Yesterday, the Quebec Solidaire made a symbolic motion in the National Assembly supporting its policies to protect the environment from the impacts of fracking.
Questerre has accepted, for some time the opposition of environmental non-governmental organizations and left-wing political parties like Quebec Solidaire, the Parti Quebecois and even more recently the Liberals.
They have won. While science and experience have not shown significant impacts, they still won the public debate. Questerre has accepted that.
Environmental groups raised the issues of greenhouse emissions, use of drinking water and use of toxic fluids by traditional oil and gas fracking technology. The vast majority of oil and gas imported in Quebec today is produced with this technology and there is no evidence of serious problems. Nonetheless, Questerre accepts environmental groups have pointed out the risks and that the traditional approaches aren’t acceptable in Quebec.
The same groups agree it also isn’t acceptable to keep importing foreign oil and gas at a great environmental and financial cost. Quebec is creating permanent high paid jobs in Trump’s America and causing three times the global emissions as local natural gas would. No one in Quebec is winning with business as usual.
Environmental groups and Quebec Solidaire have done a good job identifying the problems and risks both of importing hydrocarbons and also of producing them locally.
It seems like an impossible situation. Expensive imports that are worst for the global environment or local production that brings the problems and risks that were publicly debated in 2010.
We understand the traditional approaches and technologies aren’t good enough. Fracking techniques with massive numbers of trucks, use of drinking water, use of toxic fluids and methane emissions aren’t socially acceptable.
We accept that the industry’s approach lost on this issue in 2010. We just need Quebec Solidaire and environmental groups to accept they won.
We need to achieve the impossible. It’s not good enough to only find the problems. Choosing between the known impacts of imports and the possible risks of traditional technologies isn’t good enough. We need to find new solutions because doing nothing is the worst option.
Questerre is proposing a research project based on a scientific approach into energy production with a goal of near zero emissions, zero drinking water, and zero toxic fluid below ground. To achieve the impossible we all need to change our way of thinking.
Taking yes as an answer is a good place to start to working together on real solutions.