Eighteen senators sent a letter last week that urged the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to halt all offshore oil and gas drilling permits in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea. 

Led by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the letter to Sally Jewell, secretary of the Interior, stated that by reinstating Shell’s Arctic drilling permit, the senators were concerned that the “Department of the Interior did not fully account for the likelihood of oil spills and the resulting cultural and environmental impacts from fossil fuel development in the Arctic region.”

The letter also said that the oil and gas industry “has demonstrated inadequacies in oil spill prevention and response in challenging Arctic waters and the region lacks the infrastructure to support either drilling operations or clean up response with adequate safety or effectiveness.”

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.