Friday, May 15, 2009

STOP Oil and Gas Drilling in Alaska

In testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources, big oil (Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron) made it clear that Alaska is still a major target for drilling.

In an area already feeling the impact of climate change, more drilling will mean additional pollution in the form of oil spills, airborne contaminants, and waste products like drilling fluids and metal cuttings.

This interest in drilling for oil threatens marine life and will add more acidifying carbon dioxide to the oceans. For more information about what this acidity is doing to the ocean, please read Oceans are Becoming More Acidic.

We have heard the rhetoric: drilling in the Arctic will reduce gas prices, oil development is safe, how the 1002 area is devoid of life, how drilling for oil is a national security issue . . .

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Opening the ANWR to oil drilling will bring down prices at the pump.
Fact: Opening the Refuge to drilling would not lower today's prices.

According to a May 2008 report by the Energy Information Administration (PDF), opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge today would result in Americans saving a few pennies per gallon, ten years from now.

Myth: Oil development does not harm the environment or people.
Fact: Oil drilling would harm the land, animals, and people of the Refuge.

The National Academy of Sciences reported that cumulative impacts of oil activities harmed the land, animals, Alaska Native culture, and wilderness. Visit the NAS and read the report online.

Myth: The Coastal Plain "1002 Area" is a desolate landscape with virtually no wildlife.
Fact: The Coastal Plain "1002 Area" is the biological heart of the Refuge.

Oil companies want to drill the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain (1002 Area) of AWNR, which scientists say is the very heart of ANWR.

Right Click to Open Larger Map in Another Tab or Window

Myth: Oil drilling will have a minimal footprint on the coastal plain "1002 Area" of the Refuge.
Fact: Drilling on the coastal plain "1002 Area" will leave a permanent network of sprawling industrial sites.

Nearly the entire North Slope is currently exploited. We must save the last five percent. See map below.

Right Click to Open Larger Map in Another Tab or Window

Myth: Drilling in the Refuge will help secure America's energy future.
Fact: Drilling for oil in America's Arctic will not break our oil addiction.

The U.S. needs to lead the world in new, clean, renewable energy solutions. Drilling is good only for the oil and gas companies and very bad for the Earth and its creatures.

What can you do?

Take Action: Visit Chill The Drills and send an email that asks for strong protections for the special places in America.

Take Action: Donate to Oceana Advocacy Resources (OAR).

Take Action: Educate your friends from either website.

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