Say No: The Offshore Alliance calls on Nova Scotian and Federal Government to Reject New Oil and Gas

Media Release: For Immediate Release, November 1st, 2023

Offshore Alliance calls on Nova Scotia and Federal Government to Reject New Offshore Oil and Gas Bid Immediately. Image of Sable Island wild horseThe Nova Scotian and federal Government are about to make a decision on whether to accept or reject the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board’s approval of a low-ball bid of $1.5 million for oil and gas exploration alongside Sable Island and the Gully Marine Protected Area.

It is the Offshore Alliance’s understanding that the two governments must make a decision on the licence by Thursday, Nov 2, 2023 or extend the decision making period for another 60 days.

Currently, there is no oil and gas activity in Nova Scotian waters after oil companies, such as Equinor and BP, walked away from exploration licences over the last decade. The Federal Government and the Nova Scotian Government are in the process of preparing to open up Nova Scotian waters to wind development.

“I call on the Nova Scotian and Federal Governments to reject this irresponsible and ridiculous bid. The Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada are asking the fishing industry to make space for offshore wind so that Nova Scotia and the world can make a transition to clean energy. Now they want to reopen Nova Scotian waters to oil drilling with all its risks for the marine environment and climate. There is no logic in approving this bid,” says John Davis. “Nova Scotia is blessed with a critically important supply of “Protein Energy” which the world requires. To put this resource at risk in order to increase hydrocarbon outputs makes absolutely no sense.”

When the area was put up for bid in 2022 several conservation groups and the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative wrote to the Petroleum Board raising concerns about the impact of seismic blasting and drilling on whales and other marine life.

“This is reckless and unacceptable. Every credible scientific agency has said no new oil and gas if we want a livable planet. And in addition the licence is right beside the Gully Marine Protected Area home to endangered bottlenose whales which are very vulnerable to seismic blasting and drilling. The two levels of government must reject this bid now,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director with Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

The Offshore Alliance has fought hard to protect Nova Scotian waters and the fishing industry from the impacts of oil and gas drilling and calls on the two levels of government to reject this bid immediately.


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