BREAKING: Trump administration pushes forward on Arctic Refuge drilling

From Defendersorg

Today the Trump administration announced the start of a process to sell out the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for destructive oil and gas development.

This announcement is especially outrageous since it comes just one day before the 8th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an industrial disaster that left thousands of animals – from dolphins to birds to sea turtles – covered in oil, and huge swaths of water and beaches covered in chemicals and sludge.

Jim, when will they stop subjecting our precious wildlife and wild lands to such dangerous, irresponsible industrialization?

The Trump administration’s reckless dash to expedite drilling and desecrate the Arctic Refuge is unacceptable.

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Stop the Noise

http://www.bvconservation.org/

Stephen Capra

We are living through one of the most difficult periods in conservation history, in a country led by a madman, supported by people that see life through authoritarian rule. The rhetoric and constant stream of nausea created by this leader and his Republican accomplices and excusers isdesigned to keep one off balance, fatigued and scared.

Ignorance and fear are driving a wedge across our nation and people seem more willing than ever to throw away the environment in pursuit of living wages. This has been the turning point for the conservative movement and the crystallization of their efforts to destroy unions, social safety nets and common sense regulation of industry. We are developing a nation of workers, who will work anyway, on any terms, to survive. Nothing has had more direct impact on conservation and protection of species than the destruction of the middle-class that began in earnest during the Reagan years.

We need a society once again that is based in justice and fairness, we need corporations that are forced by rule of law to pay real wages and benefits to all that work for them and we must understand that a stock market built on mergers and acquisitions and returns to shareholders is not good for the environment, because it is killing our middle-class.

Last week I ran into our junior Senator Martin Heinrich, Martin has always been and remains a strong supporter of the environmental causes such as wilderness and monument protections and has been a friend for more than 18 years. When I ran into him I made a proposal, which he said he would give real thought to.

I told him that under the Obama Administration, Republicans continued to introduce legislation no matter if it could pass because they believed in putting down markers and growing their base with legislation that they supported.

In that vein, I suggested that he introduce a package of legislation that was designed to enhance our middle-class and to support a real vision for environmental protection. No half steps, a real vision, something to inspire those who believe in protections for environment and security and jobs for workers across the country, because we cannot continue to see them as separate causes.

The environmental community often brings in different voices when they need support for wilderness or other conservation measures, but the link now is vital and must be reciprocal.

We must support minimum wages and job training and we must demand a real social safety net that is expanded, not chopped. In the conservation realm, we must introduce legislation that is inspiring and designed to capture our nation’s imagination.

Here are a few suggestions, humbly put forth:

  • An end to offshore drilling in the Arctic, our East and West coasts.
  • The immediate protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 50% increase in investment in alternative energy by 2020.
  • More tax cuts for electric cars and solar.
  • Funding that will completely end the backlog of maintenance for our National Parks in three years.
  • Expansion of our National Park System to include a major Tall Grass Prairie Park of no less than 500,000 acres and three new sites for National Park expansion, not just upgrading an area.
  • Legislation that demands the use of science in classroom textbooks nationwide.
  • Protections to remain and expanded for the threated Monuments on land and in the ocean and a directive to create 10 new Monuments by 2021.
  • Serious funding and legislation for Climate Change and a return to the Paris accords as a leader.
  • No dispersing of the Interior Department across the nation.
  • The directive and funding to increase wilderness in America by 35% by 2024.
  • The end of predator species killing and killing in their dens, period.
  • Expansion of wolf recovery to all Western states.
  • Increase in fees to ranchers for using public lands.
  • Monies for a new restoration and training program designed for rural and ranching communities to restore public lands, waters, andriparian areas. These monies would come from new taxes on the oil and gas industry.
  • 50 million in funding to purchase grazing rights across the West, with more to come by increasing grazing fees.
  • The immediate end to Wildlife Services, with that funding going directly to wildlife programs that support predator species.
  • The expansion and upgrading of the Endangered Species Act.
  • Direct reductions of oil and gas leases by 50 percent by 2020 on public lands.
  • Creating an increase of funding to the EPA by 45% by 2020.
  • Real legislation to control and regulate pesticides in America and increased funding for organic farming, including increased tax incentives.

To do this and to improve the plight of all Americans Congress must move to end the tax cut imposed by Republicans this past December and more taxes must be placed directly on the top 1%.

Increase spending for birth control her at home and internationally.

Stop all the giveaways to corporate America and force them to return monies to American shores.

