Fracking Gung-ho and BC Politics

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Fracking Gung-ho and BC Politics



I know that we have a couple threads about fracking, and that collect stuff from across the country. But as with so many other things, there is something uniue about fracking and BC politics.

Alberta is gung-ho about fracking to. But BC has the biggest Canadian play, in Alberta its a small sliver of the dominant part of life and politics that oil and gas plays, and in BC the government is head over heels promoting.

LNG plans may alter B.C.'s climate-change goals


The points made in the article, and to which Clark is defending the economic strategy of the pipelines, are relevant.

But the whole premise of the article ignores most of the issues. The biggest thing: fracking is not even mentioned.

It just treats gas as clean energy, period. Which the industry and government boosters do and the MSM just lets it sail by.

Not that it isnt a big deal in its own right what the article highlights- trying to except the GHG contributions of power used in the pipelines by counting the GHG savings of burning gas instead of coal in Asian power plants.

Cool. Japan and China count the GHG savings [the accounting everyone does], but BC can count them too, so that we are not violating the climate change legislation Gord brought in.

And we'll just forget about the carbon footprint of producing fracked gas.






There is also a danger that the market could change by the time B.C. producers are ready to ship their product. Last week, Scotiabank's Commodity Price Index pegged Canadian natural-gas export prices at the lowest in a decade.

North American gas prices have collapsed because of the glut of fracked gas. Production is being shut down, and will be for at least a couple years... let alone any money for drilling new fracked gas wells.

International prices are considerably higher, but also sinking. Is their going to be the massive capital for investing in any- let alone all of those pipelines....
betting on the international price several years from now, after supplies have been steadily increasing??

[And as Chine begins to tap its own shale gas.]

We can't be expecting market dynamics to save us- but this is there.



Been a long time since I have seen BC anti-fracking websites. Would domeone post a couple links?

And my memory tells me the BC NDP has said it will not change anything. Is that correct? And where do the gas pipelines and their stand on that fit into the position on shale gas fracking?

[And square with the position on the Northern Gateway.]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Rafe Mair: One on One with BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix - Part 2 (youtube)

Rafe Mair pulls no punches in this, the second of a two-part interview with BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix - grilling the potential future premier of BC on Liquid Natural Gas, fracking, the proposed Enbridge pipeline and salmon farms. Will the NDP stand up to Harper over Enbridge and open net pen aquaculture?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

50 results found on Fracking on Rafe Mair's website (not all BC, though)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Adrian Dix: BC's Energy Future

Written by Adrian Dix Thursday, 14 April 2011


I am committed to scrapping the BC Liberal support for offshore oil and gas exploration, for the oil tankers and for the Enbridge pipeline. We must stop undertaking these projects just so the tar sands can be expanded at an exponential rate of growth.  British Columbians never signed our province up for that role and we should not accept it.
I was also the first leadership candidate to commit to expanded public scrutiny with specific steps for upstream oil and gas operations in BC.  I have committed to reviews of fracking, sour gas emissions and upstream greenhouse gas emissions in order to get public accountability and to identify concrete pollution reduction solutions. Doing nothing and relying on the Liberals' policies of self-regulation in the gas fields are not satisfactory to me, any more than the IPP free-for-all has been. Putting politics aside, BC needs a change in government to save our environment and I believe I can provide the leadership to help make the NDP government again, and start the process of change.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

BC Greens make this claim: Curiously, BC's NDP official opposition is in favour of fracking and the export of gas but strongly oppose the Northern Gateway project and the export of tar sands oil, a rather contradictory approach to the issue.


Adrian Dix's webpage calls for greater oversight but not explicit opposition to fracking.


Finally, CCPA has this: With both the Liberals and NDP supporting BC's exporting of fossil fuels to Asian markets (both back the building of new LNG plants), the question has to be asked: How do they square an explosion in shale gas developments with BC's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals? A doubling in industry emissions is likely by 2020, meaning that every other sector of BC's economy will have to cut their emissions by half to accommodate the shale gas industry's projected growth.


Good to see that under Dix's leadership the BC NDP has taken steps back from going along with the fracking and LNG bandwagon.

The devil of course is in how serious they are about having a robust review.

