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Gulf Oil Spill Preview for Potential Arctic Disaster

Ahead of the April 20, five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director of US Arctic programs:

“Five years later, the region’s wildlife and communities are still struggling from the spill’s environmental aftermath, despite efforts to restore the Gulf ecosystem. We cannot ignore the legacy of the Gulf spill, especially as the federal government considers opening the door to risky offshore exploratory drilling in the Arctic.

“Unlike the Gulf, America’s Arctic Ocean does not benefit from the huge infrastructure in spill response capabilities, forgiving climate and proximity of emergency services. Today, there is no proven way to drill safely in the Arctic, and the ability of government and industry to clean up spills in this region simply does not exist.

“As the US assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council next week, we must show the international community the US is protecting -- not impairing -- the health and livelihoods of the people and species that call the Arctic home.”