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Defend our Wild Coast from the Oil Slicksters! PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Tuesday, 04 May 2004 02:11
Western Canada Wilderness Committee: Right now the federal Liberal government is collecting public input to decide whether to lift the federal offshore oil and gas moratorium o­n BC?s Pacific Coast (the Queen Charlotte Basin area, to be precise). In YOUR OWN words, email or fax the Public Review Panel whether you want the government to 'maintain the moratorium' o­n offshore oil and gas development, or even to implement a permanent, legislated ban, at: Scott Gedak - Project Manager, Public Review Panel, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Fax: 604-666-3755. Deadline is May 15th for letters.

In addition, it is very important that you SPEAK UP at the Public
Hearings coming very soon to Victoria and Vancouver. It takes courage -
but it's worth it. Remember, you may not be an expert o­n this issue, but
it's NOT an Expert Panel - it's a PUBLIC Input Panel. If questioned
about particular scientific details, you can simply remind them this.
The future of BC's wild coast needs your courage to stand up and speak
out. You will be among hundreds of allies.

In Victoria, the public hearings will be at:
Coast Harbourside Hotel, 146 Kingston St. 
Thursday, May 13: 7-9pm
Friday, May 14: 9am-12noon, 2-5pm, 7-9pm
Saturday, May 15: 9am-12noon

In Vancouver, at:
Sheraton Wall Centre, North Tower, 1088 Burrard St.
Tuesday, May 11: 7-9 pm
Wednesday, May 12: 9am-12noon, 2-5pm, 7-9pm
Thursday, May 13: 9am-12noon
Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard St.
Monday, May 17: 9am-12noon, 2-5pm, 7-9pm
Tuesday, May 18: 9am-12noon, 2-5pm, 7-9pm

We recommend that if possible, you register before you speak, though
it's not required. You can demand that the hearings be extended if there
is no guaranteed space for you. Register under the "How to Participate"
section of the government's website:
http://www.moratoriumpublicreview.ca

NOTE: Foxes in Charge of the Hen House?
The federal Paul Martin Liberal government hand-picked three panelists
for the Public Review, including Roland Priddle (Panel Chair) and Don
Scott. Roland Priddle is a Director of Talisman Energy, which is
currently expanding its offshore oil and gas assets by $137 million (US)
in the North Sea in Europe. Don Scott is the former mayor of Prince
Rupert and was o­ne of the first and most active lobbyists to have the
federal moratorium lifted. Not exactly an unbiased panel! All the more
reason that the public must hold them to high, democratic standards
during the public review process so that broad, open, non-intimidating,
and adequate public participation is allowed, with a subsequent normal
tally of the number of submissions in favour of maintaining the
moratorium and those against the moratorium. No sneaky tricks to skew
the results will be allowed.

Some key concerns about coastal oil and gas development:

- The Queen Charlotte Islands region is the most earthquake prone area
in Canada. Besides shifting the ocean bottom, earthquakes also generate
enormous tidal waves. Thus, there would be a good chance of a major oil
spill or oil well blow-out (where oil gushes out of the well head)
sooner or later.

- Daily chronic pollution comes part and parcel with offshore oil
development, including regular oil leakages and small spills (that add
up substantially over time), toxic drilling fluids, ?produced waters?
(byproducts) laced with poisonous hydrocarbons, and toxic drill cuttings
that accumulate o­n the ocean bottom, poisoning the marine life.

- Extensive seismic testing is necessary to locate oil and gas deposits,
using high volume air gun blasts through the water column that transmit
loudly over hundreds of kilometres. These blasts kill marine larvae
(crabs, fish, bivalves, etc.), explode the air bladders of nearby adult
fish, deafen whales, and drive whales and fish away for long distances,
for long periods of time, from their living and migration areas.

- Coastal oil and gas development runs precisely counter to Canada?s
Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Much
energy (oil and gas) is needed to extract oil and gas from the ocean,
not to mention that the extracted oil and gas will also be burned up
into the atmosphere.

- Most employment in the offshore oil and gas industry is specialized
and therefore will not go to unemployed BC fishermen and loggers, but
rather to crews brought in from elsewhere in Canada and around the
world. Meanwhile, coastal commercial and sport fishing jobs would be
destroyed, as well as potential jobs in the tourism industry (eg. Whale
watching).

- Newfoundland?s Hibernia Project is 315 km offshore, while in BC oil
and gas developments would be as close as 20 km from the shore, often in
between the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Mainland. In Newfoundland,
ocean currents carry spilled oil away from the land. In BC, currents
would carry spilled oil o­nto our coastline, into the sensitive
intertidal and subtidal zones.

- Many conservationists consider this to be an important federal
election issue.

For more information about the impacts of Offshore Oil go to:
http://www.oilfreecoast.org
 
For more information o­n the hearings call the Review Panel's toll free
number: 1 866 386 1323 or go to their website:
http://www.moratoriumpublicreview.ca


- Ken Wu, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Victoria
-----------------

A Few More Facts o­n Offshore Oil

1. Oil Rig Jobs are Very Limited For Local People
-Oil companies hire experts who bring work crews with them
-Oil rigs are built where factories exist and costs are low. ie: Korea

2.Offshore Oil Development Damages Marine Life Before any Oil is
Extracted.
-Seismic testing kills and damages fish and other sealife
-During seismic testing, fish catch rates drop by 50% -One exploratory
well dumps approximately 25,000 pounds of toxic metals into the ocean

3. Oil Spills Do Happen
-In 1997 alone there were 351 oils spills worldwide.
-On average, o­nly 15% of an oil spill can be cleaned up.
-Oil spills will harm the tourism and fishing industries in B.C.

4. Oil Rigs Pollute
-A single oil platform discharges over 90,000 metric tons of toxic
drilling fluid and metal cuttings into the ocean.
-An offshore oil rig emits the same quantity of air pollution as 7000
cars driving 50 miles a day.
-Once oil is found, chronic leaks, drilling muds, toxic produced waters
and air pollution are part of everyday business.


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Western Canada Wilderness Committee
Victoria office and store
651 Johnson St.
Victoria, BC V8W 1M7
250-388-9292
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.wildernesscommitteevictoria.org
www.workingforest.org


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2004 02:11
 

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