Future of Arctic Drilling Uncertain in Wake of Shell
Audubon has expressed concern about the effects of the drilling program on birds and other Arctic animals. The Chuckchi and Beaufort seas and their shorelines support a wide array of wildlife, including walruses, seals, bowhead whales, polar bears, and enormous numbers of birds such as spectacled eiders, yellow-billed loons, and Kitzlitz’s murrelets.
“Far more ably than its many critics, Shell has proven it is not prepared to undertake safe and responsible Arctic offshore operations,” Eric Myers, policy director of Audubon Alaska, wrote in an email. “The federal review must consider not only how Shell’s operations repeatedly failed but more fundamentally reassess whether to allow drilling offshore the Arctic.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Audubon has drafted a letter to President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar urging them to suspend offshore Arctic drilling operations indefinitely until safety issues are addressed. Click here to send the letter.
In the face of climate change and offshore drilling, biologists are tracking walruses to better understand their behavior and protect the areas most important to them.
With the Clock Running out in January, the Bush administration, ignoring the concerns of its own scientists and possibly breaking federal law, looks to open a vital stretch of Arctic habitat to offshore oil and gas drilling. So much for saving endangered bears.