More taxes must be placed directly on the fossil-fuel industry and that of Power companies that continue to use coal in their power generation.

We must put a direct tax on the use of plastics, plastic bags and the companies that create them, largely funded by the oil and gas industry.

The passage of a real HealthCare legislation (likely single payer), that will reduce the costs of healthcare for all Americans, while ensuring quality care for all. That will save money and create real equality.

Reducing the endless spending on the military, while investing in dialogue, diplomacy and respecting all nations. That common sense element will give us the money to protect our environment, here and abroad.

Finally, we must remove the control of Congress from complete Republican control.

More than anything we must understand the urgency of saving our environment and the strong need to end all the noise and distraction that is the toxic nature of this President and Congress.

We may not get it all, but my hope is that Senator Heinrich and the Democrats in Congress are prepared to be BOLD. It begins with a real vision and the strength to carry it forward.

If we do not act soon, it will simply be too late for this planet. We have no choice, we must be BOLD.

Save Bryde’s whales from extinction

What this message is about
from HSUS.org

The fragile population of Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico declined by almost 20 percent in the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and another 20 percent are estimated to have suffered health and reproductive effects as a result. Fewer than 100 of these whales are believed to be alive in the region.

Their limited year-round habitat is once again being targeted by oil and gas developers, putting them at risk of extinction if more isn’t done to protect them.

Please urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to list Bryde’s whales in the Gulf of Mexico as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act in order to safeguard their future.

Is the hydrocarbon economy too big to fail?

Is the hydrocarbon economy too big to fail?

If the woefully inadequate outcome of the Paris climate conference is any indication, the answer is still a resounding “Yes!” That’s because the overly optimistic agreement conspicuously ignored the core issue driving up the earth’s temperature and warping the world’s already misshaped markets.

The problem is Big Oil.

Simply put, Big Oil is a bad investment fueled by irrational exuberance, chronic cronyism and an increasingly indefensible misallocation of capital. And decades of throwing good money after bad has produced a distorted economic system that socializes risk, privatizes profits, externalizes costs and misallocates capital. This continues because policy makers sustain it with taxpayer-funded subsidies, costly tax breaks and low-overhead access to publicly held resources.

By failing to institute much-needed cost internalization mechanisms and by completely avoiding the key problem of government subsidization, the cork-popping cadre of COP21 tacitly admitted what most cynics already knew – policy makers still believe “Big Oil” is far too big to fail. But, like other distorted markets in history, the correction is coming. The growing impact of climate change is exposing the key fallacy at the heart of the hydrocarbon economy: Big Oil cannot simply exempt itself from the natural economy governing all things in this closed system called planet Earth.

It’s Only Natural

Since Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, few ideas have captured the capitalist imagination like the notion that “an invisible hand” directs enterprising, self-interested individuals to produce a widely distributed wealth of social goods in spite of their self-serving intentions.

When the “self-serving” butcher, brewer or baker sells quality products at a fair price, they each profit from the returning patronage of their customers. Their customers enjoy good meat, fine ale and fresh bread. An invisible hand rewards these enlightened purveyors with enough money to eat well and drink well, too. And in the process, the whole village eats and drinks and thrives. But unenlightened sellers – those who peddle unnatural combinations of poor products at high prices – are driven out of business by the unsustainable inefficiencies produced by bad decisions and ill intentions.

This market correction happens, in no small part, because they’ve thrown the whole town – which is itself a mini financial ecosystem – completely out of balance with their bad meat and the lost wages from food-borne illnesses. Even worse is the disruption to the ethical butcher who gets undercut by malicious pricing from unscrupulous sellers. But, according to the theory, an invisible hand restores order to the town’s financial ecosystem when consumers react and economic balance is restored.

It’s taken a while for all those bad debts and poor investments to fill up the ecological balance sheet with red ink.

Over time, free-market devotees transformed Smith’s original theory of “an invisible hand” into “the invisible hand.” They believe “the hand” is a universal, natural force governing markets, meting out economic justice and controlling the fate of humankind. And they may be right. But they may also be surprised to find that “the hand” is connected to the right arm of Mother Nature and she’s using it to punish one of history’s most inefficient and least “enlightened” business models. By turning up the thermostat, filling the seas, altering climactic patterns and disrupting food chains, nature’s increasingly visible hand is “correcting” the shortsighted, heavily subsidized use of hydrocarbons to power an unsustainable, ecosystem-denuding industrial system.

