37 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1271 (2013-2014)
Oil and Gas in America's Arctic Ocean: Past Problems Counsel Precaution

handle is hein.journals/sealr37 and id is 1383 raw text is: Oil and Gas in America's Arctic Ocean:
Past Problems Counsel Precaution
Michael Le Vine, Peter Van Tuyn, Layla Hughes*
Although it can be a forbidding moonscape, the Arctic is also var-
ied, majestic, serene, memorably beautiful and occasionally gentle.
The far north is not only a prowling bear, a battering storm and vi-
cious cold, but also a fat bumblebee buzzing among delicately yel-
low arctic poppies.'
I believe there will not be an oil spill.2
For most of history, the U.S. Arctic Ocean was protected from
large-scale industrial activities by sea ice, remoteness, and plentiful re-
sources in other, more accessible regions. That reality is rapidly changing
as receding sea ice and the growing world demand for resources have led
to increased corporate interest in the Arctic Ocean. This industrial pres-
sure occurs against the backdrop of a swiftly changing climate, an ab-
sence of holistic planning for the future of the region, missing scientific
information, and a lack of proven technologies.
The potential for industrial development in the America's Arctic
Ocean has generated substantial controversy. At the center of this con-
troversy are a series of decisions made by the federal government to al-
low offshore oil and gas activities in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
* Michael LeVine is Pacific Senior Counsel for Oceana, an international nonprofit organization
dedicated to maintaining and restoring ocean ecosystems. He is based in Juneau, AK. Peter Van
Tuyn is an environmental attorney with the law firm Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, L.L.C., located in
Anchorage, AK. Layla Hughes is an attorney and founder of Arctic Policy Consulting. The authors
owe a debt of gratitude to Karen Schmidt, Lisa Marrioti, Erik Grafe, Susan Murray, Chris Krenz,
Leah Donahey, Kristen Miller, Brian McLane, and Cindy Shogan for their contributions to, and
support for, this article.
1. Dr. William E. Taylor, Foreword to FRED BRUEMMER, THE ARCTIC WORLD 1 (1985).
2. John M. Broder, Shell Is Likely to Receive Permits for Oil Drilling OffAlaska, N.Y. TIMES
(June 26, 2012), http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/science/earth/interior-department-will-likely-
allow-shell-to-drill-in-arctic.html? r-0 (quoting Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar).


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