WASHINGTON – Today, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a new proposal to weaken environmental safeguards for offshore drilling in the Arctic. The plan would remove nearly half the provisions currently in place to protect Arctic waters and ecosystems from a devastating oil spill, including requirements that protect against well blowouts.
The Trump administration is also racing to hold a lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before leaving office in January, despite concerns about threats to the climate, wildlife, and Indigenous rights.
In response, Sierra Club Lands Protection Program Director Athan Manuel released the following statement:
“Donald Trump has spent the last four years selling off our public lands and waters to fossil fuel interests and gutting every environmental protection he could get his hands on. Now he’s pulling out all the stops to do as much damage as possible in the final weeks before leaving office. The Arctic’s remote and harsh conditions make drilling especially difficult and dangerous, and spills nearly impossible to clean up. That means we need stronger safeguards against disastrous oil spills, not weaker. Slashing these protections is a recipe for disaster for this fragile environment and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.”