Target: Larry Hartig, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Goal: End fossil fuel exploration by Hilcorp in Alaska.
A pipeline rupture has spilled oil into the Cook Inlet in Alaska. This continues the dubious legacy of pipeline owner Hilcorp Alaska, whose operations have resulted in several major environmental crises.
The leak occurred in a section of pipeline which connects two off-shore oil drilling platforms in the Cook Inlet. While the official scale of the spill is not yet known, aerial reviews of the area by Department of Environmental Conservation reported a visible oil sheen spread over 3.5 miles from the leak site.
Prior to the oil spill, the company was already mired in a months-long effort to staunch the leak of methane caused by failure of a separate underwater natural gas pipeline. These two incidents are emblematic of a company culture which prioritizes production over safety. A review by InsideClimateNews found that Hilcorp accounted for over a quarter of safety violations reported by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission between 1977 – 2016. As Hilcorp has only operated in Alaska since 2012, this finding represents an alarmingly high rate of disregard for safety guidelines.
Fossil fuel leaks threaten endangered species such as the Beluga whale and Steller sea lion found in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp has demonstrated an unwillingness to improve their operations in response to repeated citations or equipment failure. Please sign the below petition calling for the revocation of their permit to conduct energy extraction in Alaska.
Dear Commissioner Hartig,
I am writing to urge that the Department of Environmental Conservation revoke the drilling permit issued to Hilcorp Alaska. Since beginning extraction operations in 2012, Hilcorp has established a clear pattern of disregard for safety protocols, accounting for over a quarter of the safety violations issued by your department since 1977.
As you are aware, there are active oil and natural gas spills caused by Hilcorp equipment failures currently threatening wildlife viability in the Cook Inlet. It is time to send a clear message that companies which do not adhere to reasonable safety guidelines will be held accountable.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Erik Christensen