PERREAULT Magazine OCT | NOV 2015 - Page 37

Perreault Magazine - 37 -

This month, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit the Alaskan Arctic and his trip shone a welcome spotlight on the urgency of combating climate change. He visited melting glaciers and eroding villages and danced with school kids north of the Arctic Circle, but he was dogged at every step by questions about his recent approval of Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling plans.

Obama has done more than any previous president to restrict greenhouse gas emissions, but his administration remains stuck in a contradictory policy of promoting fossil fuel extraction that threatens to “lock-in” decades of emissions that we can’t afford.

In response to these criticisms, Obama administration officials and supporters, have tried to separate oil drilling from climate change. Senior White House advisor Brian Deese “caution[ed] against characterizing” Arctic drilling as undermining Obama’s climate goals and highlighted the continued need for domestic oil production during the “transition off fossil fuels.” Secretary of State John Kerry echoed this point, stating “Shell and other companies are going to be drilling somewhere over the course of these next years, because we’re not going to suddenly be weaned from oil.”

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