Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oil Hungry Nation

Some news from south of the border shows how important it is to maintain British Columbia’s moratorium on offshore drilling. Besides the reality that spills can have devastating effects on sea life, the hungry oil companies seem to be waiting for any opportunity to drill.

I didn’t know it, but America’s 27 year old moratorium on offshore drilling was allowed to lapse this last year when Congress failed to renew it. So now, a nation addicted to oil, with a new president and new adminstration, is considering drilling off the coasts of both Oregon and California. Seizing on this, the Department of the Interior has moved to open some or all of federal waters, which begin 3 miles from shore and are outside of state control for exploration beginning in 2010. This means there could be drilling rigs as early as 2012.

The surprising thing is that Obama is somewhat vague on how he is going to respond to this. As well, his designated interior secretary and head of the nation's ocean-drilling agency, Sen. Ken Salazar, hasn't said what he would do in coastal waters. And Obama, while indicating he wants to move America away from its addiction to oil, has also implied that he is open to the idea of offshore drilling if it is part of a comprehensive package, adding that he would turn over the question to his team.

Even more frightening is this: "We've been encouraged that the president-elect has chosen Sen. Salazar," said Dan Naatz, vice president for federal resources with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, a group with 5,000 members that drill 90 percent of the oil and natural gas wells in the United States. "He's from the West, and he understands federal land policy, which is really key."

Much of this activity began last summer when fuel prices shot through the roof and America was wrestling with foreign oil dependency issues. We are prone to the same forces here in Canada and therefore must remain vigilant that the BC moratorium remains!

No comments:

Post a Comment