Scores of anti-drilling activists gathered on Tuesday outside the White House to deliver pleas from 1.1 million Americans urging President Obama to revoke his decision to offer millions of acres of the ocean for sale to oil companies.
Alaska’s Chukchi sea is teeming with an incredible array of wildlife and is home to imperiled creatures such as polar bears, bowhead whales and spectacled eiders. Despite the importance and fragility of this region, the Obama administration agreed to let the Shell Oil Company drill there this summer. If a spill occurs in these waters, it could be far more difficult and costly to clean up than even the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Defenders’ staffers Lauren and Kaitlyn participated in the White House event organized by Alaska Wilderness League in cooperation with several other conservation groups including Sierra Club, 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Credo Action.
“I was thrilled to be a part of yesterday’s demonstration,” said Lauren. “While T-shirts, costumes and banners are designed to get attention, the real force behind the event was the more than one million voices our rally group represented. The Arctic may be very far away, but we all need to remember that our actions have profound effects on the region and we are ultimately responsible for those actions.”