Oil Industry-Sponsored Study Shows Arctic Too Fragile to Drill

Washington, DC: The National Research Council has today released a report, “Responding to Oil Spills in the US Arctic Marine Environment” stating that the United States does not possess sufficient information, infrastructure, training or resources to respond to an Arctic spill.

Greenpeace US Arctic Campaigner John Deans, commenting on the report, said, “This proves yet again that Arctic drilling is far too risky. The only way to prevent a spill is not to drill in the first place.”

The report was sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, Arctic Research Commission, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Marine Mammal Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oil Spill Recovery Institute, and U.S. Coast Guard.

“The NRC opens the 200 page report with the understatement that: “The risk of an oil spill in the Arctic presents hazards for Arctic nations and their neighbors.” In fact, a spill would devastate sensitive Arctic ecosystems and the communities that rely on them for subsistence,” said Mr Deans.

“The inevitability of an oil spill given the industry's drive for profit at all costs, the immense difficulties of responding to an Arctic spill and the devastating impact a spill will have on the region’s residents, wildlife and ecosystem should be enough to prevent this lunacy. Some of the country’s preeminent scientists unequivocally state in this report that ‘There are no response methods that are completely effective or risk free.’ We hope this will further push the oil industry to ‘unequivocally’ leave the Arctic alone, and the Obama administration to permanently protect this precious part of our country",” said Mr Deans.

“Amazingly, Shell seems determined to attempt another assault on the Arctic, even after the catastrophic bungling of it’s 2012 foray. There is no clearer evidence that oil companies are not prepared enough, are cutting corners, and according to a recent US Coast Guard Report, are committing multiple violations of the law in order to get to deep sea black gold than Shell’s Alaskan debacle.”

“As a report sponsor, the American Petroleum Institute and its members must heed this grave warning. Of course, much of this is not new. Everyone from the Commandant of the US Coast Guard, the US Government’s Geological Survey, Lloyds of London and CEOs of giant oil companies agree there is no such thing as safe Arctic drilling.”

“Weeks after the 25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, and days after the fourth anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, those environments remain forever altered and communities continue to struggle against oil company obfuscation. To allow the same thing to happen again in pursuit of bigger profits for the world’s largest corporations is insane,” Mr Deans said.

Nearly five million people from around the world have signed the Greenpeace petition to protect the Arctic, calling on to create a global sanctuary around the North Pole, and ban offshore drilling and destructive industry in the Arctic.

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