Royal Dutch Shell has big plans for offshore oil drilling in America's Arctic next summer. Through lawsuits and advocacy, we've held the corporation back so far, but the Interior Department is barreling ahead with plans to let Shell drill in the incredibly sensitive habitat of the Chukchi Sea.
It's home to polar bears, walruses and beautiful ribbon seals. But life is getting harder: The ice they depend on is disappearing rapidly, the ocean is acidifying, and massive storms are battering coastlines that used to be protected by ice.
Shell has no realistic plan to deal with an oil spill. If there were a blowout, oil could flow for months into the icy, Arctic waters.
President Obama should be doing everything in his power to protect the Chukchi Sea; instead, he seems to be selling it to the highest bidder. Sign the letter and tell him: Our seas, and the marine wildlife that depend on them, are not for sale.
Dear President Obama and Secretary Salazar:
Please do not approve Shell's exploration plan to drill in the Chukchi Sea in 2012. Shell does not have a realistic plan for dealing with an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean. A spill would be a disaster for imperiled species already living on the edge, including polar bears, Pacific walruses and endangered bowhead whales.
Your administration has admitted we don't know enough about the dangers of drilling in the Arctic Ocean to hold new oil and gas lease sales there now. If we don�t know enough to hold lease sales, we certainly don't know enough to start putting drills in the water.
Shell�s plan would be a massive expansion of Arctic drilling. The Arctic is already suffering from climate change and cannot withstand the onslaught of industrial oil development. Please reject Shell's plan to drill in the Chukchi Sea and move us in the right direction.
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