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Gulf spill prompts pressure to extend drilling ban

The gulf coast oil spill has drawn renewed pressure to extend a ban on drilling off Nova Scotia’s George’s Bank.

The gulf coast oil spill has drawn renewed pressure to extend a ban on drilling off Nova Scotia’s George’s Bank.

Even the environment minister says he is lobbying for the ban.

Drilling has been disallowed from the bank for more than 20 years, but the current moratorium is due to expire in 2012. Liberal MLA Harold Theriault said yesterday in the legislature an oil spill there would be 10 times worse than the gulf coast slick because strong tides would spread the devastation.

“It’s a risky bet, is what it is. It’s like playing poker, you know you could possibly lose,” said Theriault.

“We’re trying to wean ourselves from oil and we need more food. What would you do?”

The NDP is currently waiting for results of a $500,000 study on the issue. The deadline for whether to review removing the moratorium is June 1.

Yesterday the Tories presented election campaign literature from Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau promising he would fight to extend the ban.

While the decision falls under Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks’ purview, Belliveau said yesterday he is lobbying to keep drilling away.

Belliveau said his constituents are “overwhelmingly” supportive of extending the ban.

“The process has to be followed. We have to gather the information. We’re going through that. And every time the premier or (energy) minister ask my input I can assure you I bring my constituents’ views forward,” he said.

 
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