Stop Shell’s Bid to Drill in the Fragile Arctic

polar bear

Target: Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Goal: Stop Shell Oil from endangering the fragile Arctic ecosystem.

Shell Oil is moving closer to drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s Arctic coast. This puts the already fragile Arctic ecosystem at serious risk. Offshore oil drilling has been marred by repeated safety breaches, near misses, and in some cases environmental catastrophe. In 2012, Shell Oil’s drill rig Kulluk broke free from tow lines as Shell attempted to move it offshore to avoid taxation, under dangerous and icy conditions. The U.S. Coast Guard report on the incident cited “inadequate assessment and management of risks” on the part of the oil company as a major cause of this ecological narrow miss.

In the past, offshore drilling has led to devastating environmental consequences. Spills and fires have wiped out entire ecosystems for generations and put our already compromised planet at further risk of destruction. Too often big oil seeks profit without consideration for the potential harm their risky ventures could cause. Such is the case with Shell Oil, a company that sought to relieve itself from taxes by towing a drill rig through icy waters during dangerous winter conditions. This is not the behavior of a company that deserves the trust of the government or the citizens of this country.

Remind Director Abigail Ross Hopper and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that the Arctic ecosystem is too important to risk at the hands of a company that cares more about the bottom line than about taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the environment in which we all exist. Allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic this summer could result in tragic consequences for the animals and ecosystems that depend on the area, as well as for the world at large as we continue to hurtle toward widespread environmental breakdown.


Dear Director Ross Hopper,

In a world where every day we are faced with new and detrimental environmental challenges, I encourage you to reject Shell Oil’s bid to drill in the Chukchi Sea. Shell has not demonstrated even a small regard for safety regulations in the past, as the 2012 Arctic incident involving the drill rig Kulluk supports. The fragile ecosystem of the Arctic is already under numerous threats without introducing new and imminent danger in the form of offshore drilling.

It is obvious from past behavior that Shell places the bottom line above any concern for the environment. Allowing it to continue its efforts in the Arctic would be irresponsible and potentially devastating. We do not get a second chance on this planet. Please do not permit Shell to show blatant disregard for the very ecosystems upon which our entire planet depends.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dave Olsen

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