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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar,

We urge you to call a halt to Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer. Shell’s oil spill response plan offers no proof that Shell can effectively clean up a spill in the Arctic.

You recently called for an expedited assessment of Shell’s 2012 drilling season, including the grounding of the Kulluk and problems with Shell’s other drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer. We applaud this review and hope that it will be a public, transparent process resulting in an objective and comprehensive review.

What’s more, we are asking the Department of the Interior to ensure that the assessment addresses a fundamental issue: whether it is possible to conduct safe and responsible Arctic drilling operations at this time. For now, we’re calling for a suspension to drilling activities in the Arctic seas.

No one has demonstrated the ability to effectively clean up a major oil spill in the Arctic, and the damage from such a spill could be catastrophic. The Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas help to regulate our climate and provide vital habitat for iconic wildlife like walruses, polar bears, bowhead whales and migratory birds.

Two years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster taught us that we must plan for the worst. Shell has failed to do so. We urge you not to authorize Shell’s dangerous plan to drill in the Arctic.

Sincerely,

Ocean Conservancy and Your Name

The latest episode in this saga? Shell lost control of its drilling rig, the Kulluk, allowing it to run aground near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ordered a 60-day review of all aspects of Shell’s work in the Arctic. While we welcome this review, we’re asking Secretary Salazar to do more:

The investigation must be objective, thorough and transparent, and, for now, we must also tell Secretary Salazar to suspend all drilling activities in the Arctic.

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