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29 August 2008

Arctic Oil and the Northwest Passage

Recent climate conditions, especially increased winds, have resulted in the Northwest Passage being used more frequently by shipping. Canada is asserting control over that Passage which works its way through islands and along coasts which are part of Canada. The U.S. and most European nations refuse to recognize Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage.

On the other hand, the U.S., Russia, Denmark (owner of Greenland), and Norway are eager to lay claim to offshore areas along with Canada, because it is estimated that about one-quarter of the earth's as-yet undiscovered oil is in these waters. It sure would seem likely that with the oil on the North Shore of Alaska, there would be some along the North Shore of Canada nearby.

Given the distance over which mineral rights are claimed offshore, it would seem that Canada has some claim to the control of the Northwest Passage. That would sure create some problems for our nuclear submarines, however.

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