Natural gas glut, not PQ, threatens Quebec’s shale sector

Natural gas glut, not PQ, threatens Quebec’s shale sector by Sophie Cousineau, October 23, 2012, The Globe and Mail
Lucien Bouchard, president of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association, has been in a lather ever since the province’s new Natural Resource Minister, Martine Ouellet, signalled that, were it left to her, she would ban hydraulic fracking. Ms. Ouellet toned down her discourse on Monday as she ventured into the association’s annual conference, an unfriendly territory. She spoke of the need for an “open and frank dialogue” with industry.

“I cannot see the day when the extraction of natural gas by the fracking method can be done in a safe way,” Ms. Ouellet said right after she was sworn in.

This “over my dead body” attitude from a former engineer and environmentalist made Natural Resource Minister is emblematic of what former Parti Québécois premier Bouchard refers to as the “new religion” of Quebec. In a province where the gas industry’s first and often tactless developments have divided the population, gas wells – and even hydroelectric dams – have come to symbolize man’s self-destructive appetite for energy, at the expense of land, water and air.

Jean-Thomas Bernard, guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa’s faculty of economics and an energy expert, thinks the depressed prices could even last 15 years. [Emphasis added]

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