Easy for him to say from Kamloops.
Here is a clip from the interview contained in a video made by yours truly (it would have been too boring to post the clip on its own):
After the radio interview, Sommerfeld spoke to the Kamloops Daily News further indicating his support for offshore drilling.
The Kamloops Daily News does not keep their articles up on their website longer than a day. But here is the text of the article on Summerfeld that was published in the Kamloops paper on Wednesday, September 17th:
So just what is the Liberal policy on offshore drilling?
Offshore drilling supportable: Sommerfeld
Lifting a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling in West Coast waters would not be inconsistent with the Liberal Green Shift, the party’s local candidate said Tuesday.
Ken Sommerfeld said B.C. should be able to develop its offshore oil and gas reserves just as Alberta can exploit the oil sands.
He made the comment in an interview on CHNL radio, responding to a question from a caller: Would you favour drilling off the West Coast if it were possible?
“If it’s possible to do it, I would support it,” Sommerfeld later told The Daily News. “I don’t think the moratorium on economic activity is the way to move forward at this point.”
Offshore drilling takes place around the world, he noted. If it can be done safely and in an ecologically sound manner, then why not?
“It has to be ecologically sustainable,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to suggest we should move in and start drilling willy-nilly.”
The NDP’s Michael Crawford wondered how drilling offshore could be compatible with the Green Shift.
“Is this the shift or are we getting the shift?” he asked. “It looks shifty to me.”
Crawford said federal Liberals have stated in the past they will respect the moratorium, however the party’s official stand is unclear.
“We’re really clear: We’re not going to drill off the West Coast,”
Crawford said. “It would produce terrible environmental degradation,”
he said. “It doesn’t make any sense to us.”
Sommerfeld maintained that the Green Shift doesn’t seek to restrict fossil fuel use. Instead the plan proposes to tax fuels at the source and channel revenues into conversion to cleaner technologies.The B.C. government began lobbying for the moratorium to be lifted when the Liberals still governed in Ottawa and renewed its efforts when the Conservatives attained power.