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Clinton tweets opposition to Arctic drilling

Hillary Clinton used Twitter on Tuesday to declare her opposition to Arctic offshore drilling, and her brief statement was applauded by environmentalists, but denounced by Republicans.

Clinton’s statement came a day after Royal Dutch Shell won final approval to conduct full exploration drilling at one of the six wells it plans for the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska.

It set off a series of reactions from opponents and supporters of Shell’s efforts to drill for oil in the remote Arctic waters off Alaska.

Environmentalists respond

The leader of Greenpeace USA said Clinton “got it right on the Arctic.”

“She joins the growing ranks of politicians who recognize real climate leadership means opposing Arctic drilling. What happens in the Arctic matters to us all,” Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard said in a statement. “America is living with the floods, storms and droughts caused by global warming, and Arctic drilling will only make it worse. Shell and President Obama have ignored the world’s best scientists, as well as millions of people around the world, who have all said repeatedly that the melting Arctic is a dire warning, not an invitation.”

Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, issued a similar message.

“Thank you, Hillary Clinton for being an Arctic Ocean champion and showing leadership on an important environmental and climate issue. We agree that the Arctic is too special to drill and that it is reckless and risky to move forward in a harsh and unforgiving environment,” Shogan said in a statement.

She added that “Shell has already proven time and time again that it is incompetent and careless,” with a trouble-laden 2012 season followed by a mishap this year that put a gash in the Fennica, an icebreaker that is a key vessel in the company’s fleet.

Support for Arctic drilling

Former Florida governor and GOP Republican contender Jeb Bush took to Twitter to criticize Clinton’s position.

“Wrong. Being more-anti energy than Obama is extreme. We should embrace energy revolution to lower prices & create US jobs,” Bush said in his response tweet to Clinton.

This story is posted on BarentsObserver as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.