Thorough Analysis Needed Before We Recklessly Drill in Arctic Ocean

The BP oil spill was an accident. There are many things that probably could have prevented it, though. For example, more careful governmental review. Yet, while we are still discovering negative consequences resulting from this tremendous environmental and economic disaster, there are people pushing to streamline oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.

The Wilderness Society is one organization working hard to help protect Arctic regions and the people and animals that live there, thought. Regarding one specific case the organization is addressing, it writes:

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, at the behest of big oil companies, is trying to rush through a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement – without taking the time to properly examine the threats that oil drilling pose to the fragile ecosystem.

The supplemental EIS itself is the result of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordering the federal government to re-do a significant part of the original EIS, after groups like The Wilderness Society found glaring holes in it and went to court.

The Department of Interior must take the time needed to do the Supplemental EIS right – and not rush through it like a teenager writing a term paper the night before it’s due.

You can tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to make sure this review is done right by signing this petition.

As the Wilderness Society says:

The pristine Arctic Ocean is home to thousands of beluga, finback, and endangered bowhead whales. Walruses and seals plumb the waters for fish, and polar bears and their cubs make their homes along its shores. Alaska Natives depend on these wildlife for subsistence. Clearly, this is a place for animals, both on land and at sea – not a place for oil and gas drilling and pipelines.

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Photo Credit: Anchorage via flickr (CC license)

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