On the cynical side: I think it is safe to say that the NS NDP government's initial intent in having a review on fracking was similar to the Charest government's intent: they expecting after a little airing of the issues, and some venting of steam, that in the end they would bring out 'best practices', and away it would all go. Which is a sick cynical joke: every gung-ho government says they have the best and safest regulations. In Canada, those claims coming from AB, BC, and NB. The BC Oil & Gas Commision is your usual industry toady and facade.

Despite that cynicim.... once these not very sincere reviews get underway, the process has its own momentum. And what it seems to be boiling down to, is that without a go-go atmosphere with the provincial/state government actively cheerleading and staying out of the industry's way... the advantage passes to the opponents. This has happened now in New York, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.


In all 3 cases we now have robust reviews. [We dont actually have one in NS, at least yet, but at a minimum we do have a commitment to at least wait to see and review what New York and Quebec do.]

Granted, this is hugely different than the experience in the West [or in Pennsylvania and Arkansas]. Bc has an industry going full tilt, and that is a different kettle of fish than one trying to get established. But if the BC NDP follows through on a serious review.... that will a first in a jurisdiction with a producing industry.

And the review  would be happening when the industry has been nearly halted by economic shifts. They just do not have the same clout without the clamour of the dollars and the jobs gushing forth. [Promises of what will be to come do not buy clout and clamour.]


Boom Boom wrote:

 How do they square an explosion in shale gas developments with BC's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals?

Easy. So far at least,

There is very little visible challenge to the assumption that the carbon foortprint of burning gas is just that: burning it. So its clean energy.

There is no examination of the footprint of producing and transprting it. So the few studies there are get ignored.

The science to date shows that shale gas is no better than producing and burning coal. But like I said, that is successfully ignored.

It doesnt help that opponents to shale gas always focus on water quality. No wonder that is all the public notices [with the help of the MSM.]. The Council of Canadians even turns the water thing into a fetish- presumably because they've made WATER into 'their' marquee issue... stitching it to nationalism.


Natural gas from fracking could be 'dirtier' than coal, Cornell professors find

In that news piece, you'll see a reference to their published research, which they may have updated, even though that may not be much more than a year old. And there have been other researchers with corraborating findings.


This academic article about the BC govt's promotional strategy just turned up on an anti-fracking listserve:

Greenwashing gas: Might a ‘transition fuel' label legitimize carbon-intensive natural gas development?

Abstract: Natural gas is widely considered to be the crucial "bridging fuel" in the transition to the low-carbon energy systems necessary to mitigate climate change. This paper develops a case study of the shale gas industry in British Columbia (BC), Canada to evaluate this assumption. We find that the transition fuel argument for gas development in BC is unsubstantiated by the best available evidence. Emissions factors for shale gas and LNG remain poorly characterized and contested in the academic literature, and context-specific factors have significant impacts on the lifecycle emissions of shale gas but have not been evaluated. Moreover, while the province has attempted to frame natural gas development within its ambitious climate change policy, this framing misrepresents substantive policy on gas production. The "transition fuel" and "climate solution" labels applied to development by the BC provincial government risk legitimizing carbon-intensive gas development. We argue that policy makers in BC and beyond should abandon the "transition fuel" characterization of natural gas. Instead, decision making about natural gas development should proceed through transparent engagement with the best available evidence to ensure that natural gas lives up to its best potential in supporting a transition to a low-carbon energy system.

the journal article has to be purchased


Arthur Berman - Learning from US Shale Gas Experience

Really good 33 min audio clip, background info for gas producers. shale gas is a coomercial failure [at least so far], and so forth.

Dont take that to mean it isnt a steamroller anyway.

But it is fodder for keeping the BC NDP from going along with the export scam.


KenS wrote:
Good to see that under Dix's leadership the BC NDP has taken steps back from going along with the fracking and LNG bandwagon

But it is fodder for keeping the BC NDP from going along with the export scam.

Actually the BC NDP supports west coast lng terminals, lng pipelines, which source will be fracking shale gas.


My original comment there was based on Dix having said that they want to have a full review of fracking.

But hearing Horgan talk- he spouts all the buzzwords of shale gas proponents talking around the problems. [I'll get into the specifics of that later.] So it has all the credibility of Harper and Oliver saying there is going to be a full review of Northern Gateway. Except that this is the NDP, so you have Dix saying the soothing words that relate to protecting the environment.... and let Horgan do all the industrial cheerleading.

Division of labour.



