On Thursday, the Trump administration released an environmental review of a proposed offshore drilling development off of the coast of Alaska.
The company behind the project, Hilcorp, plans to build a 9-acre artificial island and 5.6 mile long pipeline in the Beaufort Sea. The project, which the Trump administration’s environment impact statement proposes to green light, will be the first for federal waters in the Arctic.
Unfortunately, this project poses several serious problems for the surrounding environment. Previous project studies have estimated a 75 percent chance of a major oil spill.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity:
“Arctic offshore drilling can’t be done safely, particularly by this company. The icy, stormy waters make Arctic drilling inherently hazardous, and Hilcorp has a history of spills and regulatory violations. Polar bears, bowhead whales and other imperiled Arctic species will be in terrible danger if the Trump administration allows this reckless project to move forward.”
What’s more, the proposed project would several disrupt the nearby endangered Polar Bear’s critical habitat:
Hilcorp has previously struggled with fixing leaks in its underwater pipelines in Cook Inlet.
The company has also been fined by Alaska’s state regulators more than any other company, who state “disregard for regulatory compliance is endemic to Hilcorp’s approach to its Alaska operations.”