Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Friday, April 13, 2001 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Mayor of Cincinnati Declares State of Emergency and...
2001-04-13

Alaska Oil Insiders Expose the Dangers of Arctic Drilling

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

The technology used to drill oil in the arctic region can be fatal to workers and devastating to the environment.This, from a group of workers at the Prudhoe Bay site that is a model for proposed development of the Arctic NationalWildlife Refuge. In information released today, the whistle blowers charge that cost-cutting design, deferredmaintenance, leaky and stuck valves, and under staffing make the arctic oil wells a disaster waiting to happen.Already accidents at Prudhoe Bay have resulted in hundreds of contaminating spills, a major fire and the deaths ofseveral workers.

Despite assurances by the Bush administration that the technology is safe, accidents plague the oil industry.Yesterday in Brazil, an offshore blowout forced the evacuation of workers and dumped thousands of gallons of crudeinto the sea. Just three weeks before a fire and explosion at another Brazilian facility killed 11 workers and sankthe world’s biggest floating oil rig. Also yesterday, an oil rig in New Mexico blew and burst into flames, injuringthree workers, one critically.

Drilling conditions in the arctic are far more difficult. At Prudhoe, workers maintain and inspect open-air wellfacilities throughout the severe winters. The whistle blowers charge that if there were a serious accident, theymight not know for days. And even then, they might be unable to reach machinery that is buried in snow and blasted byhigh winds.

If Bush and his Interior Secretary Gale Norton get their way, similar technology will be used to open up the pristineArctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Guests:

  • Chuck Hamel, former oil industry insider.
  • Jim Carlton, staff reporter, Wall Street Journal.

Related link:


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.