Resources Committee should review Shell’s 21-day blowout plan

September 29, 2015

NDP MLA Sterling Belliveau is calling for an emergency meeting of the provincial Standing Committee on Resources to discuss Shell’s 21-day timeline to cap drilling blowouts in the Shelburne Basin. In a letter sent to committee chair Gordon Wilson last week, Belliveau also requested that members of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) be asked to testify.

Currently the CNSOPB is chaired by Keith MacLeod, the other board members are Paul Taylor, Douglas Gregory (Alternate Board Member), Brian Lewis and the Honourable Rodney J. MacDonald.

Belliveau says the decision to approve Shell’s 21-day blowout plan now rests with the CNSOPB. Therefore, it’s imperative board members appear at the committee before a final decision is made to answer questions and hear concerns from MLAs such as himself.

“If Shell is allowed to take 21 days to cap a potential blowout it could have a devastating and lasting impact on our fishery,” says Belliveau. “The proposed timeline is just too long and people are extremely concerned along the South Shore. It’s important that members of that board are given a chance to hear those concerns at the Resources Committee.”

NDP Energy and Environment critic Denise Peterson-Rafuse echoed Belliveau’s statements.

“The economic benefits of offshore exploration are well-established, but it’s crucial that the proper regulations are in place to protect both the environment and the traditional fishery,” says Peterson-Rafuse. “Residents have spoken loud and clear that Shell’s current proposed timeline for capping exploratory wells needs to be reduced considerably.”