Recent reports out of NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center relating to the extreme loss of sea ice in the Arctic have led to increasingly desperate pronouncements by the scientific community regarding the dangers to our species caused by the inevitable release of methane gas from the melting Arctic permafrost. Despite the clear and present danger to all living things on earth, the US Department of the Interior continues to sell rights to drill for oil in the Arctic, which is now more accessible than ever thanks to climate change (irony alert).
As some of you may recall, last November we had a letter writing campaign directed at the Department of the Interior asking them to deny the sale of lease number 193 in the Chukchi Sea (in the Arctic). Subsequent to that public comment period, Interior made further revisions to its environmental impact study of Arctic drilling and again, there has been a public comment period. I personally submitted a comment last week, and then, again, today. The deadline is tonight at 11:59pm (Eastern time).
If anyone would like to submit a comment to the Department of the Interior regarding oil drilling in the Arctic, which is made all the more ridiculous because it’s Shell Oil that plans to go back AGAIN and try drilling after disastrous results in 2012 (see below for related links), then you can go to this website and submit your comment.
As one of the links below reports, Shell’s last Arctic misadventure was caused by the company trying to hastily exit the area before they had to pay taxes. The Guardian just wrote an article about this lease sale, concluding that Interior Secretary Sally “Rubberstamp” Jewell wants to issue the “go ahead” as early as this week.
Here are some other informational links:
1) This is the Department of the Interior’s press release regarding the lease sale;
2) This is an article regarding Shell Oil’s accidents in the Arctic;
3) NatGeo’s article about the Coast Guard blaming Shell Oil for its Arctic misadventure;
4) And this is a New York Times article about the same Shell Oil accident in the Arctic