Activists in kayaks are training for another "Paddle in Seattle" in order to protest Royal Dutch Shell's rig that is on its way to explore the Arctic for possible oil deposits. Michael Brune, head of the Sierra Club, has stated that he is very pleased with the turnout, which is also driving funds to the organization faster than before.
The group has started a signature campaign opposing President Barack Obama's decision in favor of Shell last month, garnering the largest amount of signatures than any appeal brought forward during the past two years, according to Reuters.
"Our members are outraged because they believe fighting climate change is a moral challenge and they ask how the president can reconcile this move with his goals on climate change," Brune said.
"All of it is getting a much higher response rate than we expected," he added.
Drilling in the Arctic has become symbolic for numerous environmental groups, including Sierra Club and Greenpeace. The activists have kept their eyes on trying to stop major oil extraction projects, aiming to keep carbon reserves buried in order to avoid emissions that are believed to foster global warming, Reuters reported.
Shell, however, has already invested $7 billion in the Arctic exploration project, though the company perceives that commercial oil production in the area is still 10 to 15 years away.
Echoing the company's sentiment, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith stated that the global demand for energy, which is perceived to double by 2050, can be addressed by further oil drilling, according to Reuters.
"We'll need energy in all forms, and Alaska's outer continental shelf resources could play a crucial role in helping meet that challenge," he said.
Travis Nichols, a spokesman on Arctic issues at Greenpeace, has stated that the organization has been able to collect almost 280,000 signatures on its campaign against Arctic drilling, Reuters reported.
"We've seen expressions of support from Argentina to Amsterdam," he said.
Out of the 280,000 signatures collected, however, only 15,000 of them have come from the U.S.