Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Permanently stop Shell from drilling for oil in the delicate Arctic ecosystem
On January 30th, 2014, a great victory was won for those wishing to defend the delicate ecosystem of the Alaskan Arctic waters. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling that caused Shell Corporation to cancel their plans to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea in 2014. This has not stopped Shell’s plans to continue to work in the future, however. Shell paid two billion dollars for the rights to drill in the waters off the Arctic coast, and will not give up those rights easily.
The Arctic ecosystem does not recover well from disasters, especially ones that have to do with crude oil. The Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 only spilled 750,000 barrels of crude oil into the Prince William Sound in Alaska, and 25 years later the ecosystem has finally recovered. However, that was just a fraction of the crude spilled by leaking drill heads from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a Deepwater-style spill could easily occur in the Chukchi Sea. Crude oil doesn’t break down in cold water as quickly as it did in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, so a spill of that same magnitude in the Arctic Circle could devastate the ecosystem for hundreds of years.
This is where we need your help. We ask that you make the ban on oil drilling within the Arctic Circle permanent. Without some form of intervention, the Shell Corporation will continue their quest to find the perfect drill site within the Chukchi Sea, with no thought to how it could damage the ecosystem or the people and animals that rely on it for their survival. There are hundreds of thousands of animals that make up this delicate balance, and thousands of Alaskan natives that rely on those animals for food, warmth and shelter. Without your help, we cannot hope to stand against the Shell Corporation and their quest for the bottom line.
Dear President Obama,
In January, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals effectively blocked the Shell Corporation from drilling in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska. We need your help to make that block permanent. In the 6 years that they have had the rights to drill, Shell has only found 2 potential drill spots. Neither of these has been finished, and yet they continue polluting both the air and water in their search for the perfect drill site.
It would be easy to just think of the bottom line. There may be oil to be found under the frigid Alaskan waters, but is it worth the potential damage to the ecosystem? A spill the size of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico spill could potentially devastate the Arctic for a hundred years, killing animals and displacing native citizens who rely on those animals for survival. We need your help you put a stop to this and all future attempts to drill in the Arctic Circle.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Marine Photobank via Flickr