The Arctic Offers a Glimpse Into Our Planet’s Future

This past summer an important thing happened in America’s Arctic. President Obama, who previously had only stopped in Alaska to refuel Air Force One, decided to spend some quality time with us to explore our magnificent landscapes. And he fell in love—not only with our jaw-dropping scenery, but also with our vibrant Alaska Native cultures. … Read more

Arctic Peoples and Wildlife Receive Unique, Historic Protection

Today, we celebrate a historic win for the Arctic, its wildlife, and its peoples. After years of negotiations, at 9 a.m. London time, the international community agreed to establish some special protections for this magnificent region. The new laws, known as the Polar Code, forbid ships traversing the Arctic to dump garbage, sewage, and oil … Read more

25 Years Later: Did We Learn Anything from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?

This year’s traditional Iditarod dog sled race began, as usual, with great excitement along the snowy streets of my hometown, Anchorage, Alaska. Dogs yelped and cried, straining their harnesses, eager to leap into the air and run. Meanwhile, we Alaskans, dressed in bright, traditional parkas, were packed tightly on the sidewalks surrounding the staging areas. … Read more

Creating a Strong Polar Code Is Our Priority

We all know climate change is having a huge impact here in the northland – and with it the Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. Arctic sea ice is disappearing fast. Credible research now suggests that the Arctic may be ice free during the summer as early as this decade —84 years earlier than previously predicted … Read more

Shell Abandons Plan for Drilling in Arctic Seas

Yesterday, the CEO of Shell Oil announced sharply lower earnings and canceled plans to try to drill in Arctic seas off the coast of Alaska.  While couched in terms of a temporary decision applying only to this summer’s drilling season, the actual press announcement by the company had the feel of a more dramatic change … Read more

Kicking Off 2014 With a Bang

For more than seven years, Pacific Environment and allies have single-handedly been stopping Shell Oil from drilling in fragile Arctic seas. Now, Shell is busy preparing to return to the Arctic in time to drill during the summer season. But this week a federal court threw a wrench into the oil giant’s plans when it … Read more

Protecting the Arctic Means Protecting Its People

With climate change melting Arctic ice at an ever alarming rate, we know big changes are in store for this pristine environment. But what impact will the big meltdown have on people? I have talked with climatologists who say that one big impact will be erratic weather. High pressure tends to center over the coldest … Read more

Court Upholds Shell’s Oil Spill Plans Despite Serious Questions

Today, the U.S. District Court in Alaska ruled the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement complied with the law when it approved Shell Oil’s plans for preventing and cleaning up an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by a coalition of conservation organizations made up of the Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, Pacific Environment, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL), and Sierra Club. Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, represented the organizations. The organizations issued the following statement:

You Spoke Up and the U.S. Coast Guard Is Listening

Earlier this year, Pacific Environment exposed how the U.S. delegation to the U.N. agency overseeing the creation of new international shipping rules in Arctic waters led the charge for shockingly weak environmental protections. Headed by the U.S. Coast Guard, our representatives at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) strongly opposed Canada and Russia’s proposal to prohibit … Read more

A Win in Our Fight Against Dangerous Oil Spill Chemicals

Pacific Environment often opposes poorly planned oil drilling because of the grave risk of oil spill disasters. But it turns out even the clean-up can cause ecological and human disaster. Right now toxic chemicals can be used to clean up oil spills in U.S. waters. In the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill … Read more

Conservation Groups Ask Obama for a Suspension of Arctic Ocean Drilling

Today CEOs from Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy, Pacific Environment, Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society called on Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to suspend offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean.

Lawsuit Targets $3 Billion in U.S. Funding for Fossil Fuel Project in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s nearly $3 billion in financing for a massive Australian fossil fuel facility in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas facility will threaten sea turtles, dugongs and many other protected marine species, as well as the Great Barrier Reef itself.

Lawsuit Launched Against Multi-Billion-Dollar U.S. Subsidy of Fossil Fuel Projects in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Three conservation groups initiated a legal challenge today to the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s nearly $3 billion in financing for two massive fossil-fuel facilities in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities will threaten dugongs, sea turtles, saltwater crocodiles and numerous other protected marine species within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.