Submit Your Comments on Arctic Oil Drilling EIR

Shell Oil’s “Kulluk” exploratory oil rig, aground after a towing mishap in January 2013

 

Some people think BOEMRE is just a new way to spell BUMMER, and they would be right.

You see, the “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement,” otherwise known as BOEMRE, is the new name for what was previously known as the Minerals Management Service (MMS), an agency so mired in corruption, pay-off scandals, and drugged-up corpo-government party-bingeing, that they had to change their name.

Right now, public comment is being taken by BOEMRE on an environmental impact report (EIR) regarding the effects of expanded offshore oil exploration in the Arctic, in a huge area of ocean off the northern and northwestern coasts of Alaska.  This vast Alaskan ocean is being put on the chopping block in the name of offshore oil drilling.

In the areas of the Arctic ocean covered by the recent EIR, the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, the proposed take of marine mammals is heart-breaking.  According to the report, the highest level of “take” for proposed exploration and test drilling will cost a death toll of 9,965 Bowhead Whales, 6,610 Beluga Whales, 1,720 Gray Whales, 113 Humpback Whales, 113 Minke Whales, 90 Fin Whales, 105 Killer Whales, along with 118,570 Ringed Seals and 2,568 Bearded Seals, and other porpoises, seals, fish, birds – and who knows what else?  And these are just estimates, for only the exploration phase.

This doesn’t figure in for an oil spill (which is inevitable).  The report states that in every category, if the worst happens – a “VLOS” as they call it (Very Large Oil Spill) – during test drilling, each and every species will suffer a catastrophe.  Or as they say in the EIR: “a VLOS could have a major impact on….”  (Fill in the blank, and say good-bye to your favorite Arctic mammal, including polar bears.)

To paraphrase a letter from the NRDC:

“The amount of oil and gas activity that the Fisheries Service has proposed is staggering, with up to 24 surveys and drilling operations taking place at any given time. This scale of activity will transform the Arctic: industrializing it, bombarding its wildlife populations with deafening and lethal seismic testing, and risking this sensitive ecosystem with an oil spill that, in those remote and hazardous waters, will be virtually impossible to contain.”

“This environmental review does not meaningfully address the cumulative effects of Arctic industrialization on species that depend on sound for survival, or the cumulative risk of oil spills from exploratory drilling.”

You have only a few more days to submit your comments on this EIR.  Please urge NOAA and BOEMRE to reject this proposal of expanded Arctic oil exploration and drilling, a proposal that the public has thoroughly rejected.  Ask these agencies to adopt Alternative 1 – the “no action” alternative that says we want to put a stop to Arctic oil drilling!

For info on how to submit your comments, go to:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm

The deadline to submit comments is June 27th.

Please pass this info on to as many friends as possible.

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2 Responses to Submit Your Comments on Arctic Oil Drilling EIR

  1. Dan Waters says:

    I say no to these destructive futile pract ices. Fossil fuels are as dead a the dinosaurs.