“Oil and Ice” highlights an Arctic disaster in the making

It’s the question that many people have been asking for years: How would Shell recover oil spilled in the stormy, ice-choked waters of the Arctic Ocean?

Sadly, the answer is always the same. Because of Alaska’s remoteness and lack of infrastructure, and Shell’s inadequate technology, the company would recover very little – if any – spilled oil.

Even a minor spill could be a disaster for the fish, seals, walrus, whales and polar bears on which Alaska Native people depend for their survival on Alaska’s North Slope, so Shell’s drilling plans pose not only an environmental threat, but a cultural one.

This new video from the Center for American Progress, “Oil and Ice: The Risks of Drilling in Alaska's Arctic Ocean,” highlights the risks and divisions that offshore drilling brings to Alaska’s Native villages.

As the video’s narrator points out, when a spill occurs: “First responders will be operating with an incomplete instruction manual. Scientists know very little about how oil reacts in the frigid Arctic Ocean, or how it would affect native species.”

“Oil and Ice” is a powerful video that captures the undeniable truth that too little is known about the Arctic Ocean; there is no way existing technology can assure us that drilling can be done safely; and there is simply too much at risk.