Tanker moratorium off British Columbia's North Coast not needed, says CAPP


CALGARY -- The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has announced that the association is disappointed with the Government of Canada’s introduction of Bill C-48, the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium, designed to establish a moratorium on tanker traffic carrying crude oil and other petroleum products along British Columbia’s North Coast.

The proposed moratorium could significantly impair Canada’s oil and natural gas resources from reaching new markets and ensuring Canadians receive fair market value for its resources. Access to tidewater and the ability to export from Canada’s West Coast fulfills the government’s national commitment to get our resources to tidewater, increasing the long-term prosperity of Canadians.

Export of emerging light, tight oil resources off the West Coast could be at risk, going beyond the original intent of the federal government when it first announced the moratorium.

Canada has world-class marine safety response systems in place on both the East and West Coasts,and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The federal government’s commitment to its Oceans Protection Plan ensures our coastlines are protected, rendering the moratorium unnecessary.

The proposed moratorium would extend from the Canada-U.S. border at Alaska to the northern tip of Vancouver Island in B.C. It includes other related petroleum products such as partially upgraded bitumen, synthetic crude oil, fuel oils and condensate.

Tim McMillan, president and CEO of CAPP, said:

  • “Market access continues to be a significant challenge for Canada’s energy industry and the Government of Canada’s decision to introduce a moratorium on crude oil tankers off the B.C. North Coast further limits our ability to reach customers in Asia.”
  • “Canada already has world-class marine tanker safety systems in place, further strengthened by the federal government’s Oceans Protection Plan.”
  • “The federal government has not identified or provided industry with science‐based gaps in safety or environmental protection that justifies a moratorium. CAPP does not support Bill C-48.”
  • “Industry will work with government to provide scientific evidence that will lift the moratorium in a timely fashion, allowing our resources to reach new markets.”
  • “Industry will work alongside government to enhance its marine transportation system and ensure the safe transport of Canadian oil and gas to new markets in the future.”

According to CAPP:

  • The moratorium poses a threat to future exports of crude oil and other petroleum products.
  • Canada has industry-leading regulations and standards that go beyond other international jurisdictions.
  • Canada boasts world-class, government-certified, industry-funded marine response organizations such as the Eastern Canada Response Corporation and the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation.
  • In 2011 about 2.2 million tonnes of oil were safely shipped from the Port of Vancouver.
  • Tankers have safely and regularly transported crude oil from Canada’s West Coast since the 1930s.
  • More than 82.5 million tonnes of various petroleum and fuel products have been shipped from 23 ports in Atlantic Canada.
  • There has not been a tanker navigational issue or incident in about 50 years from the Port of Vancouver.

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