WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of the Interior said today it will cancel the two potential Arctic lease sales scheduled under the current offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2012 to 2017. The cancellation follows Shell’s announcement last month that it was abandoning immediate plans to drill in the Arctic.
Environment America praised the decision and called on the administration to withdraw plans to lease areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean for drilling from 2017 to 2022. Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America's Stop Drilling Program, issued this statement:
"This is a great move by the president, and great news for the fragile Arctic and the fight against global warming. Now the president should cancel his future plans to allow drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans -- protecting Atlantic sea turtles as well as polar bears, and continuing to move us toward a 100 percent clean energy future."