Thursday, 24 May 2018
Environment Media release

Media release: Federal Liberals will face more oil protests at their national convention in Halifax this week

April 19, 2018

This time the issue is not the Kinder Morgan pipeline, but oil giant BP’s plan to drill up to 7 wells off the south-west coast of Nova Scotia.

The BP oil rig should be arriving at the drill site at about the same time the Liberals are gathering in Halifax for their national convention.

The Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia is part of the Offshore Alliance, a coalition of groups representing fishers, environmentalists, indigenous rights activists and concerned citizens.The Alliance groups are outraged that public input into this decision has been virtually non-existent.

The federal Environment Department gave the go-ahead last February for the project. Nova Scotia’s offshore regulatory board – the CNSOPB- has already given BP permis- sion to move their rig into place. That place is near some of the richest fishing, spawning and nursery grounds on the planet.

THE RISKS

Most offshore oil spills happen during exploratory drilling. Critics -and those in the fishing industry – say that if a blow-out occurs, the currents will carry oil through these fishing grounds and risk the famous George’s Bank, a resource shared with the US. In recent weeks, all the U.S. Atlantic states – both Democrat and Republican – have combined forces to forbid any oil exploration off their shores.

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT, NOT “EXPLORATION”

BP will be drilling 10,000 feet to the ocean floor in some of the deepest waters ever. They will be contending with freezing temperatures and gale-force winds. The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, just 8 years ago, was only half that depth, and in much calmer waters. It still left a crippled fishery and an environmental mess. “Safety measures” are a joke in these conditions, critics say. Particularly with the nearest “capping” equipment – used to stop an uncontrolled blowout- located 12 days away in Norway.

Tourism operators are also concerned about Nova Scotia’s reputation for pristine coastlines.

Unlike oil and gas exploration, both tourism and the fisheries are renewable, multi- billion-dollar industries for the province. Industries which are arguably the backbone of Nova Scotia’s economy.

The Protest: Halifax Convention Centre Argyle St. Friday April 20. 12 Noon

For more information/interviews:

John Davis, Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia  jbdavis@eco-nova.com

Gretchen Fitzgerald National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation  gretchenf@sierraclub.ca

Marion Moore, Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia marionm12@gmail.com

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