1 Billion Reasons for you to Say No
An Equinor project in the Tampen area of the North Sea. | Equinor/Bo B. Randulff & Even Kleppa
By Conor Curtis, Digital Communications Coordinator, Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Right now the Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and the Federal Cabinet are considering a controversial oil and gas development off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) – Equinor’s Bay du Nord project.
This is this government’s first real test as to whether they are taking climate change seriously. The estimated 300 million barrels of oil produced by the project has now ballooned to a possible 1 Billion barrels of oil – oil that will fuel the growing climate emergency.
This project is in direct contradiction to global, national, and provincial climate targets and represents a doubling down of investment in the fossil fuel industry at a time when we need to be moving to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency instead. It also comes after a flawed environmental assessment process and findings from the DFO that Equinor’s environmental claims included ‘bias’ and ‘inappropriate conclusions.’
The assessment ignored many concerns about the project – which in addition to climate impacts, will involve deepest production wells drilled in Canada, 500 kilometers from St. John’s beyond the 200-mile limit. A blowout at the wellhead at this location could affect fishing grounds and international waters and – according to Equinor’s own estimates – would take 18-36 days to cap.
The climate math is also simple; we cannot develop these reserves of fossil fuels and meet global climate targets. Oil production does not have a long term economic future and we need to invest in building NL’s green economy before it is too late, not heavily subsidizing a new fossil fuel project.
Being from NL myself, I have seen first hand the calls people have made for a just transition to a green economy there.
Thousands of people have marched in the streets in St. John’s, and many others have held rallies across the province, calling for the provincial and federal governments to address climate change and set a new course. The political will for change is more than present and people are actively making change happen in NL.
But now governments need to act to support a just transition and not waste time and money on another dead end.
Please take a moment to send your message to call upon our Environment Minister, Cabinet, and our Prime Minister to reject the Bay Du Nord oil project.
You can also forward this message to others here.
It’s time to call for a real plan for the future.