By Oceana

Right now, families of seals are swimming in Arctic waters. But just like you and me, seals need to breathe and must take a break from their underwater lives to come to the surface for air.

Seals, whales, and many other animals depend on both clean air and clean water to survive in the fragile Arctic environment. But oil drilling threatens both.

Spilled oil collects in the same breaks in the ice that seals and other animals use to come up for air. And in the remote Arctic, no one can clean up spilled oil fast enough to prevent animals from inhaling its toxic fumes or becoming coated by oil. But we can prevent Arctic oil spills – by not drilling there.

Also, imagine if instead of inhaling crisp, clean Arctic air, seal pups are forced to breathe in oil and its toxic fumes – potentially deadly poisons they can’t escape.

Our government is about to let oil companies drill in the Arctic, endangering seals, other marine animals, and local communities who rely on a healthy Arctic Ocean. But the drilling hasn’t started yet – and we still have a chance to save seals from a slow, painful death from toxic oil.

Tell our government you won’t let it put the lives of seal pups and other Arctic animals on the line – speak out against Arctic offshore drilling now and help us reach our goal of 30,000 signatures in the next 72 hours»

Recently, the government approved Shell’s plan for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea. Other oil companies are hot on their heels. But the truth of the matter is that there are no proven techniques for successfully cleaning up Arctic oil spills.

The results of an Arctic oil spill would be deadly. Spilled oil would gather in openings in the ice – the same openings that marine mammals like seals use to come up for air. Inhaling oil and its toxic fumes can slowly poison, or even kill, marine mammals. Once seals’ coats get oily, they lose their insulating powers, leaving them to freeze to death without the protection of their coats.

Shell says they can clean up 95% of an oil spill. Not only has that never happened in an offshore oil spill, anywhere in the world, Shell has not proven their equipment will work in the Arctic. Just last month, a leak from a Shell drilling platform dumped more than 50,000 gallons in the North Sea and they cleaned up hardly a drop.

Luckily, it isn’t a done deal yet – we still have a chance to stop drilling in American Arctic waters until Shell and other oil companies can prove without a doubt they can clean up their mess. But there is no time to waste.

Don’t let Shell and other oil companies pull the wool over our government’s eyes – stand up for the lives of seals and other Arctic animals and help us reach our goal of 30,000 signatures in the next 72 hours»

Oil companies are clamoring to drill in the Arctic, despite knowing the risks of spills. If we don’t stop them now, it might be too late for the seals and other animals in Arctic seas. Send the Department of the Interior a message today that we want a healthy, vibrant Arctic.

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