BP NS OFFSHORE DRILLING - Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

BP NS OFFSHORE DRILLING - Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

Postby Oscar » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:29 pm

BP’s Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

[ https://canadians.org/blog/bp%E2%80%99s ... ian-secret ]

December 20, 2017 - 1:53 pm

(PHOTO: Andrea, Cherri, Maude)

Three years ago, Cherri Foytlin, a resident of south Louisiana and author of "Spill It! The Truth About the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion", joined Maude Barlow and Council staff in a series of meetings and public talks warning of the dangers of TransCanada’s, now dead, Energy East pipeline project.

Cherri’s warnings to fisherman and communities dependent on clean waters for their livelihoods were stark. In her own words, “After a storm, we still have oil in our wetlands and on our beaches. Sea turtles and dolphins continue to wash ashore at an unprecedented rate. Our fisheries and fishing families are still trying to recover.” [ https://canadians.org/media/transcanada ... ax-discuss ]

At the time, these words were directed at the possibility of a major tar sands oil spill in the Bay of Fundy, are ringing in my ears today.

Turns out BP, the same company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster that saw 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled, the death of 11 workers and devastating consequences for local fisheries, economies and communities, wants to explore offshore drilling 230-370 kms off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. Exploration could begin as early as Spring 2018. [ https://www.bp.com/en_ca/canada/who-we- ... cotia.html ]

And they want to do it at unprecedented depths. Deeper than at the Deepwater Horizon rig.

There is so much wrong with this proposal.

We must begin by not digging ourselves any deeper.

First off, we need to name and act on the moment of history we are in. It is time to stop further exploration and development of fossil fuels as part of addressing the crisis of unprecedented scale we face with climate change.

An important study featured in the Nature journal, concluded that, “development of resources in the Arctic and any increase in unconventional oil production [emphasis added] are incommensurate with efforts to limit average global warming to 2 °C. [ https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14016 ]

Offshore drilling, as proposed by BP is indeed unconventional and should not be welcomed.

As stated in the Lofoten Declaration [ http://www.lofotendeclaration.org/#read ] which the Council of Canadians recently endorsed, we are in deep hole with our climate. While a full transition away from fossil fuels will take decades, we must begin by not digging ourselves any deeper.

Simply put, further exploration and development of fossil fuels is incompatible with Canada's climate obligations and policies.

BP’s ambitions are a threat to coastal communities, waters and marine life

CPONs (Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia), a project of the South Shore chapter of the Council of Canadians, recently delivered a well researched and written submission to the ongoing Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEEA) review of BP's proposed exploratory drilling [ https://canadians.org/sites/default/fil ... t-1217.pdf ]. In their submission they clearly outline the threats deepwater offshore drilling presents to Nova Scotian waters and communities, and challenge assumptions on the part of CEEA in deferring to a number of BP’s assurances. [ http://ceaa.gc.ca/050/details-eng.cfm?evaluation=80109 ]

As CPONs highlights, the environmental assessment includes a worst case scenario of a blow-out lasting 30 days.

The Gulf Horizon blow-out lasted near three times that long, and in waters shallower than being planned off of Nova Scotia. Indeed, an earlier Nova Scotia blow-out, not all that far from BP’s proposed development ( at a gas exploratory well), lasted almost 8 months before it was capped successfully.

Meanwhile BP's response strategies rely on the use of booms (in stormy North Atlantic waters) and dispersants, all of which were found inadequate by researches examining the Gulf Horizon disaster.

In fact, Cherri explicitly warned coastal communities of the use of dispersants, sold as a solution, but ended up being more like a poison pill, She described the frustration of meeting and hearing of an untold number of people – clean-up workers and residents, children and grandmothers – chronically ill, they feel, because of the heavy use of a chemical dispersant applied to the oil during the spill.

Indeed the chemical dispersant BP may use off the coast of Nova Scotia would likely be the same that has been under investigation for its use and impacts with the Deepwater Horizon spill (corexit).

Communities haven’t had their say

CPONs has deep concerns about the lack of public understanding and consultation on the project; "Yet, public awareness of BP’s plans, and access to both the detail of those plans and expert advice on their efficacy, has been next to non-existent. For activity that has catastrophic potential (no matter how slim the likelihood in your estimation), this is not acceptable or just."

Among other suggestions, they call for hearings to take place in a number of affected communities, with independent publicly-funded, public interest cross-examination of industry representatives and government experts and allow for the calling of independent expert witnesses.

The government of Canada also has a duty to consult Indigenous communities. Consultations to date have included engagement with Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn (KMKNO) the Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated (MTI )and the Assembly of First Nations Chief of NB, and two bands in PEI.

These consultation groups don’t represent all the First Nations in the areas they are supposed to cover – for example, Sipekne’katik and Millbrook have both left the KMKNO, and Elispogtog is not part of the MTI.

