From coast to coast, activists call on Obama Administration to ban Arctic drilling

by Mike Gaworecki

May 26, 2010

From the Gulf Coast to the West Coast to the East Coast, Greenpeace activists are out in full force to send the Obama Administration a message: Ban Arctic Drilling!

As the BP Deepwater Disaster and oil spill has made plain for all to see, we desperately need to move away from dirty, dangerous fossil fuels like oil and toward clean, green renewable energy. Unfortunately, even as the Gulf continues to fill up with filthy crude oil, the Obama Administration is intent on going ahead with more offshore drilling, a move that will prolong our addiction to oil rather than end it.

In fact, despite the moratorium the administration said it had placed on all new offshore drilling permits, we have now learned that the Interior Dept.’s Minerals Management Service has actually approved several new offshore drilling permits since April 20th, when BP’s rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank, leading to several million gallons (and counting) of oil being spilled. Worse yet, most of these new permits were given the same environmental exemptions as BP was given for the Deepwater Horizon.

Greenpeace image: Arctic nextAnd of course, the administration is so far allowing Shell to move ahead with its plans to drill in the far more ecologically sensitive Arctic region this summer. As you might have seen already, several of our activists sent a loud and clear message to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar earlier this week when he was down in Louisiana by painting “Arctic Next?” on a Shell support ship soon to be headed for the Arctic.

But we didn’t stop there. Salazar was called before the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives today, and our activists were there with a similar message: “Salazar: Ban Arctic Drilling.” Like the painting on the Shell ship, the signs these activists were holding were painted with some of the dirty crude that has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico for the past month.

Here’s an awesome photo of Sec. Salazar and Deputy Interior Sec. David Hayes turning around to read our activists’ signs:

We had a message for Salazar’s boss, too. President Obama was out here in the Bay Area today campaigning on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, and several of us went down there to send the exact same message to the Pres. Here’s a pic of Obama’s motorcade whizzing by our banner:

Greenpeace image: Obama ban Arctic drilling

So, Obama and Salazar have gotten our message, we know that much. But that doesn’t mean our work is done. We need as many folks as possible to be hammering this message home. Help stop the next oil spill: write to Sec. Salazar right now and tell him to stop Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic.

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