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Michael Jasny’s Blog

See No Evil No More?

Michael Jasny

Posted March 22, 2013 in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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energy-kulluk-oil-rig-runs-aground-alaska-wreck_62757_600x450.jpgSometimes problems are too obvious to obfuscate. 

Just yesterday the National Marine Fisheries Service released a new environmental appraisal of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, and the conclusion they reached falls pretty squarely into the obvious category.  All of that airgun shooting and drilling could have major impacts on endangered bowhead whales.

By “major,” they mean intense effects, long-term and possibly permanent in nature, affecting the entire species and region.  They’re talking about constant disruptions in vital behavior from drilling and high-energy airgun shots, and the risk of a dangerous and uncontainable spill.  The Fisheries Service decided to reassess these impacts after industry asked for double the drilling, going from two exploratory programs to four in the Beaufort and the Chukchi Seas.

Needless to say, proponents of drilling in the Arctic will not be pleased.  Senator Lisa Murkowski, for example, has begun questioning the need for any programmatic impact assessment – seeming to forget her call in the wake of Shell’s drilling debacle for a review of “all aspects of the operation.”  

Much of the government’s analysis actually underestimates harm from noise and drilling, and we’ll have more to say to that in the coming weeks.  But for these endangered whales at least, the picture is only too clear.

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Comments

Rebecca PostonMar 23 2013 07:48 AM

We desperately need the real pictures and videos of the devastation caused by:
Blowing apart mountains for ribbons of coal, Boreal forests destroyed for tar sands exploration, Oil spill devastation,
Natural gas explosions, and now Drilling in the Arctic.
When these real life pictures and their real life facts are disclosed by every major news network on a daily basis-only then do we have the potential to see the change we so desperately need.
There are options which are clean and safe. Pictures and descriptions of our options must also be shown on a daily basis by our major networks. Our world desperately needs to be given clear and positive information and direction if we are to offer this planet's inhabitants a future. Out of sight-out of mind is not an option.

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