29 September 2011 BREAKING: No Spill Plan? No Problem. Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 1 comment | Share: The Arctic's Beaufort Sea, courtesy NOAA A coalition of Alaska Native and conservation groups today challenged the Obama administration’s decision to allow offshore oil drilling by Shell Oil in the Beaufort Sea in America’s Arctic Ocean. After the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill, the Obama administration wisely delayed plans by Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic Ocean. But this August, the administration reversed course and approved the first part of the most aggressive Arctic drilling proposal in the history of the country by approving Shell’s plans to start drilling in the Beaufort Sea as early as the summer of 2012. A spill in the Arctic Ocean would devastate polar bears, bowhead whales and other marine mammals and would severely affect Native subsistence communities which have thrived in this region for generations. The most recent oil spill drill in the Beaufort Sea (which took place more than 10 years ago) described mechanical cleanup in icy conditions as a “failure.” Nothing has changed since that drill. A recent report to the Canadian government concluded cleanup would be impossible 44 to 84 percent of the time during the short summer drilling season and completely impossible the other seven to eight months of the year. “Pretending there’s no risk associated with drilling, especially in the fragile waters of the Arctic, is not only irresponsible, it’s unacceptable.” U.S. Coast Guard officials have repeatedly explained that the resources to clean up an oil spill in the waters of the Arctic Ocean simply don’t exist. This summer, Commandant Admiral Robert Papp told Congress that the federal government has “zero” spill response capability in the Arctic. Science has shown the Beaufort Sea to be essential habitat for endangered bowhead whales. Photo courtesy NOAA Defenders’ Sierra Weaver said, “Both Shell and the federal government are proceeding as if the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster – the worst environmental catastrophe this country has ever seen – simply didn’t happen. Pretending there’s no risk associated with drilling, especially in the fragile waters of the Arctic, is not only irresponsible, it’s unacceptable.” Defenders is among a broad coalition of Alaska Native and conservation groups represented by Earthjustice who are challenging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement’s (BOEMRE) decision to allow oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea. Click here to read the full press release and see what other groups are saying about this risky and shortsighted move. Learn more: See how offshore drilling threatens the Arctic’s fragile marine environment. Read more about Shell’s inadequate oil spill response plan and the threat it poses to bowhead whales and polar bears. One Response to “BREAKING: No Spill Plan? No Problem.” kathy October 21st, 2011 Shell was just announced as partnering in the X Prize Foundation. It’s an opportunity to let smart folk know that there is no suitable cleanup plan in place should Shell drill in the Artic. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.citizenglobal.com%2F&h=zAQEYo6BEAQGNZnQ2qwkKbJRbUwPlgmfT5xJGc3dFCfnNFQ Also, the TEDxOil Spill site is another way of getting the word out to those who care Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Recap of Pinetop Hearing; Celebrating Sucesses: 700,000 comments from wolf supports in to USFWS regarding wolf delisting proposal; this week USDA annouces they plan to audit Wildlife Services Predator Program. Also- another call to action for our supporters: Tell your Congressman to sign Grijalva and Fitzpatrick’s letter endorsing continued protection of gray wolves! Audit of Wildlife Services to be Conducted in 2014 United States Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General has confirmed that they will be undertaking an audit of Wildlife Services’ Predator Control program in 2014. A rare sighting at Skilak In a remote part of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, our Alaska representative catches a rare glimpse of a majestic but elusive animal.