Don't limit offshore liability, says Greenpeace

Greenpeace Canada says increasing the liability limit for offshore oil spills to $1 billion may not be enough to cover the costs of a spill in arctic waters.

Environmental organization says oil companies should be responsible for all costs associated with offshore spills

Greenpeace Canada says new federal legislation announced yesterday will not ensure oil companies will pay all cleanup costs related to offshore drilling.

The federal government announced it will require oil companies to pay up to $1 billion for a spill, whether or not they're at fault.

That's up from $40 million for spills offshore in the Arctic.

"It does a tiny bit more to give assurance that the companies pay some responsibility," said Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Canada’s Arctic campaign coordinator.

"But actually the way that it affects northerners is that it's going to give some false hope that it's safer and they're protected in the case of an accident."

Ferguson said there should be no limit on the financial liability operators have for spills or accidents.

The cost of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is up to $40 billion and continues to increase.

Ferguson says any oil spill off the Arctic coast could cost even more to deal with because of the climate and remote location.

The federal government plans to introduce the new legislation this fall.