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经济学人:政府审查开采石油计划面临冻结

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Facing a freeze

面临冻结
Governments are reviewing plans to open Arctic waters to oilmen
政府正审查在北极开采石油的计划
WHEN BP's Macondo well began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico,
当英国石油公司的麦肯多油井开始向墨西哥湾喷出石油的时候,
the firm was in the midst of an effort to persuade Canada's energy regulator that safety standards
英国石油公司正致力于劝说加拿大的能源监管机构,
for offshore drilling in the Canadian Arctic were expensive, impractical and should be relaxed.
称在加拿大的北极地区进行海底钻探的安全标准非常昂贵,不切实际,而且应该放弃。
Hearings on the subject were promptly suspended and the regulator declared that no new drilling permits would be issued pending a review of existing rules.
关于海底钻探的听证会立即停止,监管机构称在审查现存规则的时候,不许可任何新的钻探。
We have a duty to pause, to take stock of the incident, says Gaétan Caron, head of the National Energy Board.
国家能源委员会主席扎艾当凯伦说,我们有义务停止,需要评估一下这次事件。

For a time it looked as though the Arctic would be the next frontier for Western oil firms, which have only limited access to the most promising prospects in sunnier climes.

一段时间以来,北极似乎会成为西方石油公司的下一个目标,这些石油公司在晴朗的气候要进入最富前景的区域是有限得。
The retreat of the polar ice cap is making the region easier to work in, and there is thought to be lots of oil and gas to tap.
北极冰盖的消融使得该区域更容易进入,人们认为那儿蕴藏着丰富的石油和天然气。
But Canada is not the only country now thinking twice:
但是加拿大不是唯一三思而行的国家:
America, Norway and even Russia are all contemplating tighter rules for drilling.
美国,挪威,甚至俄国都在考虑对钻探实施更严格的规则。
Canada's stay on drilling, like a similar one imposed in America, is temporary.
同美国的钻探情况一样,加拿大的钻探是临时的。
But environmental groups and some indigenous people advocate more lasting restrictions,
但是环境组织和一些本地居民提倡实施更持久的限制,
on the ground that the Arctic is particularly ecologically fragile, far from clean-up crews and blanketed for much of the year in oil-trapping ice.
理由是北极的生态尤其脆弱,这儿远离清理团队,钻取石油的冰面常年是草木不生。
A vigorous argument about whether to open pristine bits of coastline to drilling had already been under way in Norway.
关于是否要开放原始的海岸线进行钻探,一直以来在挪威引起激烈的辩论。
The spill has made a big impression in the country, says Kristin Halvorsen, who leads one of the parties in the governing coalition and opposes the expansion,
执政联盟领导人之一,反对扩大钻探规模的克里斯蒂哈尔芙森称,墨西哥湾漏油事件在全国引起很大反响,
because it shows that even with a lot of security measures and top modern technology, you can't insure against accidents when you are working with oil.
因为这表明,即使有很多的安全措施和先进的现代技术,当你跟石油共事时,是无法保证没有事故得。
The row is threatening to undermine the coalition, with the prime minister refusing to rule out further drilling.
由于总理拒绝排除未来钻探的可能性,关于钻探的争论威胁要损害执政联盟。
Russia's parliament, too, has begun debating updated environmental laws to address offshore spills—a move the government supports.
俄国的议会同样已经开始就应付近海石油泄漏制定最新的环境法律展开辩论-政府支持这一举动。
Only Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory with high hopes for an oil-fuelled bonanza, is pressing ahead undaunted with plans to expand oil exploration.
只有丹麦的海外郡格林兰岛,义无反顾地推行扩大石油开采计划。
Its government has approved drilling this summer in Baffin Bay, close to its maritime boundary with Canada.
这个小岛上有着丰富的石油矿藏。政府已经同意今年夏天在巴芬海湾进行开采活动,这个海湾与加拿大的海上国界离得很近。
That decision has alarmed Jim Prentice, Canada's environment minister, who wants the highest environmental standards to be applied.
这个决定让加拿大的环境部长吉姆普兰提斯大为震惊,他希望实行最高层次的环境标准。
Mr Prentice and his counterparts from other Arctic states met in Greenland this week, to discuss offshore drilling among other topics.
普兰提斯先生和来自其他北极国家的同行们本周在格林兰岛开会,讨论近海钻探和其他话题。
The oil industry is relatively confident that their response to events farther south will not be too restrictive.
石油工业对此相对有信心,他们对往更南方开采的反应不会太限制。
After all, if the Arctic does not provide new supplies of oil, they will have to be obtained somewhere else.
毕竟,如果北极不能提供新的石油,就肯定要从其他地方获取。
As Benoit Beauchamp of the Arctic Institute of North America, a Canadian research outfit, notes:
北美北极研究所是加拿大的一个研究机构,他的领导人贝诺伊特比查姆普称:
That somewhere else might be the oil sands, which have their own environmental problems,
有些地方也许有油砂,这些地方有自己的环境问题;
or it could be coming from places where you have to deal with warlords and terrorists, like Africa, or the Middle East, where we pretty much have to send armies to protect the oil and gas.
或者这些油砂的产地有军国主义和恐怖分子,例如非洲或是中东,我们肯定要派军队去保护石油和天然气。

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