No drilling for oil on BC’s Pacific Coast

Montreal Gazette
Published: July 21, 2008
by Chris Genovali

Re: “Canada should play big role in new world oil order: IEA” (Gazette, July 13).

Your article states that “the Geological Survey of Canada has estimated there could be close to 10 billion barrels of oil and 26 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Queen Charlotte Basin off the B.C. north coast.” According to the Ecojustice report, A Crude Solution, it is the position of the Geological Survey that the oft-quoted figure of 9.8 billion barrels of oil is “nothing more than a probabilistic assessment.”

The report goes on to state that the Geological Survey identified the recoverable volume of oil in the Queen Charlotte Basin at 2.6 billion barrels. At current rates of consumption, this amounts to less than four months’ supply for the United States, and just over one month’s supply for all the world’s fossil-fuel users.

Statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that more than 99 per cent of Canada’s oil exports are sent to the U.S. With just five per cent of the world’s population, the U.S. accounts for 25 per cent of world oil consumption. In an article by Gwynne Dyer, climate scientist James Hansen of NASA states that we have passed what he considers the threshold for “maximum permissible concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Given this context, it is mind-boggling to read that a senior official with the International Energy Agency is advocating that B.C. open up its coast for oil drilling because he thinks “it’s very good to look at these areas, to get additional oil, at these times.”

Chris Genovali
Executive director, Raincoast Conservation
Sidney, B.C.

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