The Polar Bear Seas, off the coast of Alaska, are home to a dizzying array of wildlife, including 20% of the world's polar bears, grey whales that migrate from the Baja Peninsula every year, and hundreds of kinds of birds. Alaskan Natives have coexisted with these animals for centuries.
Sadly, this area is in danger: America's Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the nation. Polar bears now must swim for miles to find food, and Alaska Native communities are finding it harder and harder to maintain their way of life.
And we recently learned that Shell Oil, once again, is trying to drill in America's Arctic. As if all that's not bad enough, the Obama administration is considering allowing even more oil and gas drilling in the Polar Bear Seas for years to come. This would move us away from a clean energy future that decreases our reliance on dirty fuels.
President Obama needs to hear from you: tell him to protect the Polar Bear Seas.
America's Arctic is ground zero for climate change. The indicators are everywhere: permafrost is melting, shorelines are washing away forcing communities to relocate and we've seen record low ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. To add insult to injury, Shell Oil and other oil companies want to drill in the Arctic Ocean, unlocking twice as much pollution as we'd save with the President's new vehicle fuel efficiency standards over the next decade.
Shell's long list of setbacks and failures in the Arctic, coupled with the extreme risk for oil spills and further climate destruction in an already fragile ecosystem, provides overwhelming evidence that the oil and gas industry is not prepared to operate safely in the Arctic Ocean.
Allowing oil drilling and development in the pristine and remote waters of America's Arctic Ocean and the Chukchi Sea is a risky and unnecessary venture. The rush to allow oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean moves us away from a clean energy future that doesn't rely on dirty fossil fuels. It puts a sensitive ecosystem at unnecessary risk, threatening endangered and threatened species.
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Please do not allow Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea in 2014 or beyond. Please cancel Lease Sale 237 and do not allow any new drilling or leasing in America's Arctic Ocean.
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