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Friday, January 14, 2011; 9:18 PM The Jan. 6 news story “As Arctic melts, U.S. ill-positioned to tap resources” highlighted the potential for U.S. exploitation of mineral resources at the top of the world. What it failed to point out is that sites proposed for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean are some of the most remote and extreme areas on Earth. At the same time, the fragile ecosystem is already feeling the impact of warming, which is happening there at twice the rate as on of the rest of the planet.

Rushing to drill for oil and gas without proper measures to safeguard an environment as challenging and vulnerable as the Arctic would tell the world that the United States had failed to heed the lessons of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Joshua Reichert, Washington

The writer is managing director of the Pew Environment Group.