December 22, Lunenburg, NS – The Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS) today released its response to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) draft report on BP’s proposed offshore drilling program. CPONS outlines numerous concerns.
“The CEAA treats BP’s claims of minimal risk from drilling in waters of unprecedented depth along the edge of the Scotian Shelf without the skepticism they deserve,” says Marion Moore, CPONS Chair. “The federal agency is far too gullible. It seems to have ignored the lessons and research from BP’s disastrous Gulf Horizons blow-out in 2010.”
“Equally surprising,” Moore adds, “there is not a single mention of the Paris Accords in the CEAA report! It’s as if Canada’s global climate change commitments are irrelevant to BP’s plans, or to the question of whether the oil is even needed and whether the risk to our fishery and tourism industries is justified.”
Experts argue a significant percentage of Canada’s current oil reserves will have to stay in the ground if our commitments are genuine. So, why drill for more?
CPONS says the CEAA effort to seek public input was also completely inadequate.
“You would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of people along the South Shore who know anything about BP’s plans and their potential impact, let alone that a federal agency has been conducting a study of BP’s environmental assessment over the past year or so,” Moore said.
CPONS points out that it is the communities and the economy of the South Shore and South-western Nova Scotia who will bear the brunt of any mishap in the offshore. They are essential to the environmental assessment process.
“Without informed public involvement, through public hearings with publicly- funded cross-examination of government and industry witnesses and the participation of independent experts, there is no legitimacy to decisions regarding development in the offshore,” Moore says.
“We believe there should be a moratorium on oil exploration in the offshore until all the information is on the table and the people most affected have had their say.”