Coalbed Methane Project gets go ahead in Kootenays

The provincial government has given the green light to a contentious coalbed methane project in southeastern B.C.

Energy minister Richard Neufeld says BP Canada has been awarded tenure for its Mist Mountain Project, near Fernie in the East Kootenay region.  Neufeld says BP will be bound by some of the toughest regulations for unconventional gas development in North America.

But the town of Fernie has objected to the project, citing unknown effects to the environment, and several politicians across the border in the U.S. have spoken out against it.

Earlier this year Shell Canada abandoned coalbed methane drilling in the Klappan area in northwest B.C. due to growing dissent by local First Nations.

Before announcing approval for the controversial Mist Mountain project, Neufeld announced a two-year moratorium on coalbed methane drilling by Shell Canada in the Klappan area.

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