"A natural-gas proposal makes sense," Horgan said, "because it's a product from British Columbia, so the royalties would stay here, the jobs would be created here. And gas vents; it doesn't stick.

Alll conventional gas in BC is and will be taken up by existing end uses. The increment for LNG export would all be shale gas. The royalties are flagged around by companies and governments alike. But they are negligible for shale gas. Each new O&G well gets a two year tax and royalty holiday. And guess how fast each shale gas well depletes.


Fracking, to use the unflattering short-hand term for the process of hydraulically fracturing shale rock to release the gas trapped within, has generated concerns about excessive water use, subsurface pollution, and seismic activity.

But would Horgan "call for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until British Columbians know more?" The question was put to the would-be energy minister by would-be NDP candidate George Heyman of the Sierra Club during Horgan's recent appearance on Voice of B.C. on Shaw TV.

"No," was the clear implication of his more lengthy reply.

"People within the NDP predisposed to green, environmental concerns were troubled that you heard from other jurisdictions where people were lighting their taps on fire because the gas had seeped into aquifers and into the water tables.

"That's not the case in B.C. Our deposits are three and four kilometres under the ground. In Pennsylvania, the Marcellus play, which is providing gas now to much of Eastern Canada - that's very shallow, relative to our deposits."

He's impressed with the B.C. industry's experience and expertise. "We've been fracking in B.C. for decades and we do it fairly well. I've been to a number of frack sites, and I'm comfortable with the technology."

Another disengenuous dodge the industry loves. Fracking is decades old. But slickwater horizontal bore hydraulic fracturing is barely a decade old, and the combination of technologies is what is relevant. It is still in its infancy. Horgan has heard the counter-argument, and chooses to spout the industry bafflegab.



Seismic activity? "Not significant issues when you're that deep in the ground. You wouldn't want to necessarily be fracking along the Juan de Fuca fault, but in the Peace country it's relatively safe - at least, that's what I'm advised, and I've not heard of any seismic activity in the Peace."

Another disengenuous dodge. Shale gas is as deep in Nova Scotia, and a lot of the Marcellus, where Horgan tries to pass off the problems as due to shallow resources. And those deep injection wells that have set off earthquakes in Ohio and Arkansas are just as deep as the Horn River Shale resource.




Ben Parfitt, CCPA: BC's expansion of shale gas fracking puts our water and climate goals at risk

Leave aside all the water usage and contamination, and air pollution issues, on climate change alone, you have to be really committed to obfuscation to argue that BC shale gas is doing the planet a favour if it displaces coal in China.

The BC NDP, like the government, is obvioulsy not even counting or considering even the DIRECT emissions of shale gas extraction, let alone the electricity required for the LNG plants, etc.

Shale gas is very similar to the tar sands- its going after the dregs and it takes a lot more GHG emissions to get it.


Sorry Ken, but I side with Horgan on this issue.

Politically, the BC NDP supports lng, the councils of Prince Rupert, Kitimat, First Nations (all coastal FN's), MP Nathan Cullen (as Green as they come), Building Trades Unions, etc. etc. Really not much opposition, if any, that I have seen.

Yes, the feedstock for the lng terminals will be derived from the tight shale gas basins in North East BC - Montney (which is also liquids rich), Horn River, Cordova Embayment and potentially Liard Basins. While these basins require fracking to produce the natural gas, the wells are very deep (2 - 4 km) and are lined with casings to prevent disturbance into shallow aquifers.

And the flowback wastewater from a fracked well is recycled for re-use by one of the numerous, third-party enviro firms involved in that area.

In addition, much of the water for fracking is now derived from non-fresh-water sources such as Encana/Apache's joint Dubolt water treatment plant, which taps deep, sub-surface, non-potable aquifer containing saline, sour (containing hydrogen sulfide) water for 80% of the companies' needs in the Horn River Basin.

And Royal Dutch Shell paid for almost the entire cost of Dawson Creek's new $10 million waste water treatment facility. In return Shell utilizes the recylced waste-water for its Montney basin operations. A win-win situation for both.

Back east in areas such as Quebec, New York, etc. the depth of the shale gas is actually much shallower and aquifers are a major source of drinking water combined with major population centres. OTOH, NE BC is very sparsely populated especially the Horn River, Cordova Embayment, Liard, and most of the Montney basins. And these areas are historical oil and gas regions.

