For Immediate Release

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Virginia Cramer, 804-519-8449,

Obama Administration Takes Up Shell Arctic Ocean Drilling Plan

WASHINGTON - Today the Obama administration began consideration of a plan by Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea. The timeline set by the administration rushes the review process, allowing an initial public comment phase of just 10 days, despite the complicated challenges presented by any attempt to drill in the Arctic environment.

In response Dan Ritzman, Alaska program director for Sierra Club's Our Wild America campaign issued the following statement.

"In just two weeks the U.S. is set to take over as the chair of the Arctic Council. Now is the time for the Obama administration to show leadership on climate, not hurry through dirty energy projects. The government's own analysis shows that drilling in the Chukchi Sea comes with a 75 percent chance of an oil spill.

"It also brings a 100 percent chance of worsening climate disruption. The science is clear; progress on climate depends on keeping dirty fuels in the ground, especially in the Arctic."


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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