For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Jonathon Berman, (202) 495-3033,

Sierra Club Responds To President Obama’s Decision To Grant Conditional Approval To Shell To Drill In The Arctic

Decision Goes Against Science, Will of the People, and Common Sense

WASHINGTON - Today, President Obama granted conditional approval to Shell to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

The President’s approval comes at a time when electric vehicles are being produced at a record rate and significant increases in vehicle fuel standards have been made due in large part to actions taken by the administration.

Shell previously struggled to drill in the Arctic in 2012, with the attempt ending with their rig, the Kulluk, running aground in what the U.S. Coast Guard labeled “inadequate assessment of management and risks.”

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“President Obama’s decision to undercut his climate legacy and allow Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean goes against science, the will of the people, and common sense.

“The President ignored his advisors when they said that any drilling in the Arctic carries a 75-percent risk of a ‘major’ oil spill; he ignored the people as hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to come together and call on Obama to say ‘Shell No’ to drilling in the Arctic Ocean; and he ignored common sense as Shell continues to commit one reckless mistake after another.

“The simple truth is that if we are to meet our climate goals, we must leave the vast majority of dirty fuels -- including 100% of the Arctic Ocean’s oil-- in the ground.

“The American people can recognize a wrong decision when they see one, and we are committed to growing the ‘Shell No’ movement at a record rate until President Obama cancels all drilling leases and protects the Arctic Ocean.”


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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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