Earth Day, Every Day: A Message from Robert Redford & the NRDC

Like many of these messages, this one will bleed into the right hand column. es

“Please join me in telling President Obama to put the Arctic off-limits to oil drilling.”
— Robert Redford

Help stop Arctic drilling

Four years ago this week we witnessed the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. We must not let the Arctic become Big Oil’s next victim.


Dear Ellen Sue,

Four years ago this weekend, BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, spewing a river of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and triggering a slow-motion catastrophe.

That disaster made a mockery of oil industry claims that new technology has made offshore drilling safe for our environment.

So it boggles the mind that Shell Oil is still pressing to drill in one of the most fragile and remote ecosystems on Earth: the Arctic Ocean, home to more than half our nation’s polar bears, an array of endangered wildlife and Native communities that depend on a pristine ecosystem for survival.

Even today, the Deepwater Horizon spill continues to take a terrible toll on the Gulf, with health problems plaguing both wildlife and people.

One thing is clear: We shouldn’t let Big Oil anywhere near the Polar Bear Seas of the Arctic.

That’s why I’ve recorded this new one-minute video especially for NRDC BioGems Defenders like you. Please watch the video — then join me in telling President Obama to put the Arctic Ocean off-limits to the oil industry.

Closing the Arctic to rigs is only common sense. If the oil industry was utterly unprepared for a blowout in the balmy Gulf of Mexico, how in the world can we trust them in a treacherous environment of 20-foot seas, gale-force winds, sub-zero temperatures and up to eight months of solid pack ice?

Shell’s aggressive attempts to drill in the Polar Beas Seas have already produced an alarming series of blunders, accidents and near-misses — proving above all that this uniquely rugged region is no place for drilling.

Just two weeks ago, a long-awaited Coast Guard report said Shell’s failed attempt to tow its Arctic Ocean drill rig in 2012 was riddled with poor planning and judgment — and involved numerous potential violations of the law.

And three months ago a federal court basically said the government has no idea what the real consequences of drilling in the Arctic Ocean will be. That’s just one more reason it has no business letting Shell operate there.

With Shell’s drilling plans now on hold, President Obama has a golden opportunity to apply the lessons of the Deepwater Horizon and completely ban oil rigs from the Arctic Ocean.

But that is unlikely to happen unless we make our voices heard.

Tell President Obama to chart a new, more responsible course by putting the Arctic completely off-limits to Shell and every other oil company — for good.

With that one move the President would both preserve our spectacular natural heritage and protect our climate by keeping the Arctic’s vast store of fossil fuels safely in the ground.

I hope you’ll take a minute to watch my video now. Then, join me and NRDC in calling on President Obama to protect one of our last and greatest wild places from Big Oil — while we still have the chance. Thank you.


Robert Redford

“Please join me in telling President Obama to put the Arctic off-limits to oil drilling.”
— Robert Redford



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