Media Advisory, August 27, 2015
‘Frostpaw’ the Polar Bear to Join Alaska Rally Against Obama’s Arctic Drilling
Weak Climate Policies Highlighted During Obama’s Alaska Visit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Center for Biological Diversity’s Frostpaw the Polar Bear will be in Alaska in the coming days to join other environmental activists in urging President Obama to call off plans to drill for oil in the Arctic and adopt stronger policies to address the global climate crisis.
Obama and leaders of other countries with interests in the Arctic will be in Anchorage to attend the U.S. State Department’s Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER). The White House says Obama will then travel around Alaska promoting his policies for addressing climate change, which don’t go far enough to combat global warming and are undercut by his recent decision to let Shell drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea.
“This Alaska visit really highlights the contradictions between President Obama’s energy and climate change policies. It makes no sense to open the Arctic up to offshore oil drilling while trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Center’s Alaska Director Rebecca Noblin, who will be escorting Frostpaw. “The people and wildlife of Alaska are being endangered by Shell’s dangerous drilling project, which undermines Obama’s climate change leadership at a moment when it’s needed the most.”
What: Frostpaw the Polar Bear and other climate activists will be in Alaska urging President Obama to take strong action to curb climate change and slow the melting of Arctic ice that is placing polar bears on the path to extinction by the end of this century.
Where and When: Frostpaw will take part in the “Our Climate! Our Future!” rally (http://www.ourclimateourfuture.com/) starting at noon on Aug. 31 at the park strip (W. 9th Street, Anchorage, between G and I streets). The rally will target the nearby GLACIER event with calls for stronger action on climate change and responsible stewardship of Arctic resources. Frostpaw may also follow Obama down to a reported appearance near Seward on Sept. 1, with details to be announced.
Who: The Alaska Climate Action Network (www.alaskaclimate.org) is a group of Alaska-based climate activists organizing the rally with support from national environmental organizations including the Center, Greenpeace, Oceana, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club.
Media Availability: Frostpaw and other Center activists are available for interviews.
Frostpaw the Polar Bear has followed President Obama for several years, from Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard. Among the key calls for action to the president:
Rescind proposals to drill offshore for oil in the Arctic and along the Atlantic coast. Not only does this offshore drilling worsen the climate crisis by expanding our reliance on fossil fuels; it also increases the risks of oil spills and other damage to wildlife including polar bears, birds and fish.
Halt all new fossil fuel development on public land. The federal government auctions off millions of acres of public land to private interests for drilling, fracking and mining — and one-fifth of America’s planet warming pollution stems from fossil fuel leases on public lands.
Cut greenhouse pollution from airplanes and other unregulated sources. The EPA recently found that airplane carbon pollution endangers our climate — but now the agency must regulate these dangerous emissions, which are projected to more than triple by 2050, as well as other unregulated sources like refineries and cement plants.
Reject, once and for all, the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of oil every day from Canada’s tar sands, raising the risk of disastrous spills (even the government admits it could spill 100 times in its lifetime) threatening people, wildlife and wild places. The pipeline also doubles down on dirty fossil fuels that drive the climate crisis.
Be an international climate leader. The whole world is watching and waiting for the United States to lead the global movement to solve the climate crisis. That will require visionary leadership, bold and binding plans, and setting a science-based U.S. target for carbon pollution cuts that put us on a path to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.