From: The Honorable Jared Huffman
Sent By: Logan.Ferree@mail.house.gov
Thank Secretary Jewell for Arctic Protection!
Build a Legacy of Conservation in the Arctic!
Supported by: Earthjustice, Alaska Wilderness League, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, NRDC, Friends of the Earth, Ocean Conservation Research, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, and Oceana.
Closing COB Thursday December 3rd
Current Cosigners: Lowenthal, Speier, McDermott, Lee, Grijalva, Schiff, Napolitano, Van Hollen, Tsongas, Honda, Slaughter, Edwards
As you know, last month President Obama and the Department of the Interior cancelled two Arctic Ocean oil and gas leases. This historic victory for Arctic protection and conservation occurred after Shell’s announcement that that would abandoned exploration in the Chukchi Sea and suspend further exploration for the foreseeable future. This has truly been an amazing fall for environmental activism in the Arctic, so please join the letter below to Secretary Sally Jewell thanking her for her firm and visionary leadership in these decisions. The letter highlights that there is an ongoing discussion of draft proposals for the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program and that the administration could reinforce their decisions by removing the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas from consideration. Please contact Logan Ferree (Logan.Ferree@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Jared Huffman’s office for more information. Thank you.
The Honorable Sally Jewell
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington DC 20240
Dear Secretary Jewell:
We are writing to thank you for your announcement cancelling Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 237 and Beaufort Sea Lease Sale 242, the proposed 2016 and 2017 lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. Additionally, we support your prudent decision to deny requests by Shell and Statoil for lease suspensions in the Arctic Ocean that would have the effect of allowing these leases to be retained beyond their original terms without just compensation of the federal government and the public. Both decisions will protect one of America’s last wild places from dangerous and misguided drilling.
As Shell demonstrated both in 2012 and this summer, drilling in the Arctic Ocean is challenging and expensive. Although Shell has stated they do not plan to resume drilling for “the foreseeable future” after spending upwards of $7 billion in exploration, we hope that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Fish and Wildlife Service will ensure that any future proposed explorations are held to the highest possible standards and fully comply with all aspects of the law.
As you know, and as the President highlighted during his recent visit, the Arctic is warming at a much faster rate than the rest of the world and continues to experience record ice loss. The challenges already posed to this region by climate change, paired with the threat of oil spills and pollution, make the Arctic Ocean unsuitable for leasing, exploration and drilling. In addition, the need to keep greenhouse gas emitting fuels in the ground as part of a strategy to fight climate change is a compelling reason for the Department of the Interior to remove the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas from draft 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
Thank you for cancelling the 2016 and 2017 lease sales and for retaining the current expiration dates for existing leases. We strongly urge you to build on these important decisions by removing the Arctic Ocean from future five year plans as well. We look forward to working with you to continue protecting America’s Arctic.