As oil and gas developments rapidly expand across Canada into increasingly remote and harsh locations, and as the environmental impacts of this sector become more obvious across the entire production chain, from early exploration to final consumption, there is an urgent need for an analysis of the environmental policy regimes regulating this industry. This SSHRC Canadian Environmental Issues research project (with Anna Zalik, FES and Angela Carter, Wilfred Grenfell, Memorial University of Newfoundland) examines if current environmental assessment policy in Canadian provinces and territories effectively manages the multiple and serious environmental impacts of oil development and how these regimes could be improved to enhance the protection of Canadian environments.
Offshore oil and gas research in Newfoundland and Labrador
Since 2002, my colleagues, students and I have tried to understand how the predictions on environmental impact in environmental impact assessments are assessed for offshore oil and gas extraction projects in NL. Many of our attempts have been thwarted by lack of access to data which would allow us to conduct these assessments (see Fraser et al. 2006, Fraser and Ellis 2008b). Our goal is to improve the environmental management of production projects in the NW Atlantic through a critical examination of the policies related to this industry.
This work is in collaboration with the Alder Institute, a nonprofit organization in Newfoundland whose primary objective is to translate science into public knowledge.