Australia, under its Labour governments, are experiencing a massive lng terminal boom - $200 billion worth. The feedstock for the lng on Australia's east coast is coal bed methane, which ia also highly contoversial environmentally. And here in BC as well!

These lng terminals require massive capital - akin to the capital requirements of AB's oil sands. That's why these new Australian lng terminals enter into 20 - 30 year contracts linked to the price of oil. Most of the purchasers are utilities in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, and even Malaysia and Indonesia will eventually become net lng importers. They all want strategic security of future ng supply from stable political jurisdictions.

And the current NA Henry hub price is ~$2MMBTu compared to $17 MMBTu in Japan. Wellhead prices are even lower in NE BC at ~$1.60 MMBTu. Kitimat, BC is also as close to the Japanese market, in terms of shipping nautical miles, as is eastern Australian lng.

Contemplated lng from the U.S. Gulf coast would cost another $2 MMBTu in shipping costs to Asia compared to Kitimat, BC with the much longer shipping times. The new Panama Canal charges aren't included into that cost mix.

IOW, arbitrage comes into play with current $1.60 MMBTu NE BC ng monetized to become $12 - $17 MMBTu ng in Asia.

So in BC we have 6 or more lng plants contemplated/proposed for BC's NE coast:

1. Royal Dutch Shell/Korea Gas/Mitsubishi/Petro-China - Kitimat

$12 billion lng terminal (with potential to double in size)/$4 billion pipeline/$20 - $30 billion in field development

2. Encana/EOG/Apache - Kitimat

$6 billion lng terminal (with potential to double in size)/$multi-billion pipeline/$15 billion in field development (lng terminal and pipeline have both received environmental certification)

3. Petronas - Prince Rupert

$Multi-billion lng terminal/pipeline/field development

Just a few weeks ago, Petronas (Malaysian state-owned) purchased a small mid-cap natural gas company with NE BC ng assets for $5.5 billion. That's on top of the $1 billion that they had previously invested with that same concern in a jv. Largest offshore purchase ever made by Petronas and that was just for upstream assets to feed their future downstream lng terminal in Prince Rupert.

4. Exxon/Imperial and other Asian companies (Japanese) are also conducting feasibility studies on west coast lng terminals.

And a few weeks ago Apache disclosed another massive find in the virgin Liard basin of NE BC - estimated at 48 trillion cubic feet.

And each lng terminal will require thousands of skilled workers to construct over the next few years. Ditto the numerous long-distance natural gas pipelines to NE BC from the coast. We are not talking about Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline here.

Some studies indicate that these lng terminals will increase BC provincial GDP by between $600 billion and $1 trillion over the next 25 - 30 years. And another $4 billion per annum into BC provincial coffers in terms of royalties, etc. (representing 1/2 the current BC education budget).

To sum it up, all major provincial/federal parties are on-side, First Nations are on-side, communities, Building Trades, all stakeholders, the public, the MSM, etc. are also on-side.

Ken, if you want to give the provincial Libs a golden gift on a silver platter, in terms of a political wedge issue, this is it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I believe fracking is an evil technology in that it is hugely environmentally destructive, and I don't believe anything said by its proponents. So, yeah, I'm onside with Ken on this.


So what you are saying is that there is so much money in this that we'll use a bit of it to address some of the environmental issues [money plus the fact there are few locals in the immediate vicinity to poison], and obfuscate or simply ignore the rest of the issues- most notably GHG emission effects.

The industry standard is that 5% of wells have casing faults, and hydraulic fracturing is no different. If you know anything about concrete and how it is pumped into the casing, no surprises there. So much for isolation of the gas and fracking chemicals from the gelogical layers and fractures above, and from the atmosphere. The GHG effects from methane emissions from fracking extraction make it no better than burning coal, possibly worse.

It's questionable whether the technological challenges of casing faults and their consequences can be 'solved'. What is not questionable: they have not been, no one is requiring it, and every company and state and provincial regulator fights making them even collect hard data on emissions.

Those figures on how much money is to come are always highly inflated. The roylalty 'estimates' would have to be based on the voodoo economics that there is going to be so much money washing around that they will appear in some way. Where have we seen this before?

The flase dualism of handing the Libs a gift is bogus- as if the only options are saying 'no, we dont want this' or the Horgan hook line and sinker boosterism.

