The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to move forward with a proposed lease sale in 2019 that would include all available Outer Continental Shelf lease blocks in the Beaufort Sea planning area off Alaska. The announcement comes prior to completion of a new national five-year leasing program - and before the environmental impacts of such a program are clear - circumventing the established public process for offshore oil and gas development.
“Nothing has changed since Shell’s disastrous attempts to drill in the Arctic Ocean a few years ago; the only thing that has changed is the administration,” said Jon Warrenchuk, Senior Scientist and Campaign Manager from Oceana's office in Juneau, Alaska. “There is still no way to clean up an oil spill in icy Arctic waters, and until we can prove that drilling in the Arctic Ocean can be done safely without undue harm to ocean ecosystems and marine life, it is a risk we simply cannot afford to take.”
"Despite the risks of offshore drilling it appears as though President Trump is charging ahead and that the decision to offer leases for 65 million acres of the Beaufort Sea has already been made, with no regard for the dangers or the established public process,” said Diane Hoskins, Campaign Director for Oceana.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.oceana.org to learn more.