ARCHIVED – Meeting Summary – 20 January 2011 – Moose Kerr School, Aklavik, NT

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Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
20 January 2011
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Moose Kerr School
Aklavik, NT

Purpose: Introduce the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review to the students of Moose Kerr School

td>Grades 9 to 12 students
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit Technical Leader, Conservation of Resources, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB

Introductory Remarks (NEB):

  • An overview of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review was provided, including the mandate of the NEB, a description of the Review, the events leading up to the Review and generally where drilling may occur in the Beaufort Sea.
  • The students were asked "what do you want to see answered before the NEB looks at an application for offshore drilling?"

Dialogue with students:

In response to the question put forward to the residents of Inuvik, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised, including:

  1. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • How much oil will companies be able to recover
  2. General:

    • There is concern that what happened in the Gulf could happen in the north
    • There is concern of what might happen with the food from the land and ocean if something happened
    • Life would change if there was an accident
    • Are there lots of risks with offshore drilling
    • What benefits are there for the people that live in the north for offshore drilling – they have to put up with everything and get nothing in return (jobs, expensive fuel, etc.)
    • How much oil will stay in the north and how much will be shipped south
    • They have been brought up on the land like their parents and grandparents and they might lose their way of life and their children's way of life
    • Morally, what is the benefit to spoil such a natural and beautiful place just for more oil
    • If there is a spill, what happens if it affects another country
    • They have learned from going on the land with their parents and grandparents, if something happens to the land and ocean, how will they teach their children
    • If there is just one mistake it could ruin everything
    • Why can't companies drill somewhere else
    • How will workers be kept safe if there is a loss of electricity
    • Once the oil runs out people won't have any jobs
    • How will the NEB know that the companies are doing what they say they would do
    • If the oil is from the north, why is it so expensive to buy

  3. Inspections and Monitors:

    • Are abandoned wells checked every 6 months to make sure they aren't leaking

  4. Unique Arctic Environment:

    • The Arctic is isolated, how can they be prepared and have the technology needed
    • How will there be a recovery in the Arctic – it is different than the Gulf because of the cold and ice
    • What happens to oil in the cold – it would be worse that in the Gulf
    • Because it is so isolated how can it be made sure that everyday things are being enforced
  5. Value of Resources:

    • People need the animals and fish and beluga to eat and if there was an accident where would they get their food from
    • What if part of the ecosystem is damaged (animals and plants) – people rely on the land to live
    • People can tell the difference between a fish that has been bitten and one that has been affected by oil and gas and already seeing fish that are affected
    • Caribou are already not as close – have to go farther to hunt
    • If animal and fish populations decrease and there are no jobs, who will give them money because they won't be able to afford to feed themselves
    • A lot of people travel into the ocean and it needs to be kept safe (ie: Shingle Point and Baby Island – whaling, games, nets set)

Concluding Remarks and Follow-up Matters:

  • NEB will provide the link to the website where information on the Review can be found
  • NEB will provide the students and teachers with information on how they can participate in any way they feel comfortable doing and will help with the process if they are interested
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