The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christopher Mayo, (615) 268-5474 (onsite)

Protest Will Target Obama Plan to Open Atlantic, Arctic to Offshore Drilling

"Frostpaw" the Polar Bear, Climate Activists to Rally Outside Public Hearing


The Center for Biological Diversity's Frostpaw the Polar Bear and other climate activists will protest Monday afternoon outside the convention center where federal officials will hold a public hearing about proposed offshore oil drilling leases in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.

On Jan. 27 the Obama administration announced plans today to open up the Atlantic Ocean to drilling and offer more lease sales in the sensitive Arctic waters off Alaska. Both announcements move these areas, which have largely been off-limits to offshore drilling, closer to becoming industrial oil operations. Ramping up offshore drilling raises the risk of disastrous spills, puts wildlife in harm's way, and deepens U.S. dependence on the fossil fuels driving the global climate crisis.

On Monday the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding a public meeting to provide information about the leasing plans and discuss next steps in moving the leases forward.

What: Frostpaw the Polar Bear and other climate activists will rally outside the public meeting for proposed offshore oil leasing.

When: Monday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. (the public hearing begins at 2 p.m.)

Where: Embassy Suites Washington, D.C. -- Convention Center, 900 10th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Media availability: Climate activists will be available for print, web and broadcast interviews.

The Obama administration's new five-year plan schedules 14 lease sales in eight planning areas between 2017 and 2022: 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico, three off the coast of Alaska, and one in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Putting our oceans up for sale to oil companies is not the path toward solving the climate crisis. We're telling Obama to take his own advice on climate change and stop expanding dirty fossil fuels in our oceans," said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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