Comment Submitted:RE: Hold No New Lease Sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea
As an anthropology trained archaeologist, I worked in the early history of the village of Skagway, where Alaska's first railroad was built, through the mountains, into the Canadian Yukon as part of the often ill-advised gold-rush. I've seen molybdenum mined in British Columbia hauled by that train and shipped out of Skagway before the mines closed and the entertainer Dolly Parton purchased some of their old locomotives for Dollywood. Today tourism is the primary economic impetus that keeps the trains running in Skagway. And that is another point about dangerous drilling and shipping. I think we should be working with our neighbors more and preventing ecologic calamity. In that I support the larger statement of "Earthjustice" and their conclusions.
I am encouraged by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)'s decision to take a deliberate and fully informed approach to the scoping process for the 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. As a part of this informed approach, it must be understood that oil and gas activities on the Arctic OCS present unique and unknown risks. The lack of scientific information, the lack of effective spill prevention and response capability for the Arctic Ocean, and the potentially significant impacts of oil and gas activity on wildlife and subsistence practices make additional leasing inappropriate at this time.
To avoid irreversible impacts to marine life and the surrounding ecosystem of the Arctic, I urge you to exclude the Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi Sea planning areas, including Hope Basin, from the 2012-17 leasing schedule.
Thank you for considering my comment.