I have some really uplifting news to share with you from the Arctic! The Obama administration has decided to remove Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea leases from the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. This means that companies will not be able to obtain the right to drill in pristine and vulnerable Arctic waters.
The decision protects wildlife living in the Arctic (and found nowhere else on Earth)—like polar bears, bearded seals, walruses and bowhead whales. It also ensures that offshore drilling in the Arctic won’t contribute to climate change in a region that’s already warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world.
More than 50,000 ocean supporters spoke up and took action on behalf of the Arctic Ocean over the summer and fall—and our voices were heard!
Offshore drilling is risky, and in the Arctic, it’s as dangerous as dangerous gets. A major oil spill in the remote and icy waters of the Arctic would be all but impossible to clean up. In fact, there is very little infrastructure and very few resources to support a cleanup effort. An oil spill at the top of the world would be a disaster for the people and wildlife who depend on a healthy Arctic Ocean for survival.
We can’t risk a disaster in the Arctic. That’s why this victory is so important!
I’m thankful to the Obama Administration for putting the brakes on risky offshore drilling and protecting our Arctic waters. Tell President Obama that you’re thankful, too!