Arctic research: Should oil firms be allowed to fund climate change research?
- November 24, 2010 12:08 PM |
- By POV
Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen clears a path through the ice on the Saguenay river in front of the La Baie sector of Saguenay, Que., as temperatures dropped to -30 C. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
Two oil companies have paid to use a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker for research that could help them make a case for offshore drilling in the Arctic, CBC News reported Tuesday.
BP and Imperial Oil paid a minimum of $50,000 a day to use CCGS Amundsen -- 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, in the Arctic Ocean.
Environmental group Équiterre called it a slap in the face to international research on climate change,
The ship is run by ArcticNet, a scientific group based at Laval University in Quebec City. Louis Fortier, the lead researcher, said it's a good way to help pay the millions of dollars it costs to keep the Amundsen running.
He said it is a marriage of convenience that benefits the Canadian public. 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, he said.
With this use of the ship, Canadians can be assured any decision to drill will be based on the best possible data, he said.
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