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Open letter to Shell Canada: (BC, Canada)

Published: August 06, 2008 5:00 AM

Letters to the Editor

Open letter to Shell Canada:

I am puzzled by the logic used by Shell to justify its intention to extract coal-bed methane in the Klappan area.  While sustainable development is mentioned in just every paragraph of what Shell publishes on this topic, I am wondering: how can the company contemplate anything sustainable from a non-renewable resource of which 63 per cent has to be exported to the USA under the NAFTA agreement?

Josette Weir



Ms. Wier asked how Shell can say it operates sustainably when we extract a non-renewable resource and export a large amount of it to the US.

Shell operates its business in accordance with its commitment to sustainable development. This means balancing short and long-term interests as well as economic, environmental and social considerations. To operate sustainably, we look for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our operations… and to contribute to the general well-being of the communities and broader societies who grant our license to operate.

We believe business has a responsibility to care about the societies in which it operates and to work with others to manage natural resources and the environment carefully for the benefit of current and future generations. To ensure a sustainable supply of energy for future generations, initiatives to develop alternative sources of energy like biofuels and wind power are now an important part of our business.

As part of this, we’ve invested in biofuels that use non-food agricultural wastes. Our investment will help accelerate the development of cellulosic ethanol fuel — a fully renewable, advanced biofuel that can be used in today’s cars and has the potential to deliver CO2 reductions of up to 90 per cent compared to conventional gasoline.

In addition, we’re actively seeking to make wind energy a part of our portfolio.

Even though we pursue renewable and alternative energy, Shell must still invest in conventional energy for decades to come.

In the Klappan area, we’re in the very early stages of exploring for coalbed gas, a clean-burning natural gas resource. We drilled three exploratory wells in 2004, and… have demonstrated our commitment to environmental protection by using previously disturbed areas for our wellsites, by using existing roads and other access into the area, by conducting environmental assessments for our wellsites, and by conducting more than 25 environmental studies in the Klappan to date.

The US is, an important trading partner and major purchaser of natural gas from Canada. There is a belief that NAFTA requires Canada to sell a fixed percentage of its total energy production to the U.S. However, this is incorrect. Canadian producers sell their energy on the open market, and are unrestricted by quotas either to the U.S. or overseas customers.

Kathy Penney

Klappan Commercial Mgr

Shell plus NAFTA unsustainable

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