November 26th, 2010
12:53 AM ET

'90210' star backs moratorium on Canadian offshore drilling

As Brandon Walsh on the hit TV show, "Beverly Hills 90210," actor Jason Priestly never shied away from making his voice heard among a tight-knit group of friends struggling to find their way through the tumultuous 1990s.

Now, the Canadian actor is lending his real-life voice to a real-life issue: the future of oil and gas development in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Environmentalists have enlisted him in a campaign to halt oil exploration and drilling in the gulf, a semi-enclosed inland sea bordered by Canada's five Atlantic provinces, estimated to contain as much as 2 billion barrels of oil in a location that straddles the undersea border between Newfoundland and Quebec.

The Gulf is home to more than 2,000 marine species, including the endangered blue whale and imperiled cod stocks. It's also a lifeline for Atlantic Canada's fishing and tourism industries, drawing fears that oil exploration could bring about a fate similar to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"As a Canadian and someone who enjoys nature, I am very concerned about the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration," Priestly says in a video posted on the websites of the David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club Atlantic.

"Should this resource be exploited, any oil and gas spill would contaminate the coastlines of all five provinces on the gulf. This is why we are calling for a moratorium on exploring and drilling for oil in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

The endorsement from Priestly, who currently stars in the HBO Canada series, "Call Me Fitz," places him in the ranks of a coalition of environmentalists, concerned citizens, fisherman and First Nations groups who support a moratorium on exploration and drilling in the gulf.

Seismic testing  began this fall on a location known as the Old Harry prospect in the waters of Newfoundland, and the Quebec government said it hopes to have a deal hammered out soon with the federal government for exploration in its waters.

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Filed under: Canada • Energy • Environment • Uncategorized
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. kennywest

    There are a lot of really stupid people in this country. I really don't know where that "American Exceptionalism" idea came from.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. TOM


    Please stop, no one cares what you think. Go back to the "Peach Pit" and drown yourself in your own irrelevance....

    November 26, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Johnny

    Wait, everyone! The actor has something very very important to say. Go ahead, Jason...LOL

    November 26, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Duane Berke

    But, is HE prepared to park his car immediately and refrain from flying? I didn't think so.

    November 26, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    We have reached the end of cheap oil. We will never produce as much crude as we did in 2006 according to the International Energy Agency. Drilling in places like this is not going to make a significant difference and does threaten the environment for long periods. We use 80 million barrels of oil per day. So (unless the story is inaccurate), a find of 2 million barrels of oil is nothing.

    November 26, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brad Elliott

    Have the people this country not learn anything from the Oil spill off the coast of Louisana. Wake up people .Drilling off our coast will surely kill the most productive fishing grounds in the world if we have an accident like we had this year...Brad

    November 26, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Acroyear

      Actually it's worse in way...the Gulf of St. Lawrence is feed by more than just the St. Lawrence river...a major spill there would contaminate multiple river fisheries as well.

      November 26, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. DJ

    Dr. Jason Priestly, Harvard geology professor, weighs in on offshore drilling.
    If this were the real headline it might be worthy of news. Who cares what Jason Priestly thinks about offshore drilling or anything else for that matter?

    November 26, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jerry Lemon

    Does no one else find it hypocritical that an amatuer race car driver has an opinion on oil?? It feeds his hobby!!

    November 26, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Acroyear

      Why not do some basic research before opening your pie hole? He drives INDY Car...which uses Ethanol...not Gasoline. Tool.

      November 26, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. CaptainObvious

    So where does motor oil and transmission fluid, or brake fluid come from? Aren't those petroleum products? If Jason owns anything plastic then he owns a petroleum product. He needs to stop driving and throw all plastic that he owns away IMMEDIATELY!!! He's a danger to everyone around him!

    November 26, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dslnightowl

    Well i don't know if this is going to sound stupid but here goes. If the amount of space it takes to drill is limited lets say a 10 foot round space and maybe one or two miles down, why would'nt a solid metal tube from the sea floor all the way to the surface (top) of the water be built (circular tube) then if a spill was to happen it would travel up the tube to the surface and none would go in the water assuming they could catch it at the top before a spill over was to occure, pound this tube device into the bottom of the sea around where your about to drill empty the water from in it start drilling, a tube in a bigger tube and its only a couple miles of tubing that could even go father if needed. its kinda like the fail safe cut off at the bottom its a backup system.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. mj


    I am a volunteer and a member of the coalition who enlisted Jason Priestley's support for a moratorium on oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Jason donated his time and considerable talent to make a free video to support this serious issue. Anyone who could make a negative comment about Jason Priestley has obviously never met him. He is a gracious, funny and joyful human being! Jason took time from his hectic schedule to help us raise awareness of the vulnerability of Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence which is six and a half times smaller than the Gulf of Mexico with counterclockwise currents, winter ice cover and the second windiest area in North America. ( I mention this to point out that six inch booms won't cut it in our Gulf (not that they helped much in the Gulf of Mexico either.)

    I want to thank CNN for picking up on this very serious story. The endangered bluewhale, right whale, humpback whale, leatherback turtle, harlequin duck, piping plover and cod who live in our Gulf, have a better chance at survival without oil and gas development.

    Thank you CNN.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
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