A number of energy issues are under intense public debate in British Columbia today. Here we give briefings on energy issues that matter to British Columbians, their environmental and economic impacts, and their context in the global energy system.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project: Enbridge plans to build a double-pipeline from Edmonton to Kitimat to ship unrefined petroleum from the oil sands to China and other East Asian countries. This has aroused heated debate in British Columbia as the pipeline crosses the land of many First Nations and ecologically sensitive areas. Questions have been raised about the economic benefits it will bring to B.C. Here we discuss the environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline and the approval process it is currently undergoing.
Fracking: Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used to access natural gas deposits locked in shale and other kinds of impermeable rock. The technique involves pumping fluids laced with an assortment of chemicals down wells which then fracture the rock formations. There are several environmental concerns making it controversial, chief among them the perceived risk that it may contaminate underwater aquifers with drilling chemicals or natural gas. Here we discuss the practice and the laws governing it in B.C.
Coal Mining in B.C.: British Columbia has a long history with coal mining dating back to the first days of European settlement. Since the 1970s extraction of the province's large and high-quality reserves of coal has quickened rapidly, most of it being exported for steel-making in Japan and South Korea. Chinese companies are now taking an increasing interest in opening coal mines in the province. There are currently nine coal mines and the nine coal mines open today more will likely be added in the years ahead. Here we discuss the history of this industry, its record, and its likely future.