The Department of Interior is expected to release a report this week that will offer guidance on how to move forward on offshore drilling operations, in the wake of the ongoing Gulf disaster. But anxieties are high about the most imminent new project: drilling in the Arctic. Environmental groups believe this exploration project may be even more dangerous than the Gulf.
Unless the Obama administration officially calls off the project, Royal Dutch Shell could begin exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the northern coast of Alaska as early as July. The Minerals Management Service–the subject of much scrutiny these days for failing to do its job–did an inadequate evaluation of the potential environmental threats posed by drilling in these seas, the groups say, and the project should be suspended indefinitely.
The World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society and Alaska Wilderness League are running these new ads on national television urging the Obama administration to reconsider Arctic drilling: