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August 19, 2011

Another Spill - Take Action Now

By now you’ve probably heard the news that our ocean has suffered yet another oil spill – this time in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland.  The undersea pipeline began leaking last Wednesday; by Monday, an estimated 1,300 barrels of oil had been released into surrounding waters.

This just confirms what the world has known all along: oil spills will happen, and companies must be prepared to respond effectively when they do.
Next year, Shell wants to drill for oil in the Arctic off the coast of Alaska.  But Shell’s oil spill response plan is woefully inadequate.  Urge Secretary Salazar to REJECT Shell’s oil response plan for the Arctic.

This latest spill shows us yet again that it’s not a matter of “if” an oil spill will happen – it’s a matter of “when.”  And an oil spill in the Arctic could be devastating.  Here’s why:

·         The Arctic is a unique – and fragile – environment, and our understanding of Arctic marine ecosystems is not well-developed.

·         The harsh conditions and remoteness of the Arctic frontier present new challenges that typical spill-response methods don’t address.

·         Oil and gas operators have not yet demonstrated that they can effectively clean up spilled oil in real-world Arctic conditions.

For all these reasons, it’s crucial that Secretary Salazar REJECT Shell’s oil spill response plan for the Arctic.  Until companies like Shell demonstrate that they can effectively clean up a worst-case oil spill in real-world Arctic conditions, the Secretary should not approve its spill response plans, and should not allow drilling in Arctic waters.

There's still a chance to get it right when it comes to drilling in the ocean.  Speak out to restore and protect our ocean. 

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