Environmental organizations are showing their satisfaction after ExxonMobil gave up all its oil and gas search permits in British Columbia that have been in existence for over half a century.
Ecojustice Canada’s lawyer Ian Miron has stated that the company has been removed from the lawsuit that the David Suzuki Foundation and World Wildlife Fund Canada initiated in the Federal Court last year. The lawsuit was in opposition to the Canadian government’s ongoing approval of the permits.
The lawyer has stated that the permits that were once owned by Exxon included “really environmentally significant areas” in British Columbia.
According to Ecojustice Canada, the permits have been relinquished and are now invalid, adding that the areas they covered have been handed to the Crown.
ExxonMobil’s spokesperson, Margot Bruce-O’Connell, has confirmed that the company has given up nine British Columbia permits, but has declined to go into detail.
Miron says that the “open question for the past several decades” has been whether or not oil and gas should be explored offshore in British Columbia.
He argues that the current restriction on oil and gas development around the British Columbia coast could be removed in the future, citing the federal government’s approval of the Bay du Nord oil project off Newfoundland last year as evidence.
“There is a level of discomfort with the finality of that moratorium and that concern is kind of driving the action here.”
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