In response to news reports that Royal Dutch Shell today reiterated its intention to drill in the US Arctic Ocean in 2015 if it secures the needed permits, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director of US Arctic programs:
“The threat of oil spills from risky exploratory drilling threatens Alaska’s Arctic seas and the people who depend on them. After the series of accidents and errors during its first foray of Arctic exploration, today’s news from Shell raises serious concerns.
“No oil company should be drilling in the Arctic Ocean when there are no proven ways to do it safely and no viable means for cleaning up potential spills.
“2015 holds great promise to be a year when people and governments around the world join together to make lasting commitments to secure a global climate agreement so that we leave our children a safe world. New technologies are creating sources of energy that power our lives without imperiling the planet. A decision to extract fossil fuels from the Arctic sea, home to polar bears, walrus, whales, seabirds and other wildlife, and a place where extreme weather, gale-force winds and extended periods of darkness make operations and response to spills extremely difficult, is a backward move at this time of great progress.”