There is also ongoing concern and criticism from grassroots activists with these consultation groups, understandings of the Peace and Friendship Treaties and UNDRIP as well as a rejection of the format of EA consultation by grassroots Mi’kmaq people.

Andrea Harden-Donahue's blog
Energy & climate justice campaigner
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/andrea-harden-donahue ]
Oscar
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Re: BP’s Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

Postby Oscar » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:58 am

Regulatory Capture and the Heist of Offshore Nova Scotia

[ https://canadians.org/blog/regulatory-c ... ova-scotia ]

January 24, 2018 - 11:08 pm

Regulatory capture. Oil and gas industry influencing energy policy. Companies using unproven drilling techniques. These sound like things that only happen in places with corrupt governments and no corporate oversight, or maybe the latest Hollywood release, but they’re happening here in Nova Scotia.

As BP awaits permit approval to conduct exploratory drilling off Nova Scotia’s coast in the spring, we came together with 25 other organizations to call attention to an industry takeover of our offshore resources that can only be understood as a heist.

(PHOTO: l-r: Biologist Lindy Weilgart; Greg Eglisson - Gulf NS Herring Federation; John Davis - Clean Ocean Action Committee; Gretchen Fitzgerald - Sierra Club of Canada Foundation; Dorene Bernard - Mi'kmaw Grandmother and water protector; Marilyn Keddy - South Shore chapter, Council of Canadians and Campaign to Protect Offshore NS.)

The newly formed Offshore Alliance, comprised of fishermen’s unions, environmental organizations, community groups, and us, held a media conference in Halifax today to address the fact that the federal government is attempting to transfer control of the Environmental Assessment process to unelected regulatory boards. About 75 people attended the press conference and joined in a march to deliver a letter to MP Scott Brison with the Alliance’s demands.

Click here for the media release [ https://canadians.org/media/big-heist-o ... l-industry ], media advisory [ https://nsadvocate.org/2018/01/16/media ... rocession/ ], and stories already out by APTN [ http://aptnnews.ca/2018/01/25/grassroot ... -lawrence/ ], the Nova Scotia Advocate [ https://nsadvocate.org/2018/01/24/coali ... t-big-oil/ ], and the Canadian Press [ http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/ca ... ssessments ].

Regulatory capture

When industries’ influence on the government is too strong, government agencies can end up serving the interests of the industry they were created to regulate, instead of serving the taxpayers and adequately regulating industry. This is called regulatory capture. It is clear to us that regulatory capture is alive and well in the context of oil and gas regulatory boards, including the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB), the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB), and the National Energy Board (NEB) as the only functioning energy regulatory boards currently in Canada.

Industry influence on energy policy

The energy industry has a long history of influencing Canada’s policies and governance structures. A famous example of this is the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ asking for sweeping changes to our environmental laws to be introduced through an omnibus bill back in 2012. You may remember that they got their wish. [ http://o.canada.com/news/national/blog- ... ys-records ]

Industry players have increasingly greater access to policy makers than the rest of us, and this time they’re talking about our offshore resources. In the fall of 2017 the government held a consultation called the Frontier and Offshore Regulatory Review Initiative (FORRI), but only reached out to industry players to participate. A number of the Offshore Alliance members wrote letters at that time calling for wider stakeholder inclusion in the initiative.

Now, Environment and Climate Change Canada is attempting to move responsibility for environmental assessments to the un-elected and ill-equipped regulatory boards. This industry influence on policy is what has lead to regulatory capture in Canada.

(PHOTO: COAC spokesperson John Davis holds envelope just prior to delivery as powerful drumming and singing happens in the background.)

Unproven drilling techniques (MAP)

BP is preparing to begin exploratory drilling in the spring on a project that would be far deeper than the Deepwater Horizon rig, which caused nightmarish devastation to the US’s Gulf Coast in 2010 and continues to wreak havoc on coastal communities. As Andrea Harden-Donahue, our energy and climate justice campaigner said in her recent blog on BP's plans for offshore NS, “BP's response strategies rely on the use of booms (in stormy North Atlantic waters) and dispersants, all of which were found inadequate by researchers examining the Gulf Horizon disaster.” [ https://canadians.org/blog/bp%E2%80%99s ... ian-secret ]

(PHOTO: This image from Fisherynation.com, a US-based site for people involved in the fishing industry to share regional news, indicates generally where the three big oil leaseholds are located, along with the direction of the current and the ecologically-sensitive area called Georges Bank. They share our concerns in this post, titled "Oh No Canada. Nova Scotia approves oil exploration lease next to Georges Bank, entrance to Gulf of Maine". [ http://fisherynation.com/archives/41573 ])

Andrea also highlights concerns with fossil fuel expansion, what this industry threatens, and lack of Indigenous and community consultation.

As we’ve seen with fracking, pulp and paper, uranium, coal and other resource-extractive industries in Nova Scotia, Mi’kmaw and settlers alike are tired of the boom-bust cycle and the destructive long-term consequences and are standing up and saying no. Water is life, and helping the few at the top get richer is no longer something we support.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier McNeil, take note.

