Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hurray for the polar bears!

News from the Natural Resources Defense Council
Dear Nicole,

I'm thrilled to report a major victory for polar bears, endangered bowhead whales and other species that live in and around the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

A federal appeals court has just ruled that the Bush Administration's approval of Shell's plan to drill for oil next to the Refuge in Alaska's Beaufort Sea is illegal.
NRDC and Earthjustice -- along with a coalition of Alaska Native organizations and conservation groups -- went to federal court and proved that Shell's rush to industrialize this fragile ecosystem posed a greater threat to wildlife and the Inupiat people than the Bush Administration was willing to admit.

Now the court is sending the government back to the drawing board to study and disclose the "significant harm" that Shell’s drilling could cause.

Our courtroom victory shows that oil companies can't get away with simply killing wildlife and destroying the Inupiat's way of life, which depends on that wildlife.

The government's own experts predicted that drilling in the Beaufort would cause at least one oil spill, which would have been an unmitigated disaster for wildlife as there is no known method for cleaning up oil in this icebound sea.

That's why we are so determined to keep Shell -- and all the oil companies -- out of our most sensitive Arctic environments.

Thank you again for steadfastly standing with us and defending the coastline of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!

Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. The polar bear is not out of danger yet. In fact, right now NRDC is fighting the Bush Administration, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and America's biggest polluters for the sake of polar bear survival. DONATE NOW to help us win two critical cases that could help save the polar bear from rampant industrialization of its home.

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