House Bill to Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling
Bill intends prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean
Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) introduced the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015 that will prohibit new or renewed oil and gas leases in the Arctic Ocean.
The bill comes on the heels of Royal Dutch Shell’s statement that the company will end drilling operations in the Arctic Ocean for the foreseeable future. Huffman’s bill would effectively bring a permanent end to drilling operations in the area.
In a statement Huffman said, “The news that Shell will end its Arctic drilling is a welcome victory for the marine environment, but now Congress must act to permanently protect the Arctic Ocean and put it off-limits to any future irresponsible drilling proposals. The Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act would keep Alaska’s environment safe, permanently.”
Huffman is author of the bipartisan Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, which would protect 1.5 million acres in the Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. The Department of Interior has stated that there could be a 75 percent chance of oil spills due to drilling in the Arctic.
The introduced bill cites the Deepwater Horizon explosion and offers that Shell’s drill site in the Chukchi Sea is over 900 air miles from the nearest Coast Guard station in Kodiak and over 1,200 miles from the nearest deep-water port in Dutch Harbor.