In the wake of the April 2010 catastrophic BP oil spill in The Gulf of Mexico, and in the mist of Canadian Parliamentary hearings on offshore artic drilling Sierra Club Canada (SCC) is calling for a moratorium on offshore drilling. WWF Canada is calling for an expansion in the National Energy Board (NEB) regulatory review regarding off shore drilling.
"Unlike the U.S, Greenland and Norway, Canada does not regulate the leasing process and permits for drilling directly within marine protected areas and environmentally sensitive areas," Craig Stewart, Artic Director for WWFCanada, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources, May 25.
"Proposed offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea and potentially off the British Columbia coast will take place in pristine areas significantly more distant from resources and equipment required to contain a spill than was the case in the Southern United States. It stands to reason that preventing the spread of an oil spill in Canadian waters will be more difficult and the difficulty increases the more remote the location," explained John Bennett, Executive Director of SCC, in a May 3rd letter addressed to the NEB.
On May 11th the NEB announced it was canceling its investigation into same season relief well capacity and starting a review of Arctic safety and environmental offshore drilling requirements.
"We need to learn from what happened in the Gulf," NEB Chair Gaétan Caron said. "The information taken from this unfortunate situation will enhance our safety and environmental oversight."
View The Sierra Club of Canada press release
View John Bennett's letter to the National Energy Board (PDF)
View May 25, 2010 WWF-Canada press release
View WWF-Canada submission to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources (PDF)
View WWF-Canada May 13, 2010 blog entry
View May 11, 2010 National Energy Board press release
View May 10, 2010 National Post article
View May 28, 2010 Vancouver Sun article
Source: Sierra Club of Canada, WWF