Friday, January 04, 2008

Alaskan sea drilling plans criticized


Here we go again. Add another issue to the damage this administration can do before leaving office on 20 January 2009.
The federal government will open up nearly 46,000 square miles off Alaska's northwest coast to petroleum leases next month, a decision condemned by enviromental groups that contend the industrial activity will harm northern marine mammals.

The Minerals Management Agency planned the sale in the Chukchi Sea without taking into account changes in the Arctic brought on by global warming and proposed insufficient protections for polar bears, walrus, whales and other species that could be harmed by drilling rigs or spills, according to the groups.

The lease sale in an area slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania was planned without information as basic as the polar bear and walrus populations, said Pamela A. Miller, Arctic coordinator with Northern Alaska Environmental Center. The lease sale is among the largest acreage offered in the Alaska region.

"The Minerals Management Service is required to have preleasing baseline data sufficient to determine the post-leasing impacts of the oil and gas activities that will occur," Miller said. "They simply do not have that."

Via The Signs.

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