We urge you to call a halt to Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer. Shell's oil spill response plan offers no proof that Shell can effectively clean up a spill in the Arctic. The last tests of skimming and booming in the U.S. Arctic were conducted 12 years ago, and they were "failures."
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A spill recovery effort in the Arctic Ocean could face sea ice up to 25 feet thick, hurricane-force storms, and 20-foot swells. On top of that, the Arctic has extremely limited infrastructure--there are no roads, only a few small airports and the nearest Coast Guard station is 1,000 miles away.
Shell recently admitted that in the case of a worst case spill, its recovery plans pledge only to "encounter" 95% of the oil--not necessarily to clean it up.
No one has demonstrated the ability to effectively clean up a major oil spill in the Arctic, and the damage from such a spill could be catastrophic. The Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort seas help to regulate our climate and provide vital habitat for iconic wildlife like walruses, polar bears, bowhead whales and migratory birds.
Two years ago the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster taught us that we must plan for the worst. Shell has failed to do so. We urge you not to authorize Shell's dangerous plan to drill in the Arctic.
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