There’s a new-ish hashtag in town and it’s #ShellNo.
“Shell No!” is what environmental activists are saying in response to the Obama administration’s recent green lighting of Shell’s exploratory drilling in the Arctic this year, off the pristine Alaskan coast, as long as certain conditions are met.
Arctic drilling. Do we really have to go there? Where that polar bear symbol-of-climate-change resides, perched upon a shrinking patch of ice? And penguins waddle then belly-ski down hills of ice; and seals clap their slippery flippers’ and… can’t Shell be a leader and step out of its big oil comfort zone and explore cleaner energy options?
I talked to Green Diva Meg about #ShellNo in this recent GD myEARTH360 Report …
What’s so bad about a little Arctic drilling?
The Interior Department has already determined that there’s a 75 percent chance of a major oil spill in the Arctic Ocean if oil development is allowed to move forward there.
“Drilling in high-risk places like the freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean is a backwards-looking strategy when we need to look forward to meet energy needs and limit the effects of climate change.” – Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice President
The Interior Department approved Royal Dutch Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploratory drilling plans, clearing the way for its drilling rigs to operate off Alaska for the first time since 2012 – when one Shell rig had to be scrapped after running aground off Kodiak Island and another incurred a $12 million fine for breaking maritime law.
The following is a statement by Franz Matzner, director of the Beyond Oil Initiative at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
No company deserves a license to despoil our last pristine ocean and spew massive amounts of carbon pollution into our atmosphere.
President Obama must protect our planet and our children’s health from dangerous climate change. That should mean saying ‘no’ to Shell and ‘yes’ to clean energy alternatives.
This wrong-headed decision also will expose the Arctic to the likelihood of catastrophic spills in ice-choked waters more than 1,000 miles from a Coast Guard base and other critical clean-up infrastructure. Any major Arctic Ocean spill would be impossible to clean up.
According to Greenpeace:
The US Geological Survey estimates that around 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil could lie under the area north of the Arctic Circle… At our current oil consumption rate, that’s actually only three years’ worth of resources.
In the Arctic´s freezing conditions, oil is known to behave very differently than in lower latitudes. It takes much longer to disperse in cold water and experts suggest that there is no way to contain or clean-up oil trapped underneath large bodies of ice. Toxic traces would linger for a longer period, affecting local wildlife for longer, be transported large distances by ice floes and leave a lasting stain on this pristine environment.
Tell Secretary Jewell to protect our natural heritage, our climate and our communities by rejecting Shell’s disastrous drilling plans by signing this letter.
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Check out the twitter conversation and join in by using the hashtags #shellNO and #GreenDivas!
— AlexSteffen (@AlexSteffen) May 19, 2015
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) May 23, 2015
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