Kjipuktuk/Halifax, NS / The Offshore Alliance, a coalition of fishing, community, and environmental organizations, condemns Canada’s approval of the Bay du Nord deepwater offshore oil project.
“The failure to reject Bay du Nord shows a lack of courage to stand up to the oil lobby and denies climate science released just this week by the IPCC, which says no new oil projects can be allowed if we have any chance of protecting ourselves from climate chaos,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director.
“The regulation of offshore oil and gas by industry-heavy boards with a conflicting mandate to protect the environment while actively promoting the industry has left us with precisely zero faith that the government is sincere about protecting the wild fishery and coastal communities.” states John Davis, Director of the Clean Ocean Action Committee, “Talk of offshore renewable energy falls completely flat in the face of this decision to approve a massive oil extraction project. We need renewables to help us meet critical climate targets - not as some consolation prize to curry political favour while the government hides behind the impact assessment process and allows a project that will set fire to Canada’s climate targets.”
“The decision on Bay du Nord shows a lack of interest to truly protect coastal communities from impacts of oil drilling and the onslaught of climate impacts. New wind projects will not offset the risks of a massive blowout offshore. Nor will they offset the emissions from Bay du Nord which are equivalent to Canada operating a 100 new coal fired plants for a year,“ says Marion Moore of the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia. “People know that new oil is not consistent with climate leadership, and won’t be fooled by the federal government's cynical attempts to cover its tracks with this bait and switch.”
The Bay du Nord announcement came one day after the federal Natural Resources Minister announced changes to Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil petroleum board that will allow the board to regulate renewables in addition to oil, and a regional assessment for offshore wind. Offshore Alliance members Sierra Club Canada Foundation and Ecology Action Centre are currently parties to a legal challenge to a deeply flawed regional assessment designed to accelerate drilling off Newfoundland. That assessment was co-chaired by the NL offshore petroleum board.
The Offshore Alliance is seeking an end to all offshore drilling off Nova Scotia, an end to subsidies and firm commitments to extend the moratorium on oil and gas on Georges Bank.
For more information, please contact
John Davis, Director of the Clean Ocean Action Committee - 902-499-4421 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation - 902-444-7096 / email@example.com
Marion Moore, Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia - 902-527-2928 / firstname.lastname@example.org