Former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta and former EPA administrator and Obama climate policy director Carol Browner officials have changed their tune and are now opposed to oil and gas drilling in the arctic. They argue that a “series of mishaps and errors” have them convinced it can’t be done safely and responsibly.
“We were open to offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic provided oil companies and the government could impose adequate safeguards, ensure sufficient response capacity and develop a deeper understanding of how oil behaves in ice and freezing water,” write Podesta and Browner, both now working at the liberal Center for American Progress.
“Now, following a series of mishaps and errors, as well as overwhelming weather conditions, it has become clear that there is no safe and responsible way to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean,” they added.
Podesta and Browner argue that despite reports warning about potential hazards of arctic drilling and advances in technology and expertise, Royal Dutch Shell has shown it is ill-prepared for arctic drilling. The two go farther to argue that arctic drilling should be stopped altogether.
“The Obama administration shouldn’t issue any new permits to Shell this year and should suspend all action on other companies’ applications to drill in this remote and unpredictable region,” write Podesta and Browner.
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