Canada: Shell has 21 Days; US: Shell has 24 Hours to Cap Well

15 08 2015

Canada has just given Shell permission to drill for oil off Nova Scotia — and to let any blowout go uncapped for 21 days.

Let’s get the regulator to refuse Shell’s application — and keep the Shell out of Nova Scotia.

This is Shell’s dream. The Canadian government just gave it permission to drill for oil off Nova Scotia’s coast — and the company doesn’t need to cap an oil blowout for 21 days. 

Are they kidding? Shell will be allowed to freely spill oil into the ocean for three weeks, potentially wreaking environmental havoc on Nova Scotia’s amazing marine life, major fishing grounds, coastal communities and the Sable Island National Park Reserve, the world’s largest breeding colony of grey seals.

And it’s all so Shell can save a few bucks by not having to keep safety equipment nearby.

The U.S. requires oil companies to cap blowouts within 24 hours. Canada is giving Shell three weeks to bring equipment in from Norway after a blowout happens — 5,000 kilometres away.

Shell is gambling with our oceans to cut its own costs. But we have a chance to stop it. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) still has to make its final decision on Shell’s application. If we overwhelm it with objections, we can stop Shell.

Tell the Petroleum Board to refuse Shell’s application to drill in Nova Scotia.

Shell wants to drill up to seven exploratory wells — which are especially risky and prone to large spills  off the coast of Nova Scotia in the next four years. If a blowout did happen, it would be catastrophic for Nova Scotia’s major fishing grounds. Haddock, lobster and crab stocks would be at risk, as would whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and hundreds of species of migratory birds.

When a spill happens, safety equipment would have to travel 5,000 kilometres or more just to cap the spill. And worse, some of the backup safety equipment is located in South Africa, a staggering 12,000 kilometres away.

BP’s DeepWater Horizon disaster taught us just how devastating a prolonged blowout can be for wildlife, habitat and livelihoods. But some believe a blowout in Nova Scotia could be even worse because the oil wells would be in much deeper water and a much harsher environment, and because of a lack of technological capability on Shell’s part.

The SumOfUs community has stood up to Big Oil’s destruction of the environment, and we’ve had a major impact. Hundreds of thousands of us came together to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic, and to demand that Chevron pay for its crimes in the Amazon. Now, let’s stand together to keep Shell out of Nova Scotia.

Tell the Petroleum Board: refuse Shell’s application to drill in Nova Scotia!

Thanks for all that you do,

Angus, Emma and the rest of the Canadian team at SumOfUs


More information:

Shell gets OK to take 21 days to cap blowouts off Nova Scotia coast, CBC News, 5 August 2015
Canada Gives Shell Permission to Leave Future Offshore Well Blowout Uncapped for 21 Days, the U.S. Gives 24 Hours, DeSmog Canada, 7 August 2015

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