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

Russia Celebrates International Day of Rivers

First published on Rivers without Boundaries On March 14, 2014, at public hearings in the town of Mogocha, located in Zabaikalsky Province in eastern Russia near the border of China, local people endorsed an ambitious plan to develop a nature reserve on 330,000 hectares. This protected area is being designed to safeguard the upper flow of … 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

Big Win for Endangered Whales

It’s official, and I’m jumping with joy. We protected one of the planet’s most endangered whale populations from additional oil drilling near Sakhalin Island in the Russian sub-Arctic. Sakhalin Energy, a conglomerate led by Shell Oil and Russia’s Gazprom, asked for two new oil drilling platforms that would have threatened the primary feeding ground of the last … Read more

Snow Leopards Saved From Gas Pipeline

After years of local and international resistance, Russia’s oil giant Gazprom finally abandoned plans to build a gas pipeline that threatened indigenous cultural sites and untouched wilderness in the Altai Republic in Siberia. In the last decade, the construction of multi-national pipelines has received worldwide attention—the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. … 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

Announcing the 2013 Whitley Award Winner Eugene Simonov

Pacific Environment is proud to announce the winner of the 2013 Whitley Award – our own Eugene Simonov. The award is well deserved; it recognizes Eugene’s talent, years of hard work, dedication, and his tremendous impact on the environment in his community and beyond. Eugene joined Pacific Environment as the Conservation Science Specialist in February 2013 … Read more

The Arctic: The New Wild West

Centuries ago, European settlers stumbled upon the New World, a pristine world teaming with wildlife and abundance. Immediately the race was on to exploit these resources which were thought to be limitless. We now know what happened to the great northern forests, the prairie, the buffalo and the Native Americans who depended on the environment … 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.