Supporting this Alliance was mostly done through the South Shore chapter and the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS, a project of the South Shore chapter), which was very active with planning and executing today’s successful event. We are working with them to host a tour along the South Shore in March to raise awareness about big oil’s plans to exploit offshore Nova Scotia – stay tuned! More details of this to come.

Angela Giles's blog
Council of Canadians' Atlantic regional organizer
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/angela-giles ]
Oscar
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Re: BP’s Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:09 pm

Council of Canadians rejects Liberal approval of BP's exploratory drilling

[ https://canadians.org/media/council-can ... y-drilling ]

Media Release February 2, 2018

Offshore drilling not worth the risk for Nova Scotia’s fisheries, coastal communities and climate

K’JIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Yesterday Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Catherine McKenna announced federal approval for an application made by BP to drill up to seven exploratory wells, about 300 kms southeast of Nova Scotia. [ http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/documents/p80109/121522E.pdf ]

“I am shocked that the Minister said this project is ‘not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects’,” says Marion Moore, member of the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS). “We’re fighting to keep offshore drilling out of Nova Scotia and protect the coasts and our communities from the devastation people continue to experience in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010. Our communities rely on fisheries and coastal tourism for our livelihoods and economies, and offshore drilling puts it all at risk.”

“New fossil fuel projects are not consistent with our commitment to the Paris climate commitment and the gravity of the climate crisis,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “For the federal government to call itself a climate leader and then pave the way for dangerous offshore drilling by BP, responsible for the worst offshore drilling disaster in the U.S., is unacceptable.”

It is not clear how the regulatory oversight of this project will be affected by proposed changes in responsibility for environmental assessment duties.

“CPONS made a submission to the environmental assessment review in 2016 calling for more stringent regulation on offshore drilling,” says Moore. “Our submission has been wholly ignored. Instead, Environment and Climate Change Canada has suggested they may shift responsibility for environmental assessment of offshore drilling to pro-industry offshore petroleum boards. This reeks of regulatory capture by the fossil fuel industry.” [ https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/theme ... 17-eng.pdf ]

Nova Scotia already has a moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling on George’s Bank, and organizations across the Atlantic region have been pushing to expand it to the entirety of Nova Scotia and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. In 2014 representatives of the Innu, Wolastoq (Maliseet), and Mi’kmaq nations called for a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. Recently in Halifax a coalition of 25 fishing and environmental organizations called for environmental assessments to remain under the auspices of Environment and Climate Change Canada. [ https://canadians.org/media/big-heist-o ... l-industry ]. -30-

Contacts:

Andrea Harden-Donahue
Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner, Council of Canadians
613.793.5488

Angela Giles
Atlantic Regional Organizer, Council of Canadians
902.478.5727

Marion Moore
South Shore chapter, Council of Canadians
902.527.2928
Oscar
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Re: CPONS: BP’s Dirty (Huge) Nova Scotian Secret

Postby Oscar » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:03 am

Offshore Alliance refuses to participate in 'sham' meeting with Offshore Petroleum Board

[ https://canadians.org/blog/offshore-all ... leum-board ]

March 5, 2018 - 11:23 am

A media release from the Offshore Alliance went out this morning to outline why they decided to not engage in a public relations meeting with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB), calling the consultation 'a sham'. [ https://canadians.org/media/cnsopb-publ ... ement-sham ]

The Offshore Alliance, of which the Council of Canadians is a member, argues this proposed meeting would have allowed the CNSOPB to claim they've consulted with stakeholders to discuss the proposed offshore exploration by BP, who are currently awaiting approvals from the Board. Given the concerns many organizations who form the Offshore Alliance share, it was decided to give regrets to the CNSOPB's Communications Director Stacey O'Rourke, the point person for the meeting.

Many within the Offshore Alliance were prepared to participate in a meeting if the CNSOPB had offered a full and true consultation with hearings, recorded statements, etc. and responded to first invite with suggestions of what that would mean. But after receiving an the agenda for the 90-minute meeting outlining a 45 minute 'sharing circle', groups were unanimous in the decision to not attend.

Offshore Drilling Not Worth the Risk

Groups involved with the Offshore Alliance are also partners with the Offshore tour in Nova Scotia coming up soon to mobilize communities to stop BP from drilling off our coast. The Alliance also held a media conference [ https://canadians.org/blog/regulatory-c ... ova-scotia ] recently to highlight concerns over then-proposed changes to the oversight of environmental assessments at a Federal level. Bill C-69, tabled last month, appears to shift power to the CPONS and other regulatory boards (the National Energy Board and the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board).

For more information, visit [ canadians.org/cpons ] and if you're in Nova Scotia, attend one of our Offshore Tour events happening March 20-22! [ https://canadians.org/NS-offshore-tour ]


Angela Giles's blog
Council of Canadians Atlantic regional organizer
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/angela-giles ]
Oscar
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