President Obama is expected to announce today that offshore oil drilling in the Arctic will be postponed for one year, and planned lease sales off the coast of Virginia and in the western Gulf of Mexico have been cancelled. New deepwater offshore permits will reportedly be put on hold for six months. However, shallow water permits will reportedly be allowed to proceed.
Defenders of Wildlife
Posts By: Defenders of Wildlife
Cleaning up an oil spill in the relatively calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico has been an extreme challenge. In the Arctic Ocean, where temperatures fall well below zero, ocean swells can reach 20 feet and huge ice flows prevent travel to most areas, it’s inconceivable to expect cleaning up to go smoothly.
For most of us, the ocean touches something deep within, and carries at least a bit of a spiritual connotation. We remember the first time that, as small children, we saw the glimmer of the sea, we were mesmerized by the waves, we wondered at the fragile and unusual wildlife. We carry salt water in our veins, so it not unexpected that we should empathize with the ocean itself, as if it heals us when we most need healing, and we hear it when it’s lure calls us home to the things that really matter in our lives.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president for Defenders of Wildlife said, “To ensure the scientific integrity and transparency of MMS’ environmental review process, the administration must halt the issuance of new drilling permits, particularly in Alaska, as well as halt action on any permits clouded by the perverse incentive system and the historic culture of corruption surrounding MMS.
The brown pelican is currently found along the coastlines of all five states in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is the state bird of Louisiana. Once listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, this coastal bird was only recently deemed recovered—and it is now imperiled again, this time from oil.