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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and as the ice melts, previously inaccessible oil and gas resources become easier to exploit. But that doesn’t mean we should start drilling. And there’s more than one reason why.
A very basic problem is safety—for people and the environment. Drilling in the Arctic is too risky. With little response and support infrastructure along Alaska’s vast northern coastline and the nearest Coast Guard base more than 1,000 miles away, our ability to respond to emergencies and oil spills is alarmingly limited. In fact, the Arctic’s brutal weather, unpredictable ice conditions, and months of darkness mean there’s no real way to keep an oil spill from damaging ecosystems and wiping out wildlife.
The bigger problem with drilling is its effect on our planet. Carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels is already disrupting our climate and the health of our oceans, putting our human and natural systems in peril. US commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions cannot be achieved if we open up the Arctic to new drilling.
The Obama Administration is expected to release its final decision on a five-year leasing program for Arctic drilling in the coming weeks. The time to act is now. Tell the President to keep the oil under the sea. Tweet your support now!