If there is really so much money to be made downstream, then the NDP govt could jack up royalties so that those figures arent just wishful thinking, and require collection of data and hard investments in capturing fugitive emmissions. But that isnt going to come from the same people that enthustiastically repeat the industry's bait stage promises of the classic bait and switch.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think that LNG and fracking is going to heat up as an election issue.  No one believes the numbers that the Liberals are throwing out so the economic benefits are not clear.  The NDP should be saying one plant is committed but lets hold off on other plants until the effect of the natural gas glut is fully understood.  Coal to Japan was supposed to save BC's economy in the Tumbler Ridge boom days and we got sucked into building infrastructure and no returns every really came back for the investment.

An Alberta family might really help tilt the economic balance if they can ever get a liability ruling issued by our corrupt court system.  If the companies and regulators are responsible for the pollution directly then the game changes again.  Prohibitively high insurance costs might even drive the Wall street money out of the industry.

Harper is a dictator and this kind of gaming of our court system is very sad to see. Its hard to have any faith in our institutions when they are being manipulated in such a fashion.



In a stunning move the Harper government has thrown another hurdle before a high profile Alberta lawsuit that seeks to put the regulation of hydraulic fracturing on public trial.

Last week the Department of Justice appointed Honourable Barbara L. Veldhuis, a Court of Queen's Bench judge presiding over the landmark case, to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. The promotion effectively removes Veldhuis from the multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Moreover, Veldhuis was about to rule on whether or not Alberta's energy regulator could be sued by a landowner for failing to uphold provincial rules, protect groundwater and respect the constitutional rights of Canadians.

The Harper government's appointment now means another judge will have to be appointed to hear the case, which has attracted global attention including the United States, Australia, Poland and Ireland.


The $33-million lawsuit alleges that Encana, one of Canada's largest natural gas producers, drilled and fracked shallow coal bed methane wells directly in the local groundwater supply between 2001 and 2004 near Rosebud, Alberta and thereby polluted Ernst's water well with enough toxic chemicals and methane to make it flammable.

In addition the claim details how Alberta's energy regulators, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Environment "failed to follow the investigation and enforcement processes that they had established and publicized" despite direct evidence of industry-caused pollution and public admissions that shallow fracturing puts groundwater at risk.

Just last month Justice Veldhuis presided over a hearing of the landmark lawsuit in a Calgary court room where more than 80 citizens including a dozen from Rosebud, Alberta showed up to support Ernst.

Ernst, however, did not attend. She showed up at the Drumheller courthouse where, by law, her case would ordinarily be heard.

However, lawyers for government and EnCana successfully argued to move the case to Calgary where fewer people are directly affected by oil and gas drilling.

During last month's hearing lawyers representing Alberta's ERCB argued that the regulator can't be sued and that it owed "no duty of care" to landowners or groundwater, a public resource.

Ernst lawyer Murray Klippenstein replied that regulators do owe a duty of care to public resources like groundwater because contamination travels and impacts other citizens. Moreover a regulator cannot enact laws or make decisions that violate the basic constitutional rights of citizens especially when they ask the regulators to uphold the law in the public interest.

To date Encana, the Alberta government and ERCB have not yet filed statements of defence on incidents that took place nine years ago. At the time industry drilled and fracked thousands of shallow wells in a coal formation in central Alberta resulting in scores of groundwater complaints, protests and public meetings.



Fracking is not going away, here in BC or elsewhere. It is here to stay so perhaps we should be focusing on ways to minimize any damages it causes.


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

 Climate change, what climate change?

Money mouth

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unearthed: The Fracking Facade

It's time to look behind the glitzy commercials and PR campaigns.

Unearthed: Setting the fracking track record straight -
A video exposing a flawed claim often abused in the sales pitch for promoting shale gas development across the world:

"With a history of 60 years, after nearly a million wells drilled, there are no documented cases that hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') has lead to the contamination of groundwater."

Brought to you by the team behind the upcoming South African feature documentary, Unearthed, that is investigating natural gas development and the controversial method of extraction known as "fracking" from a global perspective. Should South Africa and other countries drill down?


The Facts on Fracking

The Pennsylvania experience with water contamination is also instructive. In Pennsylvania, shale gas is accessed at depths of thousands of feet while drinking water is extracted from depths of only hundreds of feet. Nowhere in the state have fracking compounds injected at depth been shown to contaminate drinking water.

