Arctic Oil/Gas Neg

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1NC A2: Russia Fill-in

EU solves the environment component of the advantage – It is already taking the lead

Ralli 1/21/13 - Journalist @ New Europe [Elena Ralli, “EU to enhance contribution to Arctic cooperation,” | New Europe, January 21, 2013 - 2:50pm Pg.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki spoke today at the Arctic Frontiers Conference taking place between 20-25 January in Tromsø, Norway, addressing the issues of protection and economic development of the Arctic.  

As Commissioner Damanaki stated: “We cannot limit ourselves to listening and exchanging views: I think it is time for us to take action. The Arctic is heating up, literally and figuratively. It is urgent that we agree on an appropriate course of action together.”

In addition, she highlighted EU’s contribution to the Arctic region, which includes granting €20 million per year for research. The results of these research projects are used by policymakers as to make strategic choices on climate change adaptation. Also the EU has put over one billion euros into the region's economic development since 2007.

Furthermore, she stated that the EU is planning to enhance its contribution to the Arctic cooperation. In particular, it will promote knowledge sharing and scientific excellence by establishing closer links with researchers from all over the world and setting up joint research stations in the region.

Commissioner Damanaki also added that the countries directly surrounding the Arctic and indigenous people should decide whether to exploit the region or not. Moreover, she stressed that EU is already working closely with mining companies and researchers to come up with safe practices for the environment and that a regulatory framework is necessary to guarantee the conservation and appropriate management of fish stocks.

She also underlined that EU wants to cooperate with its Arctic partners to address any challenges, such as environmental protection, greener technologies, research cooperation and economic development. Finally, she concluded that EU is discussing Arctic research cooperation with Canada, the US and the Arctic Council working groups and opening dialogue on the matter with Norway and Iceland. 

Russian environmental standards are high- their evidence is wrong

Nilsen ‘11

Thomas Nilsen, August 26, 2011, editor of BarentsObserver and leader of the Russia study group, Russia is not ready for Arctic oil,

GazpromNeftShelf writes in a press-release that special attention was placed on environmental safety issues during the construction of Prirazlomnoye. In particular, a zero discharge system of drilling and production wastes was created onboard the platform. The platform is according to the company fully adapted for operating in severe natural and climatic conditions and designed for the maximum ice loads.

2NC Russian Standards High

Russia’s strongly committed to high environmental standards in the Arctic

Moscow Times ‘14

Moscow Times, Safety, Cost Meet Head On in Arctic Oil Race, 2014,

The hub project fits with the high-level attention Arctic energy exploration gets from the Russian government, and there is at least superficial attention to its environmental impact.

Speaking at a forum on Arctic exploration in September, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed that all the plans for the region "will be enforced in line with the most rigorous ecological standards."

"Intense business activity in the Arctic will be beneficial only if we ensure areasonable and proper balance between the economy's interests and preserving thenature," he said.

There will be no oil spills and R&D will resolve issues

Moscow Times ‘14

Moscow Times, Safety, Cost Meet Head On in Arctic Oil Race, 2014,

But "the unique design features of the Prirazlomnaya almost rule out oil leaks fromthe platform," the company said, adding that it has enough capacity and equipment to localize oil spills at the field within four hours after the accident — as required bycurrent regulations.

It also said it had created a plan to prevent and liquidate possible oil spills at the field and had bought special equipment to deal with leaks.

"The working technology of the Prirazlomnaya platform rules out the disposal of industrial waste, garbage, oils … and other hazardous substances into the sea," Gazprom Neft Shelf said, adding that drilling and oil production waste would be shipped ashore in special containers for disposal.

Rosneft said it had established a research-and-development center to develop technologies for safe extraction in the Arctic, but added that it's too early to discuss the financial assessment of environmental risks in its offshore projects because it will be a long time before production starts.

All the projects will undergo public discussions and an environmental assessment by the authorities in line with current legislation, the company said, adding that partnership with the world's oil and gas majors guarantees access to high technologies and a responsible approach.

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