As the race to stake claims for future oil drilling in the Arctic takes off in anticipation of an ice-free region sooner rather than later, and as oil companies and Congress members continue to push for the US to drill in the Arctic, here are some sobering words from the head of the Coast Guard on how woefully unprepared the US is to deal with an oil spill there (h/t Climate Progress).
This is Admiral Robert Papp speaking at a Senate hearing on Arctic oil drilling yesterday:
If [an oil spill] were to happen off the North Slope of Alaska we'd have nothing. We're starting from ground zero today... We have zero to operate with at present.
Remember that even when the Coast Guard is prepared, as it claims it was with the BP oil spill, oil can flow for months before being halted.