Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Raising the cap -- still not a good reason to approve Northern Gateway

The Con government has announced that Canadian energy companies who cause an environmental disaster will be liable for a much larger amount.   Currently, it's just $30 million for the east and west coasts and $40 million for the Arctic.    Now it will be $1 billion.

That's fine, but when one considers Exxon Valdez has cost Exxon / Mobil $7 billion to date (and this disaster happened in 1989), and Deepwater Horizon has forced British Petroleum to cough up at least $42.2 billion, a one billion dollar cap is a joke.

If Northern Gateway is to go ahead, then there has to be unlimited liability, and energy companies involved in the project should carry at least $10 billion of liability insurance.    I'm sure Lloyd's would love to have them as clients -- if for no other reason than the premiums would be so high that it might make the project not so cost effective.

Sure, the oil has to go somewhere.    But why not Canada and the United States first?    Why should a big chunk of our use come from OPEC, especially Venezuela?   Our goal should be total independence from foreign oil.

Until the worst case environmental impact is honestly discussed and companies are forced to commit to cleaning up their own messes, I'm still not convinced Northern Gateway is a good idea.

No comments: