Murphy says improvements may fall short
NDP Environment Critic George Murphy (MHA, St. John’s East) says increasing the offshore liability cap is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the gold standard used around the world.
In May 2011 NDP Leader Lorraine Michael asked government in the House of Assembly if they would adopt the standard seen in Norway – that of no cap on liability. Australia and the United Kingdom also have no caps on liability.
“Did the provincial government push the federal government for the gold standard of no caps on liability?” said Murphy.
“The devil is in the details of course, so we look forward to seeing the legislation this fall and participating in the debate that follows. Our position has been, and continues to be, clear: the polluter must pay,” he said.
Murphy welcomed the news that oil companies will be required to release emergency and safety plans. “Prevention should be the primary focus here so we’ll certainly be talking about that during the debate,” said Murphy.
“Government should refrain from adopting substandard policies as a way to increase exploration; the risks should be carried by the oil companies and not our natural environment, our fishing and tourism industries, and the taxpayers of the province.”