Let the drilling begin

Oil companies have been granted approval to drill in the Arctic Ocean

Oil companies recently received federal approval to pursue more than 500 drilling leases off the coast of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean and Chukchi Sea.

The Obama administration announced in early October it would move forward with the leases, according to media sources. Obama’s decision is one of several recent moves siding with energy companies over environmentalists.

Those opposed to the drilling leases question oil companies’ ability to respond to a spill in an arctic environment. Cleaning up a spill similar to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico could prove unmanageable in the arctic ice, environmentalists say.

Alaska’s legislators have generally supported oil production in the Arctic Ocean. Ninety percent of Alaska’s revenue comes from oil production in Prudhoe Bay.