More than 85 per cent of B.C.’s natural-gas production now comes from those unconventional sources. The New Democrats asked the panel to recommend new safeguards, not issue a stop-work order on a whole sector of the economy.
VICTORIA — A scientific panel has found B.C. doesn’t know what it needs to know about the environmental, seismic and other risks of fracking, the process whereby much of the provincial natural-gas resource is extracted form the earth.
“The panel wishes to emphasize that it could not assess risks with any confidence, and therefore only potential risks are discussed herein,” wrote the three panelists in a draft version of their report. “Moreover the panel could not assess whether risk is currently being managed or not.”
This after a year spent gathering research and expert opinions on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing or fracking — the injection of water and other chemicals into targeted rock formations to release natural gas trapped deep within the earth.
However, the draft version, leaked last week to columnist Les Leyne of the Victoria Times Colonist, outlines the major unknowns facing the New Democrats, even as they promote the development of liquefied natural gas for export.
Here, for instance, were some of the concerns raised by the panel on the state of knowledge about water resources in northeastern B.C., where natural-gas development and fracking go hand-in-hand. MORE