Oiling up

Attempts to move the development of offshore oil and gas development resources from the back to the frontburner of the provincial government's political agenda continue. Next Tuesday, the Fraser Institute is organizing a policy briefing at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce with geologist and exploration consultant Henry Lyatsky, who will argue the moratorium on such development "should be lifted and that bother Canada and BC have much to gain from the oil prospects believed to exist in the Queen Charlotte Sound."

That briefing follows publication of an article in December/January edition of Fraser Forum Magazine, in which the institute's senior economist Gerry Angevine argued the federal government should put to rest its moratorium on offshore exploration.

Three months before that, former British Columbia premier Dan Miller made the same pitch to The Canadian Press's Scott Sutherland - an opinion shared by former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin and The Vancouver Sun's Fazil Mihlar.

In July, Mr. Mihlar wrote an editorial arguing the Liberals haven't pursued such development because Premier Gordon Campbell "turned into Kermit the Frog and didn't expend the political capital necessary for us to take advantage of this huge resource potential."

This, after The Vancouver Sun published a front page story by Canwest News Service's Peter O'Neil in which International Energy Agency chief economist Faith Birol was quoted as saying the federal government should consider allowing offshore oil and gas exploration.

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