« House Committee Passes Bill to Reform Oil and Gas Industry | Main | Offshore Oil Response Bill Passes the House »


Federal Court Halts Drilling Activities in Chukchi Sea

Yesterday, a federal court ordered a huge win for polar bears, bowhead whales, eiders, and the Arctic sea ecosystem.  The court ordered all oil and gas activites halted under controversial Lease Sale 193 in Alaska's Chukchi Sea until further environmental review is conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (formererly the Minerals Management Service).

The Minerals Management Service had approved oil and gas leases in the ecologically sensitive and ice-choked waters of the Chukchi Sea without adequate prior analysis.  It failed to gather baseline scientific information as well as failing to analyze the potential impacts of natural gas development from the sale.  As a result, a large coalition of environmental groups and Native Alaskans, including the Sierra Club, were represented by Earthjustice in a challenge to Lease Sale 193 filed in 2008.  Yesterday's decision affirms the need for proper and thorough environmental analysis.

Polar bear4

The Chukchi Sea is an ecologically rich area, home to several endangered species, and is at the heart of the subsistence culture practice by native Inupiat communities.  This court reflects the inherent dangers of oil and gas drilling in the area and should be a message to Secretary Salazar that the lease should be cancelled altogether.  Our Arctic Seas are far too sensitive and important to risk selling off to a industry which has proven itself to be dirty and dangerous time and time again.  


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Federal Court Halts Drilling Activities in Chukchi Sea:

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed

Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.