When a Nike ad on TV says ‘just do it’ I usually think maybe I should get off the couch.. After our Utica discovery, the oil and gas industry said ‘just do it” but people weren’t too motivated. Instead the forces of ‘just stop it’ had a field day with us.
The Quebec Oil and Gas Association just presented its memoir on Bill 37 for a second moratorium in Quebec. We said industry understands that our discovery was not the end of our job in Quebec but the beginning. Exploration isn’t a hobby and there is no value to anyone unless discoveries are produced. To get to the next step of creating value for Quebec society, we need to find a balance between ‘just do it’ and ‘just stop it’. Our message is we respect that exploiting our discovery means we need to work with all segments of Quebec society.
In addition to Bill 37 we have some conflicting news in Quebec:
- The Government proposed to put over $100 million in to grassroots shale oil exploration projects
- A 290 page strategic environmental study was released, which is the first of its genre in Canada
- The Government announced a full generic BAPE for public consultations on the study
- A CROP poll was released showing 70% of Quebecers were in favor of developing oil resources
- In the Government budget speech it said that Quebec will develop its oil and its gas resources
Is Quebec just doing it or just stopping it? Outside observers could never understand why fracking for oil was popular in Quebec but fracking for natural gas wasn’t. The answer so far has been its different because it’s not the same. Quebecers are increasingly also asking why there is a difference.
My view is we have taken another big step forward in the hydrocarbon debate in Quebec. No longer is industry pushing for the ‘just do it’ approach. We are being patient and constructive. With a patient industry there is simply no longer a need for ‘just stop it’.
We can build a new and exciting industry and energy independence for Quebec. We need to work constructively with opponents, the public and the Government to actually do it.