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Oil Spill Commission’s Findings Require Halt to Arctic Drilling, Says WWF

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2011 - Today, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Vice President of Marine and Arctic Policy Bill Eichbaum issued the following statement in response to the Final Report released by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

“WWF now calls on President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Salazar to heed the recommendations of the Commission that the President established to review failures in the nation’s offshore leasing program. WWF believes no drilling should be allowed in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas until the data gaps and capacity challenges identified by the Commission are filled, the oil spill response gap has been closed, environmentally sound thresholds are set, and offshore oil and gas activities are considered in the context of a comprehensive plan for Arctic Seas. 

“It is clear that the Commission’s recommendations are a mandate for the Department of the Interior to refrain from further permitting and leasing activity in the Arctic until these issues are satisfactorily addressed. Moving forward with the issuance of exploratory drilling permits for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas at this time would be reckless. This administration has a responsibility to protect America’s Arctic as a national treasure and to protect its resources for the communities and wildlife that call it home.”