Is President Obama prepared to stand up for the Arctic?

by Guest Blogger

February 4, 2014

Things are looking up for the Arctic. Only last week, Shell announced it has cancelled its plans to drill in Alaska this year. This came just days after a US court ruled that the leases granted to Shell to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast were invalid and had been granted unlawfully. Shell has now wasted over $6 billion trying to drill for oil in the Gulf of Alaska with no real results and investors are going to be wondering whether the Arctic oil dream is one worth chasing. And now, the campaign to save the Arctic has reached the White House. After travelling to the Arctic and witnessing the dramatic effects of climate change in the region, musician, Greenpeace Ambassador and Arctic defender, Alejandro Sanz, wrote to President Barack Obama urging the US to support the creation of a global sanctuary in the Arctic. In his response, President Obama stated: Few challenges are more urgent than climate change, and I appreciate hearing your concerns. The Arctic region holds some of the world's most precious resources, and we all have a stake in their protection and preservation. I recognize that the Arctic plays a critical role in our efforts to take action on climate change. Read the full letterhere. We believe President Obamas personal and open acknowledgement of the need to protect the Arctic is a great breakthrough for the campaign. But now we need Obama to turn his words into action. Its time for President Obama to protect the Alaskan Arctic for good and put an end to Shells future drilling plans. Join the five million people worldwidewho are calling for protection in Arctic by making the region off limits to oil companies and turning it into a global sanctuary.

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