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Nov 24, 2014

USA: TAKE ACTION: Protect walruses by rejecting a massive oil and gas lease sale in Arctic waters

Walruses in the Chukchi Sea. The Chukchi is home to a rich variety of marine life. (Sarah Sonsthagen/USGS)
From: "Earthjustice Alerts" <action@earthjustice.org>
Date: Nov 19, 2014 2:19 PM
Subject: TAKE ACTION: Protect walruses by rejecting a massive oil and gas lease sale in Arctic waters

Earthjustice - Take Action Today
TAKE ACTION! Protect walruses by rejecting a massive oil and gas lease sale in Arctic waters Take Action
Walruses in the Chukchi Sea. The Chukchi is home to a rich variety of marine life. (Sarah Sonsthagen/USGS)
The effects of oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi Sea would be catastrophic for walruses, polar bears, and our climate.

Reject a massive drilling lease sale in the Arctic Ocean now!
Dear Liz,
As a result of our recent litigation success, the government is reconsidering whether to open the Chukchi Sea to drilling for oil and gas, and its own analysis shows why it should not. The government admits there's a 75% chance of a major spill if we move forward with oil and gas development.
And it's now clear there is no effective way to clean up a spill in the Arctic Ocean. Tests show that spill response equipment fails to work once even a small amount of ice is in the water—which is most of the time in the Arctic Ocean.
The massive Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale 193 to drill in the Arctic has already been declared illegal twice by the courts thanks to Earthjustice litigation efforts, and the government is now reconsidering the sale after our latest victory. There are lots of reasons that it is a terrible idea.
But Shell Oil is still relentlessly pursuing its reckless plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean and pushing the government to approve the sale and its drilling plans.
Even without a spill, the effects of oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea could be catastrophic—causing widespread harm to Pacific walruses, bowhead whales, marine and coastal birds like the threatened spectacled eider, and other wildlife. Companies like Shell Oil would conduct seismic testing, ice-breaking, and risky, dirty, and loud drilling—all in a region critical to these majestic creatures' survival.
The Chukchi Sea and its wildlife are already under serious threat from climate change. Without sea ice, walruses are flocking to land in large numbers, where food becomes scarce. Loud noises or disturbances can cause herds to become alarmed and stampede into the water, trampling and killing small walruses and baby calves in the process.
Reckless and irresponsible oil development could make things much worse. It also would further commit us to a dirty energy future, worsening climate change, which is already wreaking havoc in the Arctic and elsewhere.
Sincerely,
Erik Grafe photo
Erik Grafe
Staff Attorney
Alaska Office
Take Action


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 Photo Credits:   Top: Walruses in the Chukchi Sea. The Chukchi is home to a rich variety of marine life. (Sarah Sonsthagen/USGS) 
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