Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alaska's Arctic seas: Court ruling halts offshore lease sale

Date:
July 27, 2010
Source:
World Wildlife Fund
Summary:
Efforts to protect Alaska's Arctic seas and coastlines from oil and gas development won a major victory recently when a federal court put a hold on recent leases that would have opened up the Chukchi Sea to new drilling.

World Wildlife Fund's long campaign to protect Alaska's Arctic seas and coastlines from oil and gas development won a major victory last night when a federal court put a hold on recent leases that would have opened up the Chukchi Sea to new drilling.

In siding with the plaintiffs challenging "Lease Sale 193" -- a group consisting of native Alaskan and conservation organizations, including WWF -- the Federal District Court of Alaska ruled that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) failed to conduct proper environmental reviews and therefore enjoined all activity under the leases in question. The court directed the agency to consider impacts of gas development and to address the question of whether missing information about the environment in the Chukchi is essential for proper decision making and how that information might be gathered.

"This ruling is a tremendous victory not only for WWF but also the species and communities along Alaska's North Slope that would be threatened by oil and gas development," said Bill Eichbaum, WWF's Vice President for Marine and Arctic Policy. "Drilling in harsh Arctic waters is very different from drilling in the mild, temperate conditions of, say, the Gulf of Mexico. There is virtually no response capability in the Arctic, no way to adequately respond to and clean up a spill.

"Given these severe risks, thorough environmental impact reviews are absolutely critical. Yet MMS, consistent with its track record of corruption and mismanagement, completely failed in that regard. It is abundantly clear, based on this instance as well as the many past examples of MMS failing to fulfill its management and enforcement duties, that the previous decisions of this broken agency cannot be viewed with any degree of confidence. Therefore, Lease Sale 193 should be revoked and the leasing process should start over under the new, reorganized agency only on the basis of good science."

MMS, a division of the Department of the Interior, was recently split up and reorganized to help eliminate conflicts of interest and address the agency's troubled history of mismanagement and corruption. The entity now responsible for offshore lease sales is known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

The July 21 court ruling follows a string of recent victories for WWF's Arctic campaign. Earlier this year, the Obama administration granted protection from drilling to Alaska's Bristol Bay, nursery to roughly 40 percent of America's seafood catch, and announced that no new areas within the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, apart from Lease Sale 193, would be opened to drilling. And following the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the President placed a moratorium on new oil and gas exploration drilling that was set to begin off Alaska's North Slope as soon as July 1.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Wildlife Fund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Wildlife Fund. "Alaska's Arctic seas: Court ruling halts offshore lease sale." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100727153433.htm>.
World Wildlife Fund. (2010, July 27). Alaska's Arctic seas: Court ruling halts offshore lease sale. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100727153433.htm
World Wildlife Fund. "Alaska's Arctic seas: Court ruling halts offshore lease sale." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100727153433.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins