Center for Biological Diversity

Tell Obama: Reject Shell's Excuses

Polar bears
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With its drillships poised to head into stormy Arctic seas, Shell is just now admitting that it cannot comply with its air-quality permit from the EPA and is seeking a waiver. If the company gets its wish, the air standards that are in place to protect the Arctic people and environment will be wiped away without any public process.

This is a classic bait-and-switch tactic, and we can't let Shell get away with it.

And the president has a lot of other reasons to say no to Shell: Although Shell's oil-spill response plan relies on the company's stated ability to clean up 95 percent of spilled oil at the source, Shell has recently stated that it will merely "encounter" 95 percent of spilled oil, not clean it up. And earlier this month Shell admitted that its spill-response vessel Arctic Challenger can't meet the required Arctic weather-preparedness standards -- it's still in port in Washington, awaiting Coast Guard clearance to head north.

The ships that have already headed north aren't cutting it: Shell's Noble Discoverer drillship can't even stay anchored.

The Arctic Ocean is teeming with irreplaceable animal life, home to America's only population of polar bears, as well as Pacific walruses, ice seals, bowhead whales and threatened Steller's and spectacled eiders. But it's also extraordinarily fragile; the sea ice that sustains life there is melting rapidly. The last thing struggling Arctic species need is an invasion from an armada of polluting drillships.

President Barack Obama owes it to the American people, and our unique wilderness legacy, to stop Shell before things get any worse by refusing this last-minute waiver.

Please use the form below to tell the president that Shell can't be trusted to keep its promises and should not be permitted to drill in a delicate ecosystem like the Arctic.

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Read more about the Noble Discoverer's Arctic incident here.

Photo of polar bears with cubs (c) Mike Lockhart.

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