Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean?

There are few pristine places left on earth, but the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic Ocean may be one of them...until we start drilling for oil.

The Minerals Management Service has decided to lease large areas in the Chukchi Sea area of the Arctic Ocean for oil and gas exploration. Is this a problem?

"MMS, by its own admission, has stated that oil spills are likely from its proposal to open up the Chukchi Sea to oil and gas development," said Mike Daulton, Audubon's Director of Conservation Policy. "That, combined with findings from the Army Corps of Engineers citing there are no effective methods for cleaning up oil spills in Arctic waters, seems enough reason to halt oil and gas activities until more is known about the migratory birds, marine life and unique conditions in this very harsh environment."

The MMS defends the oil leasing, while many critics contend that it's far too risky and that the government is understating and ingoring likely problems.

This is not what I would choose to do with the Arctic Ocean.

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