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WWF Statement on Drilling in the Arctic

Following the Department of the Interior’s decision allowing Shell to drill in America’s Arctic Ocean, WWF issued this statement:

WWF is dismayed by the administration’s decision to allow drilling in the Arctic. The technology simply doesn’t exist to effectively contain a spill in the extreme environment of the Arctic Ocean. This is one of the most productive marine areas in the world, supporting hundreds of species and thousands of people who depend on the sea’s bounty. To drill in our Arctic Ocean is to gamble with its future.

Furthermore, evidence suggests that marine mammals are negatively affected by noise from drilling and seismic operations. Some of the primary feeding areas for gray whales and their calves overlap with the proposed drilling areas, meaning the ability to feed, mate and communicate could be seriously compromised for these magnificent creatures.

We will hold out hope that – even in an Arctic facing energy development – governments take strong measures to protect communities, wildlife and the most sensitive areas against catastrophic and permanent harm.

- Margaret Williams, Managing Director, Arctic Program