The Wilderness Society today lauded the Obama administration’s announcement that it will postpone Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill exploratory wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off the coast of Alaska until at least 2011. The administration also announced a number of other strong steps to protect off-shore resources to prevent another disaster like that in the Gulf.
Nearly a year after the catastrophic BP Macondo exploratory well finally stopped spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the US Coast Guard affirmed before a U.S. Senate panel what many organizations, including The Wilderness Society, already knew: cleaning up an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean would be next to impossible.
As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill escalates, it is churning closer and closer to Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge, the second-oldest national wildlife refuge in the United States. All of the federal lands in the refuge are also designated wilderness areas, aside from North Breton Island.