Washington, DC -- Shell Oil announced today that it is laying the groundwork for plans to possibly drill in the Arctic Ocean next year. The plans follow a disastrous drilling attempt by the company in 2012, including the grounding of its Kulluk drillship, more than $1 million in pollution fines, and the failure of its oil spill containment dome during testing.
In response Dan Ritzman, Sierra Club Alaska Program Director issued the following statement.
"Shell's announcement today that it will resurrect its drilling plans for the Arctic Ocean is certainly no treat for the American public or the Alaska Natives that rely on the Arctic Ocean for their way of life. The company's string of failures has shown that it can't be trusted to drill safely in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic's harsh and unpredictable conditions not only make an oil spill more likely, but also make its clean up much more difficult, if not impossible.
"Drilling in the Arctic Ocean is risky and dangerous business, both for this pristine area and for our climate. Opening up this wild frontier to drilling could release twice as much carbon pollution as will be saved by the Obama administration's new fuel efficiency standards. If President Obama is serious about fighting climate change this pollution must be kept underground.
"The Arctic is the last place we should be drilling for oil. The Obama administration should cancel the proposed Arctic Ocean lease sales in 2016 and 2017 and start taking advantage of the available clean energy alternatives. What happens in the Arctic affects us all. It's time for the administration to put a stop to short-sighted dirty fuel development, especially on our public lands."
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.