Back in 1776, Adam Smith bemoaned the problem of unenlightened short-term thinking in investment and the distortions caused by corporate influence in politics. Like the seller of bad meat at an artificially low price, Big Oil has profited mightily from a short-term emphasis on high returns while its disproportionate political influence ensured the global village subsidized everything it’s been selling.

But Mother Nature is not a day trader…

More:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34409-mother-nature-s-invisible-hand-strikes-back-against-the-carbon-economy

 

The demand for oil is growing exponentially

addict2 Crude oil Clock: http://www.oildecline.com/
The time to kick the habit is now…safe_image

It has taken between 50-300 million years to form, and yet we have managed to burn roughly half of all global oil reserves in merely 125 years or so.

The world now consumes 85 million barrels of oil per day, or 40,000 gallons per second, and demand is growing exponentially.

Oil production in 33 out of 48 out countries has now peaked, including Kuwait, Russia and Mexico. Global oil production is now also approaching an all time peak and can potentially end our Industrial Civilization. The most distinguished and prominent geologists, oil industry experts, energy analysts and organizations all agree that big trouble is brewing.

The world is not running out of oil itself, but rather its ability to produce high-quality cheap and economically extractable oil on demand. After more than fifty years of research and analysis on the subject by the most widely respected & rational scientists, it is now clear that the rate at which world oil producers can extract oil is reaching the maximum level possible. This is what is meant by Peak Oil. With great effort and expenditure, the current level of oil production can possibly be maintained for a few more years, but beyond that oil production must begin a permanent & irreversible decline. The Stone Age did not end because of the lack of stones, and the Oil Age won’t end because of lack of oil. The issue is lack of further growth, followed by gradual, then steep decline. Dr King Hubbert correctly predicted peaking of USA oil production in the 1970’s on this basis.

It is now widely acknowledged by the world’s leading petroleum geologists that more than 95 percent of all recoverable oil has now been found. We therefore know, within a reasonable degree of certainty, the total amount of oil available to us. Any oil well has roughly the same life cycle where the production rate peaks before it goes into terminal decline. This happens when about half of the oil has been recovered from the well. We have consumed approximately half of the world’s total reserve of about 2.5 trillion barrels of conventional oil in the ground when we started drilling the first well at a current rate of over 30 billion a year, meaning the world is nearing its production plateau.

Worldwide discovery of oil peaked in 1964 and has followed a steady decline since. According to industry consultants IHS Energy, 90% of all known reserves are now in production, suggesting that few major discoveries remain to be made. There have been no significant discoveries of new oil since 2002. In 2001 there were 8 large scale discoveries, and in 2002 there were 3 such discoveries. In 2003 there were no large scale discoveries of oil. Given geologists’ sophisticated understanding of the characteristics that would indicate a major oil find, is is highly unlikely that any area large enough to be significant has eluded attention and no amount or kind of technology will alter that. Since 1981 we have consumed oil faster than we have found it, and the gap continues to widen. Developing an area such as the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has a ten year lead time and would ultimately produce well under 1% of what the world currently consumes (IEA).

Oil is now being consumed four times faster than it is being discovered, and the situation is becoming critical.

“The consumption of a finite resource is simply a finite venture and the faster we use the quicker it peaks”  (M. Simmons)

Global oil production is rapidly approaching its peak, even if natural gas liquids and expensive, destructive, risky deepwater and polar oil are included.

Recent Warnings:

“Peak oil is now.” German Energy Watch Group –2008

“By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear..…” U.S. Department of Defense –2008 & 2010.

“A global peak is inevitable. The timing is uncertain, but the window is rapidly narrowing.” UK Energy Research Centre -2009

“The next five years will see us face … the oil crunch.” UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security –2009

 

The Saudi Arabia Case

With more than fifty oil-producing countries now in decline, focus on the oil-rich Middle East has sharpened dramatically. Countries of the Middle East have traditionally been able to relieve tight oil markets by increasing production, but, as the this region nears its own oil peak, any relief it can provide is limited and temporary.

Saudi Arabia is a major oil producer with 73% of all incremental world demand being met by this country. The worrying fact is that 90% of their production comes from only 5 mega fields (one is the Ghawar field which is the biggest ever discovered), and are all at risk of unplanned production collapse. In 2004 there were warning signs of production falling into depletion. For years, Aramco, the Saudi national company, use secondary recovery techniques by injecting enormous amounts of seawater (7 million  barrels daily) into their biggest field to boost production. These methods have only temporary effects, and lead to accelerated rates of depletion in the future.

