Save walruses from Big Oil

This video is called Polar Bear Versus Walrus Colony – BBC Planet Earth.

From Wildlife Extra:

Environmental groups sue to protect walruses

Six environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service in an attempt to protect the Chukchi Sea Walrus population in Alaska from the damaging effects of oil exploration.

Alaska Wilderness League, Centre for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands claim that the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule that permits oil companies to drill in an area that could cause harm to walruses.

Preliminary drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC has already taken place in a region that is an important feeding area for the mammals, Hannah Shoal, and they could return next year to continue exploration for oil.

Hanna Shoal is a 9,500-square mile critical feeding area for the walrus colony, which gather here in ever-larger numbers as sea ice recedes further due to global warming.

Chukchi Sea Walruses spend their winters in the Bering Sea, but journey into the Chukchi Sea following the melting sea ice during the summer. The ice is crucial to them as they use it as a diving platform to reach food on the shallow continental shelf.

However due to increasing temperatures, the sea ice has receded north beyond the continental shelf where the walrus feed and into water that exceeds a depth of two miles. The animals are unable to dive to the bottom to feed, and from 2007 have been arriving on Alaskan shores to rest in record numbers. In 2014 an estimated 35,000 gathered near Point Lay, near to where drilling may be taking place.

The environmental groups claim that the US Fish and Wildlife Service have understated the damaging effects of seismic airguns, ship traffic and industrial activity related to oil exploration, which they are concerned will chase the walruses away from this important feeding area. They have hired Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe to challenge the agency’s rule on their behalf.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do a much better job of protecting walrus mothers and calves struggling to survive in the dramatically changing Chukchi Sea,” said Grafe. “Today’s challenge seeks to protect walruses from suffering potential serious harm and harassment at the hands of companies like Shell Oil, which crashed and burned during its Arctic Ocean drilling efforts in 2012. Walruses are already under tremendous stress from climate change—their sea ice home is literally melting away. Without adequate analysis, the challenged rules would add to walruses’ woes by allowing drilling and risking oil spills in the areas most important for food and resting. What’s more, drilling would accelerate the climate change already causing so much trouble for walruses.”

10 thoughts on “Save walruses from Big Oil

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  4. From the USA: 01/12/2011 @ 15:10:03

    The big five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – have made over $100 billion in profits so far in 2011.

    At the same time, these same corporate giants are also receiving billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies each year.

    Tell Congress to stand up to the oil industry by supporting any effort to cut Big Oil’s taxpayer-funded subsidies.

    Bob Fertik

    Dear Activist,

    Enough is enough.

    ExxonMobil reported 3rd quarter profits of over $10 billion. Chevron announced $7.83 billion in profits, and BP earned nearly $5 billion.

    But do you know the worst part? While the Big Oil companies rake in obscene profits, they’re also getting billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies.

    Tell Congress: It’s time to end Big Oil handouts. Click here to e-mail your representative in the House.

    Over the past decade, the big five oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell — have enjoyed nearly $1 trillion in profits. Let me repeat that. Since 2001, the world’s biggest oil companies have made nearly $1 trillion in profits.

    At the same time, these oil companies benefit from more than $4 billion in special tax breaks and other giveaways every year. Why are we subsidizing one of the most profitable industries? Why does ExxonMobil get a tax break while so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet and get stuck paying higher gas prices?

    Tell Congress: It’s time to end Big Oil handouts. Click here to e-mail your representative in the House.

    The House of Representatives has already cast several votes this year related to ending oil industry subsidies, but each time Big Oil’s congressional backers successfully beat back those efforts. In fact, pro-polluter lawmakers in the House are instead pushing irresponsible drilling that puts our economy and our environment at risk — demonstrating their energy policy is simple: oil above all.

    But as Congress continues to work on the 2012 budget, we need to make sure that oil industry subsidies are on the chopping block.

    Tell Congress: It’s time to end Big Oil handouts. Click here to e-mail your representative in the House.

    Thank you for taking action.


    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters


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