Sierra Club Canada Foundation is calling for the Canadian government to issue an immediate rejection of BP's proposal to drill in deepwater off Canada's East Coast. As revealed in a January 2023 article in the oil industry magazine Oilprive.com, "oilmen" have been speculating about the Cape Freels project for years, and BP is planning a exploration well for spring 2023. The site could hold around five times the maximum capacity of oil as the Bay du Nord project approved by Canada's federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change in 2022.
"It's time for Canada to stand up for a safe future for all and to stop rubber stamping our way to climate hell," according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director with Sierra Club Canada Foundation. "International scientists have been clear: we cannot afford any new oil projects."
The area that BP plans to drill is covered by a regional impact assessment Sierra Club Canada, WWF-Canada, and Ecology Action Centre are challenging in court with representation from EcoJustice. Sierra Club Canada and other groups are also appealing the decision to approve the Bay du Nord project.
Canada approved Bay du Nord despite the fact that Equinor's own data (the company proposing the Bay du Nord project in partnership with BP) shows that there is 16% chance of serious spill occurring. If a major blowout like the one that happened in the Gulf of Mexico (for which BP was responsible) were to happen here, Canada is not prepared from an environmental protection and regulation standpoint.
"Exploratory drilling in deepwater 400 km from shore is dangerous to ocean life and the fact that this project is even conceivable given the climate emergency is beyond reckless. We call for an immediate rejection of the project and investment in the new economic opportunities in renewables and energy efficiency. In a region hard hit by post tropical storm Fiona, we need climate leaders, not more climate arsonists."
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called new oil development "moral and economic madness."
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