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

BP ­– the same corporation responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico ­– has started drilling for oil deep under the Atlantic Ocean offshore Nova Scotia.

In the event of a blowout BP says it could take as many as 25 days to cap the well. A Deepwater Horizon-level catastrophe would devastate Nova Scotia’s multibillion-dollar fisheries and tourism industries, which drive the province’s economy and provide people with good, sustainable jobs.

Despite the tremendous risk and the failure to adequately consult with Nova Scotians or with Indigenous peoples as promised, both the Trudeau government and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board have approved BP to drill.

If we don't act now, we will see more of this. In its new environmental assessment legislation – Bill C-69 – the Trudeau government plans to grant even more power to petroleum boards to decide on which energy projects get approved in the future.

We must send a strong message to our federal government that putting our environment and economy in the hands of an oil company with a history of catastrophic accidents is unacceptable.

It’s time for Canada to stop relying on fossil fuels and propping up the oil industry and start transitioning to renewable energy sources. That’s how we will meet our commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and give our children a future with a livable planet.

We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister Trudeau to stop BP from drilling up to seven exploratory wells and institute a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in offshore Nova Scotia. We further demand an end to proposed changes under Bill C-69 that would grant east coast petroleum boards more power in the environmental assessment process for Atlantic offshore drilling.

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