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Russia Puts Pressure on U.S. to Protect Arctic

In response to Russia’s announcement that the government has placed a temporary moratorium on issuing new leases for drilling on the Arctic shelf, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director of the U.S. Arctic program:

“Russia’s decision comes at a time when our own government is poised to make important decisions about the future of the U.S. Arctic. The Obama administration can and must similarly show leadership in safeguarding our Arctic waters from the risky prospect of drilling.

“Offshore drilling in the Arctic is extremely perilous due to the Arctic’s extreme environmental conditions, including tumultuous seas, extreme cold and long periods of darkness. When coupled with the looming threats of climate change in the region, we would be much better off keeping fossil fuels in the ground and focusing on a more stable energy future.”

This announcement came the same day news broke that Norway has suffered challenge after challenge while seeking to drill in Arctic waters.