their time on Arctic sea ice hundreds of miles from land.
Polar bear, © Tom Schneider
Conservation Issue
Climate change is now one of the leading threats to wildlife. Find out what Defenders is doing to help animals around the country survive in a warming planet.
Gray Wolf, © Dawn Hammond
Fact Sheet
The wolf is the largest member of the canine family. Gray wolves range in color from grizzled gray or black to all-white. As the ancestor of the domestic dog, the gray wolf resembles German shepherds or malamutes.