August 17, 2011
No to Arctic Drilling
By FRANCES G. BEINECKE
ABOUT 55,000 gallons of oil have escaped into the North Sea since last week from a leaky pipeline operated by Royal Dutch Shell, about 100 miles off Scotland.
Last year, Americans watched in mounting fury as the oil industry and the federal government struggled for five disastrous months to contain the much larger BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
Now imagine the increased danger and difficulty of trying to cope with a similar debacle off Alaska’s northern coast, where waters are sealed by pack ice for eight months of each year, gales roil fog-shrouded seas with waves up to 20 feet high and the temperature, combined with the wind chill, feels like 10 degrees below zero by late September.