11 Nov 2010:
Oil Companies Not Prepared
To Respond to Massive Arctic Spill
Harsh weather conditions, darkness, and shifting sea ice could delay efforts to respond to offshore oil disasters in the remote Arctic by six months or more, and likely result in oil being trapped in and under
the ice for years, according to a new report. The report by the Pew Environment Group
, which comes as the oil industry pushes for the increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean to be opened to drilling, warns that oil companies are unprepared to deal with an Arctic spill. A massive spill could severely harm populations of walrus, seal, and polar bears
, and decimate the indigenous communities that rely on hunting. The report also notes that oil persists in cold Arctic waters far longer than in warmer waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, site of the BP spill. The report recommends reforms that would close gaps in risk analysis, response planning, oversight, and scientific research. “The Gulf of Mexico catastrophe
showed us the consequences of lax oversight and inadequate response capacity, even in temperate waters near population centers,” said Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew’s U.S. Arctic Program.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Subscribe to our feed:
South African photojournalist Adam Welz documents the harrowing relocation of six white rhinos to a region that has lost all its rhinos to poaching. View the gallery.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A Yale Environment 360
video explores Ecuador’s threatened Yasuni Biosphere Reserve with scientists inventorying its stunning forests and wildlife. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Watch the video.