For more than 40 years, the government has prohibited offshore oil exploration in BC.
Other regions have benefitted enormously by allowing and encouraging such development.
Newfoundland and Labrador has gone from being a “have-not” to a prosperous province, thanks in large measure to offshore oil.
Thirty percent of provincial revenue now comes from oil royalties.
Norway is another great example. With a population of just over 5 million, they have been able to stock away half a trillion dollars in a heritage fund thanks to North Sea oil.
Here in Canada we are fortunate to have significant oil and gas deposits in all three of the oceans that we touch on, although severe cold and a short drilling season make development a formidable challenge in the Arctic.
Development off the coast of BC would be much easier by comparison.
The relatively shallow water allows for well-established technologies and simpler practices than those used in the Gulf of Mexico, where the massive BP spill occurred four years ago.
Given all the compelling evidence, the ongoing moratorium in BC on offshore exploration is robbing the province of economic opportunities.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
To learn more about energy policy, go to our website www.fcpp.org.