shale gas

Mon, 2014-10-27 11:33Emma Gilchrist
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B.C. LNG Strategy Won’t Help Solve Global Climate Change: New Pembina Institute Report

Christy Clark at LNG Canada announcement

The B.C. government’s claim that LNG exports offer the “greatest single step British Columbia can take to fight climate change” is inaccurate in the absence of stronger global climate policies according to a new report released today by the Pembina Institute and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Natural gas does have a role to play in a world that avoids two degrees Celsius in global warming, but only if strong emissions reduction policies are put in place in the jurisdictions that produce and consume the gas, says the report, LNG and Climate Change: The Global Context authored by Matt Horne and Josha MacNab.

Natural gas is often described as a bridge fuel. The question is, how long should that bridge be?” says MacNab, B.C. regional director for the Pembina Institute, a national non-profit focused on transitioning Canada to a clean energy future.

Our research suggests it must be very short if we’re going to be able to get off the bridge in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Tue, 2014-10-14 13:35Steve Horn
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Tar Sands Trade: Kuwait Buys Stake in Alberta As It Opens Own Heavy Oil Spigot

Chevron made waves in the business world when it announced its October 6 sale of 30-percent of its holdings in the Alberta-based Duvernay Shale basin to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for $1.5 billion.

It marked the first North American purchase for the Kuwaiti state-owned oil company and yields KUFPEC 330,000 acres of Duvernay shale gas. Company CEO and the country's Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, called it an “anchor project” that could spawn Kuwait's expansion into North America at-large. 

Kuwait's investment in the Duvernay, at face-value buying into Canada's hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) revolution, was actually also an all-in bet on Alberta's tar sands. As explained in an October 7 article in Platts, the Duvernay serves as a key feedstock for condensate, a petroleum product made from gas used to dilute tar sands, allowing the product to move through pipelines. 

And while Kuwait — the small Gulf state sandwiched between Iraq and Saudi Arabia — has made a wager on Alberta's shale and tar sands, Big Oil may also soon make a big bet on Kuwait's homegrown tar sands resources.

“Kuwait has invited Britain’s BP, France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, to bid for a so-called enhanced technical service agreement for the northern Ratqa heavy oilfield,” explained an October 2 article in Reuters. “It is the first time KOC will develop such a big heavy oil reservoir and the plan is to produce 60,000 bpd from Ratqa, which lies close to the Iraqi border [in northern Kuwait]…and then ramp it up to 120,000 bpd by 2025.”

In the past, Kuwait has said it hopes to learn how to extract tar sands from Alberta's petroleum engineers.

Thu, 2014-07-31 15:33Carol Linnitt
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Companies Illegally Dumped Toxic Fracking Chemicals in Dawson Creek Water Treatment Systems At Least Twice, Officials Report

fracking in BC, Dawson Creek

Although city officials from Dawson’s Creek won’t disclose the names of the companies involved, they are confirming that fracking waste has been illegally dumped into the city’s water treatment system on at least two occasions.

Jim Chute, administrative officer for the city, told DeSmog Canada, that illegal dumping has occurred at least three times, but twice the waste was “clearly” related to fracking.

It has actually been on three occasions in the last 18 months where we’ve caught inappropriate materials being dumped,” he said. “One of those was a load of contaminated diesel. It’s not clear to us exactly how that diesel got contaminated so we don’t know if that was frack-related or not.”

The other two were a mix of compounds that were clearly flowback waste from a frack operation.”

Tue, 2014-02-11 11:57Derek Leahy
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Ontario Approves Importing U.S. Fracked Gas

The Ontario Energy Board’s approval of three natural gas projects last week puts the province’s plans to significantly reduce Ontario’s carbon footprint in jeopardy.

The ruling also gives Ontario the green light to import controversial shale gas from the U.S. This type of gas is trapped in rock-like shale and is extracted using a process called hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, which involves pumping a chemical mix underground at high temperatures to break apart the rock and free the gas. The practice has caused controversy worldwide due to fracking chemicals and methane contaminating drinking water.