Matt Simmons, long time energy analyst who studied energy for 34 years, in his book “Twilight in the Desert” effectively confronts the complacent belief that there are ample oil reserves in Saudi Arabia and has created a compelling case that Saudi Arabia production will soon reach a peak, after which its production will decline and the world will be confronted with a catastrophic oil shortage. The factual basis of the book is over 200 technical papers published over the last 20 years which individually detail problems with particular wells or particular fields, but which collectively demonstrate that the entire Saudi oil system is “old and fraying” with reserves deliberately vastly overestimated.

Geologist Dr Colin Campbell in a 1998 article in Scientific American also details numerous discrepancies about estimates in Middle East reserves. The extent of reserves reported remained amazingly constant from year to year and then jumped dramatically. A similar unexplainable jump occurred in other countries in the Middle East, sometimes even in the total absence of exploration, strongly suggesting that OPEC’s reserves are overstated.

 

Peak Oil Imminent

The only uncertainty about peak oil is the time scale, which is difficult to predict accurately. Over the years, accurate prediction of oil production was confronted by fluctuating ecological, economical, and political factors, which imposed many restrictions on its exploration, transportation, and supply and demand. At the end of 2009, the Kuwait university and the Kuwait Oil company collaborated in a study to predict the peak date using multicylic models, depending on the historical 2 oil production trend and known oil reserves of 47 major oil production countries, to overcome the limitations and restrictions associated with other previous models. Based on this model, world production is estimated to peak in 2014. Other experts, oil companies and analyst firm estimate the peak date between now and around 2020. What’s certain is that the global production will go into a permanent decline within our generation.

“One of nature’s biggest forces is exponential growth” 

(Albert Einstein)

At a current average global consumption growth rate of 2% annually (1995-2005), by 2025 the world will need 50% more oil (120 mbd), and the International Energy Agency (IEA) admits that Saudi will have to double oil production to achieve this, which is not feasible in even the most optimistic scenario. And that’s not even taking into account that 80% of the world is only just starting to use oil & gas. In recent years, energy demands from mostly emerging economies have increased dramatically in populous countries as their oil consumption per capita grows. The International Energy Agency estimates that 93% of all incremental demand comes from non-OECD countries. Therefore, in time oil prices will continue to rise.

Based on Simmon’s analysis, sudden and sharp oil production declines could happen at any time. Even under the most optimistic scenario, Saudi Arabia may be able to maintain current rates of production for several years, but will not be able to increase production enough to meet the expected increase in world demand. There is no likely scenario that some new frontier can replace Middle East oil declines.

From Wiki leaks it has emerged that Senior Saudi energy officials have privately warned US and European counterparts that Opec would have an “extremely difficult time” meeting demand and that the reserves of Saudi have been overstated by as much as 40%.

“Even an attempt to get up to 12 mbd would wreak havoc within a decade by causing damage to the oil fields. 
-Saudi Aramco official

Exxon Mobil Corporation, one of the world’s largest publicly owned petroleum companies, is the most forthright of the major oil companies having had the courage and honesty to quietly publish the declining discovery trend, based on sound industry data with reserve revisions properly backdated. Furthermore, the company is running page-size advertisements in European papers stressing the immense challenges to be faced in meeting future energy demand, hinting that the challenges might not be met despite its considerable expertise. Chevron recently joined their campaign publishing an advertisement in national newspapers stating that the ‘Era of Easy Oil is Over’ (see here to view full ad).

“Initially it will be denied. There will be much lying and obfuscation. Then prices will rise and demand will fall. The rich will outbid the poor for available supplies.” 

 

The fallacy of Alternatives

The public, business leaders and politicians are all under the false assumption that oil depletion is a straightforward engineering problem of exactly the kind that technology and human ingenuity have so successfully solved before. Technology itself has become a kind of supernatural force, although in reality it is just the hardware and programming for running that fuel, and governed by the basic laws of physics and thermodynamics. Much of our existing technology simply won’t work without an abundant underlying fossil fuel base. In addition, physicist Jonathan Huebner has concluded in The History of Science and Technology that the rate of innovation in the US peaked in 1873, and the current rate of innovation is about the same as it was in 1600. According to Huebner, by 2024 it will have slumped to the same level as it was in the Dark Ages. Hence, without sufficient innovation and a comfortable surplus of fossil fuels, we may simply lack the tools to move forward.

