The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently issued an analysis predicting that Lease Sale 193 in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea—if developed—has a 75 percent chance of a large oil spill. Amazingly, the agency is proceeding with Shell’s plans to drill there.
Shell is telling the federal government that it’s ready to return to Alaska and drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea in 2014, even though the company is still recovering from the beating dished out by the Arctic during the company’s first attempt in 2012.
The rig was at the mercy of the north Pacific’s relentless waves for six days until salvage crews managed to attach a tow line and begin moving it to a safe harbor where they plan to assess how heavily it was damaged.
As the new president of The Wilderness Society, I’m visiting Alaska’s Arctic to get a first-hand look at the landscapes we’re working to protect and the role oil drilling has on Alaska’s Arctic and its people.