So often we see approvals given to pipeline and fossil fuel projects without a real understanding of the broader and long-term impacts on climate, water and public health,” says Emma Lui, a water campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

Mon, 2013-09-23 09:39Indra Das
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New Brunswick Government Downplays Energy Institute Resignation Over 'Misrepresented Credentials'

Louis LaPierre

The New Brunswick government is downplaying the fallout of Louis LaPierre's resignation from the province's Energy Institute after his admission that he had misrepresented some of his academic credentials.

CBC News reports that Energy Minister Craig Leonard “contends the ongoing controversy does not taint the work the former University of Moncton professor did for the government on the possible development of a shale gas industry in the province.” LaPierre wrote a report called The Path Forward for the Energy Institute, which outlines the challenges faced by the province in establishing a foothold for the shale gas industry.

Despite New Brunswick Premier David Alward's statement from January 31 that LaPierre was “the right man” to be working on the shale gas industry because “Dr. LaPierre is an internationally-recognized scientist,” Leonard is now asserting that science was never a part of LaPierre's job.

Wed, 2013-02-27 10:07Erin Flegg
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Fueling the Future: Is BC to become a Global Frack Zone?

On day one of the two-day LNG conference titled Fueling the Future: Global Opportunities for LNG in BC, Premier Christy Clark announced in her keynote address that BC would lead the world in transitioning “to the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet.”

But efforts to bill LNG development as the province’s ticket to long-term prosperity may be missing the big picture.

A report published jointly by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria highlights a divide between water use policy and energy resource management policy. The discrepancy could have a direct impact on the province’s decision to promote natural gas development. A dramatic increase in the hydraulic fracturing required to remove natural gas from BC’s shale gas fields means a dramatic upswing in under regulated water use and, in turn, water contamination.

Wed, 2013-02-06 10:22Guest
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Surveillance of the Environmental Movement: When Counter-Terrorism Becomes Political Policing

By Jeffrey Monaghan, researcher with the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University and Kevin Walby, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of Victoria.

A recent example of RCMP surveillance of environmental activists was reported last month by the Montreal Gazette.  According to documents released under the Access to Information Act, it appears that a branch of the expansive RCMP national security apparatus - the Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team - has been monitoring a group of Quebec residents opposed to shale gas development.  The group under surveillance - la Regroupement Interrégional sur le gaz de schiste de la Vallée du St-Laurent - represents more than 100 anti-shale gas citizen committees in Quebec. 

Surveillance practices targeting the environmental movement should not be surprising given recent trends toward an increasing allocation of resources to counter-terrorism programs across the country.

Fri, 2013-01-25 05:00Carol Linnitt
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Canadian Scientists Must Speak Out Despite Consequence, Says Andrew Weaver

If people don’t speak out there will never be any change,” says the University of Victoria’s award-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver. 

And the need for change in Canada, says Weaver, has never been more pressing.

“We have a crisis in Canada. That crisis is in terms of the development of information and the need for science to inform decision-making. We have replaced that with an ideological approach to decision-making, the selective use of whatever can be found to justify [policy decisions], and the suppression of scientific voices and science itself in terms of informing the development of that policy.”
 
Tue, 2013-01-22 17:54Carol Linnitt
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Approaching the Point of No Return: The World's Dirtiest Megaprojects We Must Avoid

Canada's tar sands are one of 14 energy megaprojects that are “in direct conflict with a livable climate.”

According to a new report released today by Greenpeace, the fossil fuel industry has plans for 14 new coal, oil and gas projects that will dangerously increase global warming emissions at a time when massive widespread reductions are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. In conjunction these projects make it very likely global temperature rise will increase beyond the 2 degrees Celsius threshold established by the international community to levels as high as 4 or even 6 degrees.

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