Scientists to Obama: Halt Oil Work in Arctic

More than 400 scientists have signed a letter urging President Obama to suspend offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic Ocean until ecosystem risks can be fully analyzed.

"The Arctic Ocean is our last opportunity to prevent damage to a pristine environment that will be a legacy to our children," said Henry Huntington, science director for the Pew Environment Group's Arctic program. "We must stop and do the thorough research that is needed to protect this special place that is already stressed by climate change."

The group is asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reconsider an oil and gas leasing plan that opens up most of the Arctic Ocean to oil development. They say that plan was made without ample environmental effect analysis and consultation.

Published: September 24, 2009