No Arctic Drilling!

Just a couple weeks ago, a draft plan for offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters over the next five years was released by the Obama administration that includes potential drilling in America’s pristine and fragile Arctic Ocean - despite the fact that there’s no proven way to clean up a spill in the Arctic’s extreme, remote conditions.

Now, President Obama has asked for your input on his first offshore drilling program before it becomes final. When it comes to the Arctic, the president’s proposed draft plan can be only be characterized as business as usual – but there’s still time to make our voices heard. Speak out now and tell President Obama to keep Arctic drilling out of the final version.

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Dear President Barack Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

In the days that followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster, you stood before the American people and promised safer, cleaner offshore drilling and a new way of making decisions about drilling. The headlong rush to drill in America’s Arctic Ocean laid out in the draft 2012-2017 offshore drilling program fails to meet these promises – and looks a lot like the fast and loose decision making of the past.

The risks are huge – at this point, drilling in the Arctic Ocean is tantamount to ‘Mission Impossible.’ Let’s check the cold, hard facts: There is no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic’s extreme, icy conditions. The last public spill drill in the Arctic – that tested booms and skimmers and other conventional methods of oil spill cleanup only in partial sea ice conditions in 2000 – was deemed a failure. Since then, the oil industry has put forth drilling plans that are inadequate, deficient and fail to take into account real Arctic conditions. In fact, Shell Oil is pushing to drill this summer in the Arctic with promises that they will clean up 95 percent of all oil spilled in the Arctic using mechanical recovery means – even though only 3 percent was cleaned up in the Gulf last year and only 8 percent was cleaned up after the Exxon Valdez spill.

President Obama and Secretary Salazar, we ask you to stand up for your promises and keep the Arctic out of the final version of the five-year program. Otherwise, you could have the next major oil spill disaster, and the devastation of a marine ecosystem that is vital to health of our planet, on your hands. The American people expect real change – please protect our Arctic Ocean.

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