No New Offshore Oil Drilling in America's Arctic

Every five years the president releases a plan outlining where oil and gas companies in the US can purchase leases to drill offshore. This week, President Obama released a draft of his next five-year leasing plan – and here at WWF, we’re not OK with it.

President Obama's current draft five-year leasing plan (for 2017-2022) proposes to open up vast stretches of the Arctic Ocean to dangerous new offshore oil and gas drilling – including areas of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska.

A healthy Arctic Ocean is key to the survival of a wealth of wildlife – bowhead whales, gray whales, walruses, polar bears, and more--as well as many indigenous communities.

The proposed plan covers nearly 93,800 square miles of Arctic waters off the Alaskan coast. That's twice the size of New York state. The vast size, remote location, and extreme weather conditions of this place, combined with the complete lack of infrastructure for responding to oil spills, make drilling in this area extremely dangerous for both marine life and people.

The US needs to accelerate our nation's transition to a renewable energy future, not open the Arctic to a new wave of risky offshore drilling activities.

Sign our public comment to President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and tell them you do not want new offshore oil drilling in America's Arctic.
Dear President Obama and Secretary Jewell,

I urge you to remove the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from the proposed program for offshore oil and gas leasing for 2017-2022.

I'm deeply concerned about the risk new offshore oil drilling could pose for the Arctic, especially when considering the remoteness of the Arctic offshore region and the extreme weather conditions any company would surely face in an attempt to drill. A major oil spill could have catastrophic effects on the Arctic's fragile environment and unique wildlife species, as well as the Arctic communities that depend on them.

On top of that, drilling in the Arctic will release black carbon pollution directly onto Arctic ice, which will accelerate melting and put sea ice-dependent species at even greater risk. It will also promote continued reliance on fossil fuels.

Rather than paving the way for risky Arctic oil, we need to accelerate our nation's transition to clean, renewable energy sources. Closing down Arctic drilling would show the world that the US is serious about meeting its commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

[Your comment will go here]

Please do not allow the oil industry to move forward with aggressive, risky plans to drill in these one-of-a-kind waters when we lack essential scientific information and an effective plan to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic's extreme conditions. There is too much at stake, and the risks are far too high.

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