With this energy base dwindling, there is simply not enough time to replace a fluid so cheap, abundant and versatile. It is rich in energy, easy to use, store, and transport. Nothing has the bang for the buck of oil, and nothing can replace it in time – either separately or in combination. Wind, waves and other renewables are all pretty marginal and also take a lot of energy to construct and require a petroleum platform to work off.

Natural gas is a diminishing resource as well and cannot satisfy the growing demand for energy. US Gas supplies were so low in 2003 after a harsh winter that to preserve life and property supplies were close to being cut off to manufacturers, electric plants and lastly homes.

Ethanol has a net energy value of zero (not accounting for soil and water damage and other costs due to unsustainable agricultural practices) – it is subsidized as a boon to agribusiness and would have a negligible effect (Prindle, ACEEE).

Solar energy produces marginal net energy, but are still decades away at best from being a viable substitute given the recent rate of progress in efficiency and costs (averaging about five percent a year) and is nowhere ready to meet the world’s energy needs. More importantly, solar photovoltaic cells (PVC) are built from hydrocarbon feed stocks and therefore require excess resources. It is estimated that a global solar energy system would take a century to build and would consume a major portion of world iron production (Foreign Affairs, Rhodes).

The widespread belief that hydrogen is going to save the day is a good example of how delusional people have become. Hydrogen fuel cells are not an energy source at all, but are more properly termed a form of energy storage. Free hydrogen does not exist on this planet. It requires more energy to break a hydrogen bond than will ever be garnered from that free hydrogen. The current source of hydrogen is natural gas – that is, a hydrocarbon. In the envisioned system of solar PVC & hydrogen fuel cells, every major component of the system, from the PVC to the fuel cells themselves will require hydrocarbon energy and feedstocks. The oil age will never be replaced by a hydrogen fuel-cell economy.

Coal is abundant, but its net energy profile is poor compared to oil and its conversion process to synthetic fuels is very inefficient. Coal would have to be mined at much higher rates to replace declining oil field. In addition, coal production is extremely harmful to the environment. One large coal burning electric plant releases enough radioactive material in a year to build two atomic bombs, apart from emitting more greenhouse gases than any other fuels.  Coal is implicated in mercury pollution that causes 60.000 cases of brain damage in newborn children every year in the USA. Resorting to coal would be a very big step backwards and what we may face then may be more like the Dim Ages. More importantly,  coal is distributed very unevenly with the top three countries (China, USA, USSR) possessing almost 70% of total. Much of the current oil and gas supply is in low-population countries, such as Saudi Arabia, that cannot possibly use all of the production for themselves. They are hence quite willing, indeed eager, to sell it to other countries. When oil and gas are gone, and only coal remains, and the few (large-population) countries that possess it need all of it for their own populations, it will be interesting to see how much is offered for sale to other countries.

Obtaining usable oil from tar sands requires huge amounts of energy, as it has to be mined and washed with super hot water. From an energy balance, it takes the equivalence of two barrels of oil to produce three, which is still positive but poor in terms of energy economics. In the early days of conventional oil, this ratio used to be one to thirty.

Nuclear power plants are simply too expensive and take ten years to build, relying on a fossil fuel platform for all stages of construction, maintenance, and extracting & processing nuclear fuels. Additionally, uranium is also a rare and finite source with its own production peak. Since 2006, the uranium price has already more than doubled.

Nuclear fusion is the kind of energy that the world needs. However, mastering it has been 25 years away for the past 50 years, and still is…

Fossil fuels allowed us to operate highly complex systems at gigantic scales. Renewables are simply incompatible in this context and the new fuels and technologies required would simply take a lot more time to develop than available and require access to abundant supplies of cheap fossil fuels, putting the industrial adventure out of business.

In an interview with The Times, former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer calls for a “reality check” and warns that the world’s energy crisis cannot be solved by renewables. “Contrary to public perceptions, renewable energy is not the silver bullet that will soon solve all our problems. Just when energy demand is surging, many of the world’s conventional oilfields are going into decline. The world is blinding itself to the reality of its energy problems, ignoring the scale of growth in demand from developing countries and placing too much faith in renewable sources of power”.

Alternative energies will never replace fossil fuels at the scale, rate and manner at which the world currently consumes them, and humankind’s ingenuity will simply not overcome the upper limits of geology & physics.  

