White House Approves First Ever Drilling in Federal Arctic Waters

The United States is no stranger to drilling for fossil fuels, but certain places have remained off limits for fear of potential environmental destructions. Among those precious locations is the U.S.’s Arctic waters… or at least it was until Wednesday when the Trump administration approved the first proposal to drill in these federal waters.

Sign the petition: Trump Approves Plan to Start Drilling in Federal Arctic Waters

Per the proposal, Hilcorp Energy Company will be drilling for gas less than 30 miles from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The White House, which earlier this year said it wanted to open up pretty much all coastal waters to drilling (aside from Florida, as a favor to vulnerable Republican politicians,) celebrated expanding to Arctic waters as if it is a victory.

“Working with Alaska Native stakeholders, the Department of Interior is following through on President Trump’s promise of American energy dominance,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “American energy dominance is good for the economy, the environment and our national security… That makes America stronger and more influential around the globe.”

Not everyone would agree that this unprecedented move is a step in the right direction, and many would take special offense to Zinke’s claim that drilling in Arctic waters is good for the environment. The Center for Biological Diversity called this move “a disaster waiting to happen,” adding that cleaning up a hypothetical/likely spill would be pretty much impossible due to the region’s difficult conditions.

Hilcorp doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to safety, either. The Washington Post details three recent accidents and leaks, and EcoWatch notes that Hilcorp is the most heavily fined oil company in Alaska during the past few years, quoting a state regulators’ report, “Disregard for regulatory compliance is endemic to Hilcorp’s approach to its Alaska operations.” That ought to give Americans pause about trusting this company do dirty business in such a pristine habitat.

Besides, at a time when we should be accelerating our efforts to propel renewable energy in order to save the planet, finding new places to drill for oil and gas seems not just a waste of time, but counterproductive.

If the proposal is executed, Hilcorp anticipates collecting 70,000 barrels of fossil fuel each day for several of the less icy months of the year, and continue operations for an estimated 15 and 20 years. (Honestly, it’s not entirely clear – even to Hilcorp or the government – how much fossil fuel is located in this region.) Hilcorp would move its oil to shore by sending it through an undersea pipe. From there, the company would utilize the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a little-used pipeline, to transport the oil to another part of the state.

Take Action

Notice the “if” – having the Interior Department’s approval doesn’t necessarily make it a done deal. Hilcorp still needs to obtain some other state and federal permits first. That’s why we’re directing a petition at the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to step in and protect the coastal waters since the federal government will not.

 

Photo credit: Thinkstock

56 comments

Berenice Guedes de Sá
Berenice Guedes2 months ago

This is pretty bad!!! I hope this could be reconsidered!! There are many greedy here but This is not something to be allowed!!! Not at all!!

SEND
Michael F
Michael Friedmann2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

SEND
susan a
susan a2 months ago

There they go again, money money money .......keeping these industries happy at any price as long as they all get a fat backhander!!

SEND
Daniel N
Daniel N2 months ago

Idiots

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Greedy BASTARD Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Deplorable Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Cara West
Cara West2 months ago

electric is worse for the environment there has to be a 10 mile dead zone where the cobalt is mined where no one is allowed to enter. Diesel is better for the enviroment its not toxic and there doesnt have to be a 10-20 mile dead zone. and a gas plant has no dead zone. if you look up a cobalt mine youll see a giant hole pit type thing where that the crap is mined from. electric cars are dangerous for this planet and peoples health. diesel is a bio fuel or a bi-product of gasoline so way better than gas ill go with my better for the enviroment ford f-350 platinum super duty diesel truck.#RollCoal

SEND
Patty L
Patty L2 months ago

I just voted. it is simple, I marked a "straight" Democrat ticket! no pain! *** VOTE DEMOCRAT AS IF YOUR WAY OF LIFE DEPENDS UPON THE OUTCOME! *** becaudse it does!

SEND