Quebec

Tue, 2011-04-05 04:45TJ Scolnick
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There Goes The Neighbourhood: China Rushes To Develop Shale Gas At Home And Abroad

To satisfy its thirst for energy, China is very quickly becoming a big player in the shale gas industry. Unfortunately, whether at home or abroad, there also seems to be little concern from Chinese leadership for the destructive environmental impact of drilling for heavily polluting shale gas – which is often drilled for using the controversial hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) method.

Domestically: Investing in shale gas in China
China’s National Energy Administration is quickly working to draft a plan to develop the country’s shale gas reserves, which are estimated at more than 10 times its conventional gas reserves.

Early in 2010, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) set a target for the country to identify 50-80 shale gas areas and 20-30 exploration and development blocks by 2020. Moreover, the MLR’s Strategic Research Centre for Oil and Gas wants to produce 8-12% of China’s gas from shale wells by 2020.

State-controlled PetroChina (a.k.a. China National Petroleum Corporation) announced its intention to produce 500 million cubic meters of shale gas by 2015 and Sinopec Corporation also wants to exploit some 2.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas and coalbed methane in that time. Already, Royal Dutch Shell is drilling 17 gas wells, for both tight gas and shale gas, and plans to spend $1 billion a year over the next five years on shale gas in China.

Fri, 2011-03-25 10:19TJ Scolnick
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Maryland House Votes For Moratorium On Shale Gas Development And Fracking

Maryland’s House of Representatives voted 98-40 for HB 852, a de-facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and Marcellus Shale drilling in the western part of the state. The bill passed the House after five amendments attempting to block it were handily rejected.

Known as the Maryland Shale Safe Drilling Act of 2011, the legislation seeks to restrict shale gas development and the dangerous drilling method of hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) until 2013 and the completion of a major two-year drinking water and environmental impact assessment.

Jessie Thomas-Blate of American Rivers, an environmental conservation group, notes that the risky fracking process creates a very briny wastewater that could potentially contaminate nearby drinking water supplies permanently.

As Thomas-Blate points out, “If you contaminate people’s water, you can’t go back.”

Mon, 2011-03-14 16:30TJ Scolnick
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Québec’s Oil And Gas Industry Responds To BAPE Report On Shale Gas And Fracking Ban

On Monday, Québec’s oil and gas industry responded to the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) report made public last week. Lucien Bouchard, former Québec Premier turned spokesman for the Québec Oil and Gas Association addressed the media for the first time, acknowledging that the industry’s “new” fracking techniques deserve further scrutiny in order to avoid “mishaps” such as the 19 gas wells that have recently leaked pollution into Quebec’s air and water.

The BAPE commission rightly called for an extensive environmental impact assessment of the effects that shale gas drilling has on air and water quality. While the BAPE did not call for a shale drilling moratorium, Pierre Arcand, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks did, however, ban the use of hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) for at least a year and a half, and up to 30 months until this destructive technique can be studied further.

Tue, 2011-03-01 10:05TJ Scolnick
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Shale Gas and Fracking In Québec Under Intense Scrutiny

Late last summer, Québec’s Liberal government announced a provincial study and a series of public hearings on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas industry practice under increasingly intense review following a bombshell New York Times investigation into fracking threats to drinking water and public health.

This week, the commission that the Quebec government set up to review fracking and shale development, called the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), submitted its far-reaching report on the future of shale gas development in Québec, but it won’t be available for public review until Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, releases it, which could be anytime within the next 60 days.

Sun, 2007-09-16 12:12Bill Miller
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Canada's typical summer heats up, especially in the Arctic

The summer of 2007 was hotter than average and that’s becoming the norm. Canada’s statistical agency says the trend is “consistent with what scientists predict will happen more frequently as the world becomes warmer as a result of climate change.”

Tue, 2007-05-29 09:50Bill Miller
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Mum Harper seen backing Bush effort to undermine international climate-change pact

The Prime Minister is under fire from both Liberals and New Democrats for remaining non-committal on whether Canada will back a proposal by Germany for a post-Kyoto agreement when G8 nations meet in Germany next week. China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa will also be part of the discussions.

Fri, 2007-03-23 12:35Bill Miller
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Gore says Quebec is Canada’s climate-change conscience

The former U.S. vice-president said the rest of Canada is “pretty good” but he singled out Quebec as the “conscience of Canada” on global-warming.

Gore and green-guru scientist David Suzuki chided the mass media for ignoring scientists’ warnings about climate change and giving too much space and credibility to skeptics and deniers.

Fri, 2007-03-23 09:49Bill Miller
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77 per cent of Canadians convinced global warming is real

Although the vast majority is convinced, a new survey by Angus Reid Strategies also found that people in various regions hold different attitudes. In Alberta, as example, 69 per cent of respondents said they believed in global warming, while in Quebec, the number soared to 83 per cent.

Fifty-seven per cent of Quebecers, moreover, said they are promoting better behavior toward the environment while only 36 per cent of Albertans said they are doing the same.

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