fracking

B.C. Quietly Releases Emissions Update That Shows It’ll Blow 2020 Climate Target

Premier John Horgan BC Emissions Inventory

Figures in a B.C. greenhouse gas inventory released quietly before Christmas show emissions have risen for four of the last five years.

Previously the province released a full public report on emissions, including inventory methodology, every two years but in December the government released a excel spreadsheet simply listing emissions figures for the second year in a row. The spreadsheet was published without any formal announcement or news release.

By law the province is required to reduce emissions 80 per cent from 2007 levels by 2050. In 2008 the province created a benchmark within that reduction, committing to get to 33 per cent reductions by 2020.

But the new figures show B.C. is not on course to meet that 2020 target. Instead emissions are only 2.1 per cent lower than the baseline year of 2007 and are on the rise.

B.C. Finds Gas Industry Built Numerous Unauthorized Fracking Dams Without Engineering Plans

Progress Energy Unauthorized Fracking Dam

Originally published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

More than half of nearly 50 dams that fossil fuel companies built in recent years without first obtaining the proper permits had serious structural problems that could have caused many of them to fail.

And now, B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission (OGC), which appeared to be asleep at the switch in allowing the unlicensed dams to be built in the first place, is frantically trying to figure out what to do about them after the fact.

Information about the unprecedented, unregulated dam-building spree is contained in a raft of documents that the OGC released in response to Freedom of Information requests filed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

B.C. Coughs Up Fracking Report Four Years Late and Only After It Was Leaked to Journalist

Fracking BC

Hundreds of gas wells could be leaking methane and potentially contaminating groundwater, according to a B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) report that has been kept secret from the public and politicians for four years.

That suppression of information is giving ammunition to calls for a full public inquiry into fracking operations in the province.

It is deeply troubling that B.C.’s energy regulator kept this report secret. Why did it not tell the public? Why, as the OGC now alleges, did it also not share the report with cabinet ministers who have responsibility for the energy industry?” Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, told DeSmog Canada.

B.C. Government Failing to Keep Data on Freshwater Resources Amid Fracking, Forestry Frenzy: Report

BC freshwater conservation BC Real Estate Foundation

Canadians are among the world’s top water guzzlers, with each person using enough water, on average, to fill almost 13,000 bathtubs each year, and pay little for the privilege. For example, in B.C., oil and gas companies pay pennies on the dollar compared to regular users for their water usage.

But just how healthy are the lakes, rivers, and streams in B.C. that supply us with drinking water and H2O for industrial uses such as fracking?

Fracking Company Ordered to Drain Two Unauthorized Dams in B.C.’s Northeast

Progress Energy Lily Dam

This article was originally published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The provincial government has ordered Progress Energy to drain virtually all of the water trapped behind two massive dams the company built in violation of key provincial regulations.

The company was told on October 31 to drain all but 10 per cent of the water stored behind its Town and Lily dams near the Alaska Highway north of Fort St. John by Chris Parks, assistant director of compliance and enforcement with B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).

The order comes after Progress Energy filed an extraordinary application this summer with the EAO asking the provincial environmental regulator to retroactively “exempt” the two dams from required environmental assessments. Both dams are higher than five-storey buildings.

Coalition Calls for Public Inquiry Into B.C. Fracking

Premier John Horgan AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Facility

A full public inquiry, with powers to call witnesses and gather research, is needed to investigate natural gas fracking operations in B.C., says a coalition of 17 community, First Nations and environmental organizations.

The group, which includes the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, David Suzuki Foundation, Public Health Association of B.C. and West Coast Environmental Law, is appealing to the NDP government to call a public inquiry — instead of the scientific review promised during the election campaign — because of mounting evidence of problems caused by fracking.

We believe that the NDP’s campaign promise to appoint a scientific panel to review fracking won’t be enough to fully address the true risks of deploying this brute force technology throughout northeast B.C.,” said Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of the organizations asking for an inquiry.

B.C. Regulator Finds Numerous Frack Water Dams Unsafe, At Risk of Failure

Progress Energy Lily Dam

This article originally appeared on The Tyee.

At least seven of 51 large dams built by the province’s shale gas industry in northeastern B.C. were not safe and required “enforcement orders” to comply with the law.

Almost six months after an independent report raised serious questions about the legality and safety of earth dams built to hold water for the fracking industry, the province’s energy regulator now reports it is taking action.

The Oil and Gas Commission recently issued a bulletin saying it had inspected 51 dams northwest of Fort St. John last May and found “some issues” at seven different structures.

New Government and B.C.’s Natural Gas: What Changes are Coming Down the Pipe?

Natural Gas LNG BC NDP Government

For years, Nexen's Aurora project envisioned transforming Digby island near Prince Rupert into a sprawling $20 billion LNG plant shipping 24 million tonnes of liquified B.C. natural gas to Asia. 

On September 14, Aurora officially backed out, reinforcing the words written in this year’s NDP election platform.  “[Ex-premier Christy Clark] bet everything on natural gas prices and left the rest of B.C.’s economy without support,” it reads. 
“Resource communities and families have paid the price. That’s got to change.”

But change to what?  With the rise of B.C.’s new NDP government, forged with the support of the B.C. Greens under climate scientist Andrew Weaver, there is now an opportunity to reset and find more realistic ways to tap the wealth of natural gas in the Peace region. 

The idea that there is going to be a big mega project like Petronas [Pacific NorthWest LNG] was nothing but a pipe dream,” says Andrew Weaver.  “The real question is, what are we going to do with the resource?”

Pacific NorthWest LNG is Dead: 5 Things You Need to Know

LNG Tanker

Malaysia’s Petronas has cancelled plans to build the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., in a move seen as a major setback for B.C.'s LNG dreams and as a major win for those concerned about climate change and salmon habitat.

The project would have involved increased natural gas production in B.C.’s Montney Basin, a new 900-kilometre pipeline and the export terminal itself.

Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s announcement.

Pacific NorthWest LNG Hits Road Block as Gas Pipeline Sent Back to National Energy Board by Federal Court

Site of Pacific NorthWest LNG

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that the National Energy Board (NEB) made a legal mistake by not considering whether TransCanada’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline is under federal jurisdiction, thus requiring NEB approval.

The 900-kilometre natural gas pipeline would move mostly fracked gas from northeastern B.C. to the proposed Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Prince Rupert.

The pipeline was approved by the B.C. government but Smithers, B.C., resident Mike Sawyer requested that the NEB hold a full hearing to determine whether the pipeline is actually in federal jurisdiction.

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