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A letter from Robert Redford….

March 2, 2012

     I received a letter from Robert Redford recently who other than being a great actor is also on the Natural Resources Defense Council Board of Trustees.  His plea in this letter made me put on my big girl waders and get back to posting as it seems that the woes of the world are not waiting on me to feel better and get on my feet again.  This letter contained a letter of protest in regards to Shell oil drilling in the Arctic.  I plan on sending a copy of it to Ken Salazar…. I know he must be missing me since I’ve been too ill to join the protests this past year. 

     Mr. Redford asked this question ”Do you trust Shell with the fate of the polar bear?”.  My answer is no way and no how, do I trust them or any other oil company.  Especially those that belong to other countries and would not pollute their home land environment, but ours means nothing as we saw with the Gulf oil spill by BP. Yes just like BP is foreign-owned, so is Shell {Royal Dutch Shell Oil}.  Shell is set to drill this summer in BOTH Alaska’s Polar Bear Seas.  Thanks to Mr. Salazar, Shell has taken a fast step to out smart the “environmentalist” and submitted a spill response and recovery plan that has now been approved.  Sounds great but this is what Rebecca Noblin, an attorney for the in Anchorage, said “Shell’s cleanup plan relies on technology such as the capping stack that has not even been built, much less tested. The reality is, we don’t know how to deal with an oil spill in the Arctic,” she said.  Chris Krenz of Oceana, an environmental group that focuses on oceans, applauded the decision to test Shell’s response equipment but questioned why officials would sign off on the spill prevention plan before the tests.  “It’s really ludicrous to approve Shell’s spill plan before those in-water tests are done,” Krenz said.  The decision presumes the next test will succeed, but the last public test of cleaning a spill in ice-filled waters was in 2000 and was a failure, Krenz said. Shell’s spill response plan claims it can clean up nearly all oil spilled, even though the recovery from BP PLC’s Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, a location with far more infrastructure, was only about 10 percent.  Shell says they can handle a spill….. really? In an environment that has 20 foot surging seas, gale-force winds and sub-zero temperatures?  The area that they want to drill is one of our country’s largest onshore birthing areas for polar bears.  A spill would devastate our ecosystem in the Arctic and a loss that leaves no chance of survival for the polar bear.  So, do you trust Shell?           I do not nor does the other groups I am a member of such as Center for Biological Diversity, NRDC, National Wildlife Federation and Bio-Gems.  We are currently fighting in at least two federal court rooms to stop the permit for the drilling in the Arctic. 

 In the process for reading up on this issue, I was surprised at the lack of understanding on the part of the general public on the topic of the future of the polar bear.  Some saying that polar bears are not threatened nor their environment or that animals like the polar bear will adapt and mother nature will take care of the rest.  Wrong! Yes, wild life does adapt but not that fast.  When mother nature is done….. We maybe the one to become extinct.  There are many reasons that it is important to protect the polar bear.  One being that the polar bear is like an achor species.  Meaning that if we protect them and their habitat, both on land and sea since these iconic creatures live on the sea ice/sea to feed {they even have webbed feet} and on land to mate, hibernate and give birth, then we are protecting all the wildlife that lives with them in their environment.   Another comment I found was to say that the polar bear population has no effect on humans nor environment and their loss would not impact anyone.  We all have our place in the environment and everything we or they do has an effect on us and our survival.  Polar ice melts more and more every year.  This ice helps to keep our planet cooler as the amount of white ice reflects the sun rays back into the atmosphere. With out the ice the sea {far darker in color} then absorbs the sun rays and heats up the sea water that then causes more ice melt.  Then the salinity of the water starts to change along with the water temperature. Then the sea life is forced to move further up into the arctic to cooler waters.  Our nations fisheries depend on our country’s fishing lanes and if the fish move into other countries fishing grounds we lose out.  Now that is just one negative out come and there are others still.  Keeping our Arctic pristine for our use is better than destroying it for oil.  We need to reduce our consumption of oil.  Yes, we will always need oil, but we need to use other sources for our energy…. like natural gas {also in moderation but with strong monitoring of safety} wind and solar.  We as a great nation can diversify our energy needs.  We just need to DO IT….not later but now. We have been saying this for decades but NO action of change yet!

For those who are saying we need to get out from under the foreign oil and we should drill baby drill and we will no longer need to buy foreign oil…….uhmm…..no we still would be dependant on foreign oil, just as BP is a foreign company so is Shell {Royal Dutch Shell}…. yep we would have to buy our own oil back from them!  Don’t be fooled by big oil or the coal industry for that matter as there is no such thing as clean coal, but that’s another story.   Remember and think about just whom is saying we need more oil and coal or our country is in danger due to the need of oil….. yep the oil and coal companies… they will try and scare us while manipulating the prices of oil to keep lining their pockets while we have to pay the price for their greed.

This is a copy of the protest letter please feel free to copy and send to Ken Salazar the Secretary of the Interior and mailing address and more.

Mailing Address:

 Department of the Interior

1849 C Street NW 

 Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100

E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Web: Feedback form 

Feel free to contact him on a regular basis so that he knows what we the people want.

Ken Salazar 

Secretary of the Interior

I am appalled that you are opening both Polar Bear Seas to oil development.  Your agency has already given Shell a tentative go-ahead to drill this summer in the Beaufort Sea, home to half of America’s polar bears.

These decisions open the door to disaster.  Shell is not prepared to handle a worst-case blowout under real-world conditions in the Arctic, where there are 20 foot seas, gale-force winds, protracted darkness and below-zero temperatures.  The Coast Guard’s own Commander Admiral Robert Papp has testified that the federal government has “zero” spill response capability in the Arctic.

Moreover, the oil industry still has no method for cleaning up spills in ice-filled waters. A major spill could devastate our fragile Arctic ecosystem–poisoning polar bears, suffocating whales and killing other wildlife.

I urge you to deny Shell the final permits it needs to begin drilling in the Polar Bear Seas.  Please say NO to Shell and defend these treasured environments you have been charged with protecting.

Sincerely,

Your name goes here!

See my blog roll for direct links to NWF, CBD, NRDC and Bio Gems.  Well worth checking out!

May your conscience be your guide until our paths cross again…….   Lila

**Related articles and links are not endorsed nor recommended by this author unless otherwise stated, but are made available for your convenience.

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12 Comments leave one →
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