A non-profit science organization says it is best suited to provide research and information on how extracting natural gas affects water supply and water quality.
Geoscience BC, which is supported by provincial and industry grants, says it has a strong track record over eight years of research within the provincial mineral and oil and gas industry.
“A new wave of scientific research would bring clarity and certainty to the ongoing public debate about the potential environmental impacts of natural gas development in British Columbia,” Robin Archdekin, the president and CEO of Geoscience BC, said today.
He said the organizations’s experience places it in the position of being an “honest broker” of information.
“An important element of our work has been to enable safe and environmentally sustainable practices related to hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, used to release gas from deep underground shale deposits,” Archdekin added.
Geoscience BC is already collecting baseline data about surface water quantity and quality in the Horn River Basin, and is proposing to expand this type of research into other gas-rich areas such as the Montney Fairway and the Liard Basin, he said.
“Geoscience BC works in close cooperation with First Nations, communities, stakeholders, and industry proponents to help inform discussions about the relationship between natural gas development and local water quality concerns,” Archdekin said.
The Geoscience BC president will be making his pitch for the association to expand its work on natural gas extraction when he meets with Premier Christy Clark Jan. 22 in Prince George.
She’ll be attending an annual natural resource forum looking at oil, gas, forestry and mining.