08 March 2011

Drilling in Gulf is dangerous and unmanageable

Marilyn Clark, a Magdalen Islander studying at Memorial University, argues that oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is unmanageable and dangerous in the current regulatory context.

She writes in the Montreal Gazette:

What will governance look like with four offshore regulators in less than 500 kilometres of water? If we believe that Quebec and Newfoundland will cooperate to prioritize citizens, we are kidding ourselves. They have already sliced moving water down the middle to conduct their environmental assessments.

The lack of a harmonized approach for a single body of water will permit pollution without political accountability; the citizens of one province will have no way of holding the governments of other provinces responsible.

Why is the government gambling with the assets of my region, while the renewable resources of southwest Nova Scotia and British Columbia are protected? The Gulf only fully flushes itself out once a year. If drill cuttings, waste water and chronic spills are the new ingredients of our Gulf, we will be importing our lobster from the Caribbean and our crab from Asia. How can I be expected to invest in my region when I know that the offshore regulatory framework is so flawed that oil companies monitor themselves?

- srbp -