A new interactive tool, developed by the Pembina Institute, can be used to determine the magnitude of shale gas and LNG development environmental impacts will have in northeastern B.C.
The B.C. Shale Scenario Tool was introduced to the public at the end of last week and is available for download.
“It’s a spreadsheet tool… that lets you look at different scenarios for LNG development on B.C.’s coast, and different levels of environmental policy from the provincial government that gives you a prediction as to what that might mean for carbon pollution, water use for fracking, waste water produced, land impact, all those types of metrics that will happen predominantly in the northeast over the next 10 to 30 years,” said Matt Horne, the B.C. Associate
Director of the non-profit energy focused think tank.
Horne says the impacts could vary greatly depending on the extent of LNG industry development and how effectively the province regulates it.
Asked about a new report from Ernst and Young — which found BC has a robust regulatory framework in place to oversee the safe management of hydraulic fracturing — Mr. Horne said at first look, he doesn’t have any major disagreements with it.
However, he did touch on a few related areas of concern.
“Most of the concerns I hear from people in the northeast are around things like overall and cumulative impacts,” he said.
“What we’ve looked at in the tool is more forward looking, and if the province is going to hit its climate targets, so, you’re really going to be effectively dealing with water issues in the northeast, whether they’re adequate or not today, those regulations and policies need to get better over time.”
Finally, we also asked Mr. Horne if the Institute would view a change in government in the fall federation election as a boon to environmental issues.
“The current federal government has not been a helpful voice on climate change policy in the country or internationally,” he said.
“A change of perspective in whatever outcome from the election would be welcome, and I’m sure the provincial government would welcome a more constructive partner on climate change issues as well.”
To download the tool, visit http://www.pembina.org/pub/BCShaleTool.