Friday, September 16, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Today's guest host was Ian Hanomansing.
Part One of The Current
It's Friday, September 16th.
A new study suggests that watching fast-paced cartoons like SpongeBob Squarepants causes attention and discipline problems in young children.
Currently, the only thing worse is turning off Sponge Bob Squarepants.
This is The Current.
Arctic Drilling - Rob Powell
We started this segment with Charlie Snowshoe, a member of the Gwich'in nation in Fort Macpherson in the Northwest Territories. He's really worried that oil drilling in the Arctic could mean a repeat of the chaos caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Energy Board is holding a roundtable on safety issues surrounding oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean in Inuvik this week. And like Charlie Snowshoe, many participants have been thinking about the events of April last year.
A report from a US government panel on Wednesday laid most of the blame for that disaster on BP, and you may recall, it took five months for that Leak to be capped. Another report released yesterday found that Arctic sea ice is at its second-lowest level since record-keeping began.
Some projections suggest the Arctic could have ice-free summers within 30 years. That would mean far easier access to the vast reserves of oil and gas locked for thousands of years in a frozen vault. It's all a hypothetical right now ... there's still no offshore drilling in the Canadian Arctic. But oil companies have spent billions on exploration rights in the Beaufort Sea in the Western Arctic. And the prospect of drilling is something that has environmental groups concerned.
Rob Powell is the Director of the World Wildlife Fund's Mackenzie River Basin Program, and he's been attending the National Energy Board roundtable, which continues today. Rob Powell joined us from our studio in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
Arctic Drilling - Myron Ebell
Our next guest says drilling in the Arctic isn't as risky as people like Rob Powell believe. Myron Ebell is the Director of the Centre for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He was in Washington D.C.
We did request interviews with Chevron Canada, Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers - who all are attending the National Energy Board meetings. Our interview requests were declined. Imperial Oil did send us a statement, though. Here's part of it:
We understand the NEB and public's concern about the safety of offshore Arctic drilling and are supportive of the decision by the NEB to conduct this comprehensive review... Out of respect for the roundtable process and participants, we believe the appropriate place for the dialogue and discussion on this issue to take place is within the framework of the roundtable itself. As a result, we would decline to engage in a parallel discussion of issues outside of this current process.
Arctic Drilling - Nellie Cournoyea
Of course, the people with the biggest stake at the National Energy Board roundtable are the people who live in the North. Nellie Cournoyea is one of their representatives. She's the CEO and chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and she's a former premier of the Northwest Territories. We reached her at her office in Inuvik.
Other segments from today's show: