Offshore drilling not worth the risk: Protect communities, fisheries, tourism and climate from Big Oil

Days before reforming environmental assessments with Bill C-69, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna approved BP’s application to drill up to seven exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Bill C-69 further weakens the regulation of offshore drilling by granting more power to east coast petroleum boards that have a conflicting mandate to promote oil and gas development.

BP was responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and is planning to drill up to twice the depth of the Deepwater Horizon in offshore Nova Scotia. In the event of a “blowout” BP says it could take as many as 25 days to cap the well. This threatens our good, sustainable jobs in fisheries and tourism, as well as important marine ecosystems like the Gully Marine Protected Area. When drilling got underway, it took just 61 days for BP to spill toxic synthetic drilling mud into the ocean waters.

On the campaign trail, Justin Trudeau stated that “communities would grant permission” for projects, but there have not been adequate consultations with Nova Scotians or with Indigenous peoples.

More offshore drilling is also inconsistent with our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

We, the undersigned, call on the Trudeau government to stop BP from drilling and institute a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in offshore Nova Scotia until such time as a full, independent public inquiry has been completed. We further demand an end to proposed changes under Bill C-69 that would grant east coast petroleum boards more decision-making power in the environmental assessment process for Atlantic offshore drilling.

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