Current Global Energy Production: No substitutes can replace fossil fuels at the same scale & rate at which the world currently use them

 

C’mon Nature, Show Us a Sign!

Sometimes I find myself wishing that Mother Nature would hurry up and get serious about this global warming thing already.

No, not just because I secretly want to see the human scourge shed off the face of the Earth. (Not today, anyway.)

What I am talking about is the fact that the very things that should be ending to stave off catastrophic climate change—as well as the ongoing sixth mass extinction—are actually increasing.graph

For example, breeding. Okay, that’s a given, but let’s talk specifics.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, logging the rainforest is not coming to a close in acknowledgement of a warming planet needing all the carbon sequestering (not to mention oxygen—oh yeah, and shade) she can get. Indeed, everywhere I look there’s a fresh new clear-cut, while load after load of precious trees are hauled off in carbon-spewing log trucks to massive ships bound for China.

Now, if timber companies were increasing their “harvest” of evergreens to make way for more fast-growing, deciduous trees like alders or maples that would be one thing. But considering that they routinely use Agent Orange defoliant to kill the natural progression of plants on their “tree farms,” I don’t think they have saving the planet on their minds. Quite the opposite.

As long as there are global warming deniers out there, loggers can continue cutting down the forests like there’s no tomorrow. And anyway, who knows, maybe there won’t be one. I’d call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but they’re certainly not prophets (profit-makers, maybe).

Another obvious example of an industry that should be calling it quits, but is instead expanding its ruinous ways: Big Oil. While climate scientists are warning us that it’s time to just STOP, Shell has plans to start drilling in the fragile Chukchi Sea (crucial feeding grounds for the grey whales, just south of the Arctic Ocean). Meanwhile, the President is allowing offshore drilling in the Atlantic for the first time.

Perhaps, like the logging companies, the oil barons are seeing the writing on the wall that their days are numbered, so they’re out to get it while they can—before the damned enviros slap them with enough restrictions or regulations to put them out of business for good.

So when I say I wish Nature would show us a sign, I don’t mean another massive hurricane or super typhoon, world record drought or raging inferno. Apparently those aren’t enough to shake some people up and out of their denial-induced torpor. I’m not sure what it’ll take. A total reversal of the jet stream? The icecaps melting and Florida sinking overnight? Spontaneous combustion of the White House?

Whatever it’s gonna be I hope it happens soon, before business as usual makes the whole mess worse than it already is.

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Shell lost control of an Arctic offshore drilling rig

 

Ted Danson with Oceana via Change.org

Oil giant Shell’s efforts to drill in the Arctic Ocean have been plagued by mistakes and near disasters. The company even lost control of an offshore drilling rig – allowing it to run aground in Alaska. You saw the destruction that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused to the Gulf in 2010. Imagine that same devastation brought to the Arctic – one of the most unique and important places left on earth. 

Now, after years of failing to find safe ways to drill in the Arctic, Shell is asking the federal government to extend its leases by five years.

I’m calling on the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to deny Shell’s request for five more years to explore for offshore oil drilling in the Arctic. Please click here to join me.

I remember walking down the beach in Santa Monica over twenty years ago with my young daughters. At the time I was starring on the show “Cheers,” and during our walk we came to a sign that read: “Water polluted, no swimming.” I didn’t know how to explain to them that we allowed pollution into our oceans and beaches – and I don’t want any parent to have to explain to their children how Shell destroyed the Arctic.

Shell is the only company still actively pushing to drill in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, as other companies have walked away from the unpredictable Arctic environment or put plans on hold. Chevron recently pulled its plans to drill in the Canadian Beaufort Sea after finding the process too risky and expensive. If BSEE denies Shell’s request, the company will suffer a major blow to its dangerous efforts.

The oil industry does not have proven means to contain or clean a spill in the Arctic Ocean. A single accident could lead to serious environmental degradation, threatening iconic marine wildlife and impacting the region’s coastal communities. If Shell is given five more years, the Arctic’s polar bears, ice seals, belugas and many other inhabitants will be pushed further into harm’s way.

We have an incredible opportunity to protect the Arctic from offshore drilling. In the mid-1980s, I helped lead a successful campaign to stop Occidental Petroleum from drilling 60 oil wells in the waters beside Santa Monica. Now, along with Oceana, I desperately need your support to protect the Arctic.

Please sign our petition calling on BSEE to deny Shell’s request for five more years to drill for oil in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

Thank you,

Ted Danson with Oceana