Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.
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Energy and Climate Change

Our waters are not for sale
March 21, 2013
Scientists assessing the damage done to freshwater mussels in the Kalamazoo River
March 21, 2013

UVic study: Oil spill would hit taxpayers hard

Oil-spill compensation from industry is just a drop in the bucket compared to what would be needed to recover from a catastrophic spill off B.C.'s coast, according to a new report.

Spill compensation, including oil-tanker insurance and an international convention on civil liability for oil-pollution damage, tops out at $1.3 billion, according to a study by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre released Thursday by Living Oceans Society.

Offshore oil and gas

The provincial government has grown quiet on offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling off B.C.’s coast. The 2010 Olympic torch was not lit with offshore fuel as promised by former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell in his 2001 Speech from the Throne. While it doesn’t mean the Province has abandoned plans to drill for oil, it does indicate offshore oil and gas development has been moved to the back burner. We accept this as a victory – at least for now.

Oil spill impacts

Twenty-two years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill catastrophe in Alaska, ecosystems and communities have still not fully recovered. Oil can still be found on beaches in Prince William Sound and the herring fishery is still closed.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill covered nearly 2,000 km of coastline and killed at least 1,000-2,800 sea otters, 250,000 seabirds, 302 harbour seals and countless invertebrates like crabs and shellfish. Many killer whales simply went missing.

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