The head of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says proposed offshore drilling plans for Alaska’s coasts should be reined in because of concerns over oil spills, fisheries, marine mammals, and local residents. In a 26-page report recently made public, NOAA says development should NOT be done in the North Aleutian Basin, because of its environmental sensitivity and the high value of commercial fisheries, particularly in Bristol Bay. It also calls for a ban on Arctic drilling until oil spill clean up and prevention technology is improved. The report says a “precautionary approach” should be used in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas because of warming temperatures and opening sea ice which may lead to unanticipated changes.
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
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