Fighting Extreme Oil & Gas

Much of the cheap and easy oil and gas is gone.

Oil companies are now moving into ecologically rich wilderness areas in the Arctic and the Russian Far East.

Extreme conditions make these high-risk undertakings that endanger wildlife already struggling from habitat loss. These moves also threaten catastrophic oil spills that would devastate ocean life and destroy indigenous livelihoods.

We mobilize communities to fight reckless oil drilling, dangerous pipelines and other unneeded oil infrastructure.

  • Pacific Environment sounded the alarm on the dangers of offshore oil drilling in Alaska, and it was one of the first groups to partner with local and indigenous communities to oppose it.
    Whit Sheard, Director, International Arctic Program, Ocean Conservancy
  • In partnership with indigenous leaders, we pioneered the fight against Shell’s plans to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska. This inspires the formation of a huge environmental coalition and successfully blocks the drilling plans—until today. Partner Caroline Cannon receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
  • We and partners protected Lake Baikal, the "Galapagos of Russia," from potential oil spills. The Siberia-Pacific Pipeline is rerouted away to protect the watershed. The pipeline's oil terminal is relocated to protect critical habitat for the endangered Amur leopard.
  • We worked with Altai partners to protect the sacred and environmentally sensitive Ukok Plateau from damage from a proposed gas pipeline. Our efforts help unify dozens of local, national and international groups and tighten cooperation between indigenous and environmental organizations.
  • We and partners forced Shell to reroute a subsea pipeline to protect the endangered western Pacific gray whale near Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. Former Partner Dmitry Lisitsyn receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
  • Shell in Alaska
  • Lakes and Leopards
  • Altai Pipeline
  • Whales in Russia
Grassroots leaders collaborate with community members to watchdog existing oil projects and push them to clean up toxic sludge and to stop dumping waste. (Photo: Pacific Environment/P)
Local partners lead mobilizing efforts that unite people from all walks of life against fossil fuel projects. (Photo: Pacific Environment/P)

Mobilizing People to Defend Wild Places and the Climate

Putting money into fossil fuels is a loser’s game—for people and the planet.


We partner with grassroots activists to mobilize public resistance to climate-changing fossil fuel projects and to preserve unique ecosystems around the Pacific Rim.

We ally with national environmental groups to challenge Arctic offshore oil drilling in U.S. courts.

Our Impact

We foster alliances between environmental groups and indigenous leaders to protect fragile ecosystems. Many indigenous communities depend on the land, rivers and seas for food security and cultural integrity.

Together with our allies, we protect coastal and marine ecosystems in the Arctic from offshore oil drilling.

We and local grassroots leaders force oil companies like Shell and ExxonMobil to ensure that existing oil project operate in line with the best international social and environmental standards to protect workers, communities and the environment.

  • The vast majority of historical global emissions have come from developed countries like the United States, the EU, Japan, and Canada.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, have already warmed the globe by more than 1°C since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
  • The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5°C to avoid the worst impacts of dangerous climate change.