Barack Obama, who I like and respect, has his Administration agreeing that 75% of the sea – including key species’ habitats – should be opened to exploration. As Leda Huta points out, this is huge…. What do YOU think? Agree or disagree? Comment below , https://twitter.com/LearnFromNature or http://www.facebook.com/pages/LearnFromNature/122123191208795
From Leda Huta, Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition
President Obama has delivered his State of the Union address and reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to pursuing a transition to clean energy, a move that could slow climate change and mitigate the harm done to imperiled species by fossil fuel development.
However, he also made this pledge:
“I’m directing my Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.”–President Obama, 1/24/12.
Seventy five percent is a lot of ocean.We don’t know exactly what 75% he’s referring to but the Interior Department has just proposed a 5-Year Offshore Drilling Program that would open up new portions of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Polar Bear Seas–the Chukchi and the Beaufort–to new drilling.
The draft plan for where Big Oil may be allowed to drill in the next 5 years would put endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, bowhead whales, polar bearsand other imperiled species at risk. The BP spill demonstrated the perils of reckless drilling and the absence of a viable plan to deal with a spill. Unfortunately, the lessons of that spill have not resulted in enhanced protections.
Our recently released report, Fueling Extinction, highlighted the devastating impacts that fossil fuels are having on threatened and endangered wildlife, pushing species closer to the edge of extinction. This draft plan would make matters deeply worse.
An Arctic spill is a crisis that the U.S. Coast Guard has said we have no capacity to respond to. The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are icy, inhospitable waters with gale-force winds, 20 foot swells and ice floes dozens of feet high. A spill there would be disastrous for polar bears, bowhead whales, and other Arctic species.
New Gulf drilling must reflect lessons learned from the BP spill and be sited out of endangered species habitat. We saw all too clearly the impact of Big Oil’s recklessness on Gulf wildlife. Endangered and threatened species such as the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle suffered as a result of bad planning and absent regulation. We can’t allow that history to be repeated.
Thank you for your commitment to protecting America’s wildlife.
Say NO to New Arctic and Gulf Drilling in Endangered Species Habitat
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is accepting public comments on an outline for where Big Oil may be allowed to drill over the next 5 years. The current draft plan calls for expanded drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and opens the door for unprecedented and risky drilling in the Arctic.
In the Arctic, Polar bears, bowhead whales, and other endangered and threatened species would be put at immediate risk by new drilling authorized by this 5 year plan. This plan would open up both of Alaska’s Polar Bear Seas–the Chukchi and the Beaufort–to oil development.
In the Gulf, endangered species such as the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle would face the threat of another spill while still recovering from the Gulf spill. Necessary new protections for endangered Gulf species have not been enacted and new drilling would put Guilf wildlife at risk.
Please take action today by sending your comment to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) calling for adequate protections for endangered and threatened wildlife prior to allowing any new oil development.
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