Shale Gas Deposits In British Columbia – An Asset Or Liability?

Shale Gas Deposits in British Columbia

Shale gas deposits in British Columbia that were recently discovered have really increased the mining activities in the area and clearly boosted the economic activities in the region with many more natives having their prayers for employment finally answered. With oil already being mined in British Columbia for quite a number of years now and presently plans for mining of Shale Gas are already underway, one can say that the grass can’t get any greener for BC. But unfortunately, shale gas has not only brought joy to the land but also added to its challenges.

Benefits

Especially around the Northeastern part of BC where the shale gas deposits in British Columbia are the largest, many unemployed citizens have been granted employment in various job capacities some working in constructing the roads leading to mining areas and others building pipelines that are used to transport the gas once it has been mined. The shale gas reserves have also called for the building of several gas plants which has as well seen many people employed. This has resulted in comparably better living standards of the natives than before and the more the mining operations are being intensified the more people are likely to secure a source of livelihood.

Water Strains

But one of the major downsides that have been triggered by the discovery of shale gas deposits in British Columbia is the threat its mining activities are posing to the supply of fresh water in the area. Despite the many critics who have voiced their disapproval of the use of Hydraulic Fracturing in mining the gas, it still remains the sole method that is being used to get the shale gas from beneath the ground. The problem with hydraulic fracturing is that it requires a lot of water to be used which has even arose concerns that the drought experienced by British Columbia back in 2010 might repeat itself due to the high volumes of water that are needed for mining shale gas.

What’s more is that the water that has gone through the mining process cannot be reused since chemicals involved in the mining make it unsafe for humans or animals and even vegetation.

Global Warming

The situation has been aggravated further because mining of shale gas has been found to lead to the production of extremely large volumes of CO2 among other green house gases that are likely to cause global warming. This is the basic reason why environmentalists want nothing to do with the shale gas deposits in British Columbia. Apparently if nothing is done to correct the situation, the shale gas mining activities in BC will be a painful slap to the efforts of all the people who have been fighting against global warming and trying to prevent its harmful effects from coming to pass.

With the inevitable importance of the gas however, a huge cloud of confusion is still surrounding the debate on whether or not shale gas mining should be stopped in BC with scientists still trying to find any concrete proof that mining the shale gas deposits in British Columbia could really lead to the negative effects proclaimed.