Have We Learned Nothing from the BP Oil Spill?Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughan, has looked into what would happen if oil and/or gas leaks happened off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador or New Scotia, where there is currently a big exploration and production book. What he found is rather troubling: Not only are Canadian taxpayers on the hook in case of a major incident because iability limits for oil companies have not been adjusted in decades, but the country is not ready at all to handle a major oil spill. This environmental Damocles Sword that hangs over Canada's Eastern seaboard is unacceptable and shows that something is seriously wrong with the country's oversight of its oil & gas industry.
On legal liability for damages, the Chronicle Herald writes:
The absolute liability limit for offshore damages and costs in Canada is just $40 million. This compares to limits of $75 million in the United States and $250 million in the United Kingdom.
Norway and Greenland both have unlimited liability, while Norway also requires insurance of up to $1 billion. (source)
You'd think that the 2010 BP oil spill would have taught everyone a lesson, and that no government or hydrocarbon company would want to be stuck with such a disaster, but apparently not. We are still unprepared, and dragging our feet...