NDP demand answers on Shell’s 13 day blowout capping plan

October 23, 2015

NDP Fisheries critic Sterling Belliveau and Energy and Environment critic Denise Peterson-Rafuse are demanding answers from the McNeil government concerning the recent approval of Shell’s plan to do exploratory drilling in the Shelburne Basin.

Belliveau has asked that members of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) appear before the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Resources.

The current plan that has been put forward by Shell and endorsed by the Liberal government allows Shell up to 13 days to cap a well in the event of a blowout. In April of 2010, when there was a BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil sheen could be seen for 1500 square kilometers after 4 days. After nine days, the Republican governor of Louisiana was forced to declare a state of emergency.

“Minister Samson and Minister Colwell are simply telling people that everything will be fine. Have they reviewed an analysis that the public hasn’t been privy to? The fishing industry is extremely worried, when will it have a chance to review this information?” asks Belliveau “There will be more development plans to assess going forward and how decisions are being made is of utmost concern to the people of Nova Scotia.”

Peterson-Rafuse is concerned that Nova Scotia’s fishing and environmental interests are not being represented in the decision-making process.

“The Premier has said he is ‘pleased with the confidence the Board has placed in Shell’s plan,’ yet his Government has left one of two provincial seats on the Board vacant for two years. This is not the kind of leadership Nova Scotians expect or deserve on such an important issue,” says Peterson-Refuse.