Political speak translation

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I want to congratulate Pauline Marios who has done well to lead her party back in to a minority government with 54 seats.   Mr. Charest once again showed he is a great campaigner and did better than many pundits thought to lead a strong opposition of 50 seats.  Finally for Mr. Legault to come out the gates with his ‘new party’ and win 19 seats is also impressive.

I have already been asked a few times, what do the election results mean for our business in Quebec.  Questerre has always said it would work with any government Quebecers choose..

With negative rhetoric during the campaign, all the political parties sought to curry favour with the 60% of Quebecers who state they are in favour of a ‘shale gas moratorium’.   Far fewer than 60% of Quebecers know that shale gas and natural gas are virtually the same thing.  So perhaps it not a surprise that at the same time, all political parties also indicated they could be in favour of developing natural gas in Quebec.

The Parti Quebecois is in favour if a satisfactory environmental study says it can be done safely and Quebec gets it fair share.

The Liberal party is in favour if the current environmental study concludes it can be developed safely and Quebec gets more.

Quebec Solidaire is in favour if the project is nationalized and it can be done safely.

Only the CAQ firmly stated that the technology is not ready yet.  Somewhat strangely the CAQ is in favour of oil projects that use the same technology.   One might infer if environmental studies determine the technology is in fact ready that they could be in favour too.  Especially since the CAQ says Quebec needs more entrepreneurs and moratoriums are not exactly entrepreneur friendly.

Another positive sign is the Government investment arm has been investing in local shale oil players.  Both Petrolia and Junex have announced they are proceeding with shale oil wells backed by Quebec Government money.

We all know oil has added environmental considerations and is not as simple to develop as natural gas.  So Quebec going forward with oil exploration is another sign of budding social acceptability in Quebec for hydrocarbon development.

We might not have to wait too long after the election because the condition of favourable environmental reports has already been met.  Below is a list of dozens of independent studies confirming that modern natural gas (and oil) development can be done safely.  You can access a library of studies at this link also: No Hot Air.

We just need 60% of Quebecers to realize there is no difference between shale gas and natural gas.  I am hopeful the new government of Ms. Marois will take over from the activists and do a great job of communicating what local natural gas development is.   The last government made a splashy video promoting the plan nord.  Could we be so lucky as to get a video explaining a plan sud?

List of Independent Studies:

Oil & Gas Services Association of Quebec: Debunking Marc Durand

Penn State University – Another Duke Rebuke

University of Texas at Austin – Early Results from Hydraulic Fracturing Study Show No Direct Link to Groundwater Contamination

U.K.’s Environment Agency – U.K. shale exploration should resume: environment agency

Yale University – The Arithmetic Of Shale Gas

Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering – Shale gas extraction final report

Poland Geologist Institute – Environmental Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing Treatment Performed on the ŁEBIEŃ LE-2H WELL

Université du Texas at Austin – Shale Gas Regulation – Separating Fact from Fiction in Shale Gas Development

Stanford University – Extracting natural gas from shale can be done in an environmentally responsible way

MIT (Harvard) – The Future of Natural Gas

National Research Council – Fracking can cause earthquakes, but risk is low

British Geological Survey – Shale Drilling Won’t Start Dangerous Quakes, U.K. Scientists Say

US Geological Survey – Nature | NewsMethod predicts size of fracking earthquakes

Injection sites (EPA) – 5 classesAll EPA supervizedO&G is Class 2

Cornell University –  A commentary on “The greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas in shale formations” by R.W. Howarth, R. Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) – Rebutting the Howarth shael gas study

WorldWatch Institute – Despite Methane Emissions Upstream, Natural Gas Is Cleaner than Coal on a Life-Cycle Basis

Carnegie Mellon University – Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Marcellus shale

University of Maryland – The greenhouse impact of unconventional gas for electricity generation

API/ANGA Study – Methane Emissions of Fracked Wells Half of EPA Estimates

Durham University/Cardiff University/University of Tromso, Norway

EPA: Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs

Canada West Foundation: Seismic Shifts


Pembina Institute: Protecting Water, Producing Gas

Groundwater Protection Council: Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer

Suzuki/Pembina: Is natural gas a climate change solution for Canada?

Energy Institute: Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development

World Watch: Addressing the Environmental Risks from Shale Gas Development

Correction: Junex has not announced that it is drilling oil shale wells with Government funding.