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Obama Allies Browner, Podesta Now Oppose Arctic Drilling

Jan 18, 2013
(The Hill)

Officials with the Center for American Progress (CAP), an influential liberal think tank with deep White House ties, have come out against Arctic oil drilling as the Obama administration faces crucial decisions about the region.

Carol Browner, a senior CAP fellow and President Obama’s former energy czar, and CAP founder John Podesta explained their opposition to drilling off the northern coast of Alaska in a joint Bloomberg op-ed.

The op-ed by Podesta, who co-chaired Obama’s transition team after his 2008 election, and Browner follows Royal Dutch Shell's troubled preliminary development efforts in Arctic seas last year.

"We were open to offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic provided oil companies and the government could impose adequate safeguards, ensure sufficient response capacity and develop a deeper understanding of how oil behaves in ice and freezing water. Now, following a series of mishaps and errors, as well as overwhelming weather conditions, it has become clear that there is no safe and responsible way to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean," they write.