ConocoPhillips is sticking with its reckless plans to drill in the Arctic despite the failures and fears of its rivals. Shell, who spent 7 years and $5 billion dollars on exploration, was forced to halt its 2013 plan to drill in the Arctic after a series of blunders and accidents including the grounding of its drill rig. And when oil giant Total SA’s CEO says “Energy companies should not drill for crude oil in Arctic waters because the environmental risks are too high”, we should all be alarmed when that advice is ignored.
Tell ConocoPhillips to halt its Arctic drilling operations.
ConocoPhillips has pulled out of environmentally sensitive areas from public pressure before, dropping its plans to drill in the Amazon last year. Currently, the US Bureau of Energy and Management is reviewing ConocoPhillips' 2014 plan for the Chukchi Sea, the same Arctic sea Shell failed to drill at. Just last Thursday, the Bureau barred Shell from drilling in the Arctic after allowing it to drill in 2012.
Public pressure campaigns from groups like Greenpeace succeeded in spotlighting Shell’s safety blunders and halting its current plan to drill in the Arctic. SumOfUs.org members can build on the energy from environmental groups to stop oil companies from Arctic drilling by telling ConocoPhillips that it is smart business to abandon its plans in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea.
ConocoPhillips: stop drilling in the Arctic.
The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was catastrophic, but an oil spill in the Arctic would be far worse. The Arctic’s isolation from the rest of the world makes oil clean up next to impossible. Its severe weather and unpredictable ice floes increase the likelihood of spills. Most dangerously, there is no proven method to clean up oil spills in the Arctic’s extreme conditions.
ConocoPhillips’ proposed drill site is in a pristine and remote part of the world with no roads, airports, or hotels nearby to support clean up efforts. Remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill? The inaccessibility of the Alaskan seas meant that it took crews many days to arrive while oil spread and destroyed ecosystems. ConocoPhillips plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan northern coast where it is more isolated than the Exxon Valdez spill location. And don’t believe ConocoPhillips when it says there won’t be a spill, it just paid the Chinese hundreds of million dollars in fines for its oil spill in 2011.
The Exxon Valdez images I saw as an 8 year old boy are still fresh: volunteers scrubbing otters and ducks with soap only to watch animals die. 23 years later, the killer whale populations have still not recovered, and the huge schools of whirling herring that fed fishermen have not returned. I don’t want to see these tragic images again.
Oil companies: We don’t need another BP or Exxon Valdez spill. Stop Arctic Drilling!
The Case Against Drillin in Alaska's Arctic Waters. Forbes. June 6th, 2012.