Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conference: Shale gas development and water protection in Canada


The Munk School of Global Affairs convenes a conference on water protection in the context of shale gas development.

The conference, titled «Fracture Lines: Will Canada's Water be Protected in the Rush to Develop Shale Gas?», will be held on 14 October 2010 at the University of Toronto. A draft programme is available here.

This is very interesting and timely given the current rush to develop shale gas in Canada. In particular, such developments raise concerns in Québec, where private interests and the government appear to have decided that shale gas exploitation is urgent and necessary. A recent opinion letter in Le Devoir (in French) identifies the social and environmental issues related to this subject in Québec.

Interestingly, a representative of the Québec ministry for Sustainable Development and the Environment will be among the plethora of industry representatives speaking at the Munk Conference.

UPDATE: As possible points of discussion for the conference panels on «statutory authority and regulatory preparedness» and «legal and liability issues», Byard Duncan reports on Alternet that gas companies drilling in Pennsylvania have committed nearly 1,500 environmental violations in just two years, while the Environmental Working Group reports that fracking companies might illegally inject diesel underground.

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