In one study of 200 private water wells in the fracking regions of Pennsylvania, water quality was the same before and soon after drilling in all wells except one. The only surprise from that study was that many of the wells failed drinking water regulations before drilling started. But trucking and storage accidents have spilled fracking fluids and brines, leading to contamination of water and soils that had to be cleaned up. The fact that gas companies do not always disclose the composition of all fracking and drilling compounds makes it difficult to monitor for injected chemicals in streams and groundwater.

Pennsylvania has also seen instances of methane leaking into aquifers in regions where shale-gas drilling is ongoing. Some of this gas is “drift gas” that forms naturally in deposits left behind by the last glaciation. But sometimes methane leaks out of gas wells because, in 1 to 2 percent of the wells, casings are not structurally sound. The casings can be fixed to address these minor leaks, and the risk of such methane leaks could further decrease if casings were designed specifically for each geological location.

The disposal of shale gas brine was initially addressed in Pennsylvania by allowing the industry to use municipal water treatment plants that were not equipped to handle the unhealthy components. Since new regulations in 2011, however, Pennsylvania companies now recycle 90 percent of this briny water by using it to frack more shale.

In sum, the experience of fracking in Pennsylvania has led to industry practices that mitigate the effect of drilling and fracking on the local environment.

And while the natural gas produced by fracking does add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere through leakage during gas extraction and carbon dioxide release during burning, it in fact holds a significant environmental advantage over coal mining. Shale gas emits half the carbon dioxide per unit of energy as does coal, and coal burning also emits metals such as mercury into the atmosphere that eventually settle back into our soils and waters.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thanks NR but frankly the idea that the New York Times is a credible source boggles the imagination. I commend you for your slavish devotion to anything the NDP might agree with. Don't you think that maybe you should put your efforts into changing your party's view of this deadly practice instead of trying to convince us that it is okay. 

I prefer these guys take on the process to paid propagandist working for the US MSM.  In ideal circumstances mitigation might be possible.  The problem is there are no ideal circumstances in the field.!


Actually, the New York Times writes a lot of good, meaty articles on fracking, and has done so since before there was an anti-fracking bandwagon. And they recently came out with an editorial foray into the intensely politicisised NY fracking debate. The Democratic governor Cuomo ostensibly sits on the fence- but has tried six ways to Sunday to weasel in fracking through every side and back door possible. The Times came out in favour of a long moratorium. 

This particular piece was an Op-Ed. Given that the Times is nototious for running literally hundreds of articles cheronicling the negatives of fracking, they are pretty much obliged to run an article by two academically credentialed shills for the industry... who deftly skate around everything.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thanks for the clarification Ken.  When I read it the piece sounded like industry shilling to me.  Maybe NR can dig up one of its journalism pieces instead.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'm not sure many people really understand the full implications of natural gas fracking and "the plan". why would we here in bc want it? it's certainly not in our interest.

Site C, LNG and the NDP - Damien Gillis in Kelowna

Damien Gillis at Kelowna's "People's Forum", on the eve of that city's federal hearings into the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. Looking beyond the proposed oil pipeline, Gillis discusses natural gas fracking and the plan to turn this gas into liquid (LNG) to ship it to new markets in Asia. He also addresses the related proposal to flood 80 km of the Peace River Valley in northeast BC to build a $10 Billion taxpayer-funded dam, Site C, that would power new gas and mining operations - asking where the NDP stands on this economic vision for the province with an election fast approaching.


Like any process there are advantages and disadvantages.

Fracking is not perfect, but it is here to stay, so better to direct efforts towards minimizing the damage that it causes.


And Site C will definitely be going ahead.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What a ray of sunshine you are.  So why even bother with our political process?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture interest is in making change nr. capitulation doesn't enter into it. change can at times happen suddenly. i just completed an angus reid may election poll and one of the questions gave a little blurb by a party leader and you rated it.

con blah blah..0

lib blah blah..0

ndp education, getting it right blah blah..0

greens no tar sands no did that look good..10

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

BC's First Nations are leading the way: Fracking Bans Worldwide

  • British Columbia
  • First Nations people in NW British Columbia enacted a four year moratorium against drilling for natural gas by Royal Dutch Shell in the Sacred Headwaters. Members of the Tahltan First Nation are blockading Shell’s coal bed methane project in the Sacred Headwaters, the birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers.
  • ETA: does this need to be updated?


