B.C. government should pause new fracking operations until the panel’s concerns are addressed

VANCOUVER – The Scientific Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel report released yesterday points to mounting evidence that the oil and gas industry in northeastern B.C. poses significant risks to human and environmental health. Fracking pollutes air, sucks up vast quantities of water and contaminates the local environment. Roads and infrastructure damage sensitive ecosystems and threaten vulnerable species like caribou.

These findings come on the heels of the B.C. auditor general report that exposed the mounting costs of cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells. Peer-reviewed research has also shown that the powerful climate pollutant methane is leaking from oil and gas operations at a rate 2.5 times higher than reported.

“Moving forward with this industry in the absence of certainty about its impacts poses unacceptable risks to British Columbians,” David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Patricia Lightburn said. “The B.C. government should put a pause on new development until concerns raised by the panel and B.C. auditor general are resolved.”

The risks identified by the panel are especially alarming given the B.C. government’s commitment to the liquefied natural gas industry, which will rely on fracked gas to supply the proposed export facilities, and calls into question the claim that B.C. will have the world’s cleanest LNG.

For more information, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation: bglauser@davidsuzuki.org, 604-356-8829