NOIA asks members to contact officials over "crippling" environmental proposals

10/20/2017

HOUSTON -- Fearing that Canadian federal officials could upset the relatively healthy Newfoundland and Labrador offshore sector, the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industry Association (NOIA) is calling on its membership to contact these officials and bombard them with comments and concerns. NOIA’s Call to Action comes in the wake of recently proposed, new environmental legislation on the federal level in Ottawa. It is also not a coincidence that this Call to Action comes just two days after the association posted a Canadian Press story, which quoted a new research report from the Montreal Economic Institute. That report suggests that there is a growing trend of energy investment going elsewhere, because of the high cost of additional government regulation in Canada.

The Canadian Press story quoted Germain Belzile, a senior researcher at the institute, as saying that “people are giving up on Canada as a safe place to invest in natural resources.” Indeed, a controversy seems to be brewing between the oil and gas industry, and the federal Ministry of Natural Resources, and the federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. In a statement today to its members, NOIA said, “You asked us to speak up on your behalf about proposed environmental assessment legislative changes that could have a crippling impact on our offshore oil & gas industry. We have, and NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. We need you to enforce our message by sending an email directly from your company to the federal minister of Natural Resources and the federal minister of Environment and Climate Change—more voices will strengthen our message. With these critical decisions being made NOW, we need you to ACT before it’s too late.”

NOIA has asked its members to contact James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, at Jim.Carr@parl.gc.ca, and Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, at Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca. The association has asked its members to specifically tell these ministers that “proposed environmental assessment legislative changes could have a crippling impact on Canada’s offshore oil & gas industry.” It further request that members ask these ministers to think about four points when considering the environmentally oriented changes: 1) “Recognize the legitimate role of experienced offshore regulators, the C-NLOPB and C-NSOPB in particular;” 2) “Not impede exploration by requiring an environmental assessment for the first well in a new area;” 3) “Recognize that oil exploration and production are critical to the economy of Canada—the Atlantic Region in particular;” and 4) “Recognize that the exploration, development and production of our offshore resources is in the public interest and must be supported.”

The Canadian Press story posted by NOIA points out that Four major projects have now been cancelled in the last two years, including the Energy East pipeline, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and two LNG plant proposals. Taken together, those project would have amounted to $84 billion in investment. Not surprisingly, the institute’s Belzile said of Canada, “"It's seen as a very hostile environment now. You have a lot less certainty if you invest here (than) if you invest in many other countries, where the regulatory environment isn't changing as you're doing things."

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