    Adrian Dix wrote:
    Thank you for writing to me about your opposition to fracking. I have received quite a few e-mails on this subject, and I share the concerns of people throughout our community that fracking poses significant risks to the environment and to fresh water sources.

    As you may know, the NDP has committed to a four point plan, announced in November 2011, as follows:

    ·         Appoint an expert panel to conduct a broad public review of fracking, including public hearings and consultations with First Nations, local communities, industry, environmental groups and citizens;

    ·         Make immediate changes to protect B.C.’s water resources, including consolidating authority for water licencing within one public body; improving water mapping, monitoring and public reporting; and ending the current practice of issuing free water permits through the Oil and Gas Commission;

    ·         Extend funding for the Farmers’ Advocate office to ensure landowners in the natural gas fields have the support they need to deal with the gas industry;

    ·         Examine the province’s Climate Action Plan in order to take into account proposed expansions in gas development, which will bring more upstream greenhouse gas emissions.

    ·         You may also be interested in an article written by NDP environment critic Rob Fleming and NDP energy critic in December of 2012. I’ve copied it below.

    Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. As an MLA, I will work to toughen environmental protection, fight climate change, and help our province make the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.


    Adrian Dix

    Leader BC NDP

    MLA for Vancouver Kingsway


    PS. Here’s the article I referred to:

    Rob Fleming and John Horgan: B.C. NDP government would review fracking

    by Rob FlemingJohn Horgan on Dec 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    British Columbia needs to have a strong environmental lens guiding the development of our energy resources.  As we transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy, we must recognize the need for the responsible development of existing energy sources.  
    While British Columbia has a well-established natural gas industry and an existing network of natural gas pipelines, we must approach further expansion with care.

    New Democrats have met with First Nations, local governments, and residents throughout northeast B.C. While there are questions and concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, there is also much agreement that extraction and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects can be done with greater consideration for environmental protection.

    That's why Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats have put forward a plan that we believe will ensure long-term sustainability and environmental stewardship, greater public accountability, and best practices in the industry, particularly when it comes to fracking.

    The first point of our plan would be to appoint an expert panel to conduct a broad public review of fracking, including public hearings and consultations with First Nations, local communities, industry, environmental groups, and citizens. The panel will ensure British Columbians get B.C.-specific information they can trust.

    Second, we would make immediate changes to protect B.C.’s water resources, including consolidating authority for water licensing within one public body; improving water mapping, monitoring and public reporting; and reviewing current water pricing practices.

    Many British Columbians are raising valid questions and concerns about water use and the impacts of fracking. Our call for a review of water management stands in stark contrast to the B.C. Liberal government, which has largely failed to put the necessary protections in place.
    The B.C. Liberal government has dragged its feet on introducing the Water Sustainability Act which promised to “respond to current and future pressures on water, and position B.C. as a leader in water stewardship.” While draft legislation was promised years ago, it likely won't see the light of day before the end of the Liberals' term in office.

    A number of B.C. First Nations are in favour of supporting LNG development under the right circumstances. For example, while the Fort Nelson First Nation has criticized the Liberal government for “irresponsible, unsustainable water use” in the shale gas industry, they acknowledge the economic benefits of the natural gas industry and believe “that shale gas development can occur without full-scale damage to our rivers, lakes, and streams”.

    Our plan would also include extending funding for the Farmers’ Advocate office to ensure landowners in the natural gas fields have the credible, independent support they need to deal with the gas industry.

    And finally, we must find ways to align expansion in gas development and greenhouse gas emissions with the targets set out in the province’s Climate Action Plan. The Liberals have largely failed to take responsibility on this front, opting instead to change the definition of what constitutes "clean" energy rather than tackle the tough issues.

    New Democrats can support LNG exports while opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline because LNG is a much safer alternative to oil. While any incident would be a major concern, the safety record of gas pipelines, LNG terminals, and LNG tankers shows there have been very few leaks. And unlike raw bitumen, which would cause a devastating environmental catastrophe in the case of a major spill off B.C.'s north coast, liquefied natural gas would evaporate and dissipate.

    A New Democrat government would approach the development of safer, cleaner energy sources in an environmentally-responsible way. By subjecting each project to a rigorous environmental assessment and having the proper protections in place, we would make certain the best interests of our province are represented. This will enhance our economic development and indigenous peoples’ self-determination, and create a sustainable environment for the future.

    Authorized by Rosanne So-Espinoza Financial Agent