Oil and gas opportunities abound

Letters to the Editor (The Telegram)
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I am writing this letter as the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade’s (GCBBT) chair of the oil and gas committee and 1st vice-president. Promotion of the western Newfoundland oil and gas industry continues to be at the top of the GCBBT’s advocacy agenda in its priority plan for 2014.

The recent announcement by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board of the completion of the western Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area strategic environmental assessment update report is an important milestone in the industry’s development. Science-based decision-making and development, both offshore and onshore, that meets or exceeds government regulations, are key pillars in our policy on responsible economic development.

The strategic environmental assessment update report provides information for explorers for offshore program planning and also informs future decisions, including the potential for future exploration licences. It also provides an overview of the biophysical and socioeconomic environment, including potential environmental sensitivities, of which both explorers and the community must remain aware.

We are looking forward next to the provincial government’s research and implementation of a world-class, made for western Newfoundland regulatory regime related to hydraulic fracturing so that junior explorers can continue an onshore and offshore exploration program.

We have said publicly many times that we can be a leader, a model for the responsible development of an oil and gas industry for others to emulate.

We, like government and the explorers, support industry development that is safe for people and safe for the environment.

The GCBBT has been behind respon­sible development of the local oil and gas industry for over a decade, as it represents a significant opportunity for quality of life in the greater Corner Brook area and western Newfoundland: employment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.

We need diversification and we need the economic and social prosperity and well-being that are possible from successful exploration and production using the best knowledge, science and technology.

Sharon McLennon

Corner Brook

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Amy King
    July 20, 2014 - 19:49

    Thanks for your very informative letter. It's about time someone stuck up for the small exploration companies who have poured millions of dollars into the west coast of Nfld., only to be held up by the environmentalists, who have their own agenda. Muskrat Falls is going to drain Nfld. and they have a chance with the development of Western Nfld to pay for this giant project. I hope the Government has enough sense to see these people for what they are - a bunch of very uninformed nitwits.

    • Jeff
      July 21, 2014 - 07:42

      "the environmentalists, who have their own agenda" Like.... the welfare of OUR environment? I suppose the energy industry has absolutely no agenda.

    • mike
      July 30, 2014 - 16:19

      The junior companies recieved millions of tax payers money including the use of our NALCOR drilling rig. One company, a former minister became a board member in 2011 after getting elected out, also altered their finances and got caught in 2013. Then we the tax payers had to pay to clean up their mess they left behind. The Millions junior companies have spent is not so true afterall.

  • Corporate Psycho
    July 19, 2014 - 18:32

    Say NO to fraking.

  • Marjorie Robertson
    July 19, 2014 - 16:09

    It completely baffles me how the genuine concerns expressed by citizens and communities in Western Newfoundland are not evenly remotely addressed in this article . To encourage inexperienced Junior Oil companies to come into Western Newfoundland to frack in our highly truncated and fractured shale is reckless. This article makes the assertion that good rules and regulations are made for Newfoundland shale. Obviously the author is not briefef on The Council of Academies report released in May , 2014 and commissioned by Peter Kent former Federal Environment Minister . In this scientific 264 page report it was clearly delineated that more research and information is needed on the potential environmental impacts of fracking and consideration of different regional impacts need to be closely considered. Data about environmental impacts are neither sufficient nor conclusive. This report looked at 1. well integrity, 2. groundwater and surface water3. greenhouse gas emissions 4. land impacts and seismic events 5. human health 6. monitoring and research. Current regulations are not based on strong science. To recklessly invite inexperienced junior oil companies to Western Newfoundland to frack despite the well documented science on the risks is both insulting and cavalier. There are many groups in Western Newfoundland who are opposed to shale developmant a.k.a. fracking and take exception to this promoted campaign. To espouse .."best practices", industry standards" and mitigating risks" and "world class regulatons " is contrary to scientific research as expressed in this federal study. This article is a playbook from the well funded CAPP and should not confuse the reader into believing this is "good to go" Marjorie Robertson

  • Marion
    July 19, 2014 - 13:05

    Ms. McLennon, what you are looking forward to in your third and fourth paragraphs is world-class rhetoric. The evidence re hydraulic fracturing is out there and it is very ugly. Regulatory models may be great on paper but never enforced by governments - the oil and gas industry is self-regulated. They have not listened to environmental science; in fact, they encourage governments to silence it, depleting these government departments, provincially and federally. Experience is truth and that is what informs my conscience. It has been less than 8 years since this madness-method of hydraulic fracturing has been used. The evidence is catching up regardless of non-disclosure agreements and silencing groups, governments and communities with grants and threats. Who will listen when our wildlife, marine life, drinking and bathing water, air, and whole eco-system is poisoned, lives and infrastructure destroyed, certainly not junior companies who have no money or conscience. For a few jobs, for a few years, it is not worth it. There are alternatives. Government for the people? Only when they want our vote. After that, it is business as usual.