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NEWS: BP, Imperial rent Canadian coast guard ship to make case for Arctic oil drilling

The CBC reports this evening that, “Questions are being raised over the use of a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker by two oil companies for research that could help them make a case for drilling in the Arctic. CBC News has learned that for a minimum of $50,000 a day, BP and Imperial Oil paid to use CCGS Amundsen — Canada’s most advanced research ship which is dedicated to the study of climate change — for a total of six weeks over the past two years. The oil companies want to study the environmental impact of their exploratory oil drilling plans in the Beaufort Sea.”

“BP and Imperial will use the data they’ve gathered in an environmental impact study to support an application to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea…”

“BP and Imperial declined to be interviewed. Claude Langis, the coast guard’s regional director for Quebec, said he has no problem with the Amundsen being chartered by oil companies. He said it’s perfectly in line with the policies of the federal government. …Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea said the research being done benefits all Canadians.”

“But NDP MP Nathan Cullen blasted the move.” He said, “It was refitted at the cost of $30 million to taxpayers to research climate change. Not to look for oil for some of the biggest polluters on the planet. Why are the Conservatives using this ship, meant to be fighting climate change, to throw out the welcome mat for risky Arctic drilling?”

The Council of Canadians is calling for a moratorium on all new exploration for fossil fuel resources in the Arctic region.

The CBC article is at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/23/icebreaker-coast-guard-oil-research.html.