Press Room

President Obama Approves Arctic Drilling Permit for Shell

“This is just cynical partisan politics … it’s a phony deal,” says Audubon CEO David Yarnold

Responding to news that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today approved Shell’s exploration plan for drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer, ignoring concerns raised by conservation groups, the National Audubon Society released the following statement:

“Some ideas are just non-starters, like drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (@david_yarnold). “Spills under ice sheets can’t be controlled, and America doesn’t need the oil in order to maintain its energy independence. So this is just cynical partisan politics, a public relations bone that the Obama administration is throwing to Shell. This way, the Obama team gets to pretend that ‘all of the above’ (including risky offshore drilling) is a legitimate energy strategy as a way to deflect criticism from a much-needed global agreement on greenhouse gas emissions controls. It’s a phony deal, but worse, issuing this first permit is a slippery slope that could lead to environmental catastrophe for birds, other wildlife and people. Is today’s ruling just bad policy, cynical or politically motivated? How about all of the above?”

The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at and @audubonsociety.


Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez,, (212) 979-3068


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