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Environmental Groups: It’s Time to Speak Out Against Drilling in Chuckchi Sea


To the distress of environmental groups, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has plans to sell leases in the Chuckchi Sea to offshore oil drillers. This Arctic body of water extends between Alaska and Siberia and serves as an important home for polar bears, whales, walruses, and many species of migratory birds.


According to the ocean conservancy organization, Oceana, “The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is putting the Arctic Ocean in the hands of the oil industry.” Referring to an Arctic drilling attempt in 2012 that resulted in the grounding of a drillship and the failure of an oil spill containment dome during testing, Oceana warns that oil companies “clearly are not prepared to operate in the icy, remote seas of the Arctic.”


Harkening back to its successful campaign to prevent offshore oil drilling in the Arctic in 2013, Oceana is now redoubling efforts and calling for friends of the environment to sign a petition to avoid future Arctic drilling. The environmental group warns that “the potential sale (of leases) could open millions of additional acres to oil companies looking to drill in the Chuckchi’s remote and fragile waters.”


What You Can Do

To sign the petition calling for a clean, healthy and oil drill-free Arctic Ocean you can, visit the Oceana web page. Other organizations calling to protect this fragile ecosystem include the Center for Biological Diversity, the Wilderness Society, and Greenpeace.