Moratorium on coal bed gas drilling in ‘Sacred Headwaters’ ends – Vancouver Sun

by aanationtalk on December 17, 2012465 Views

Shell tenure was suspended four years in Skeena, Nass, Stikine rivers’ area after conflict, demonstrations by local groups

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun December 17, 2012

Northwest B.C. communities, First Nations and environmental groups are bracing for a B.C. government decision on a four-year moratorium that ends Tuesday on coal-bed gas drilling in the Klappan area.

The region – dubbed the Sacred Headwaters by first nations and environmental groups – was the focus of years of demonstration, road blocks and conflict over Shell Canada’s plans to explore for gas.

The B.C. government granted Shell an eight-year gas exploration and drilling tenure in 2004, but in 2008 slapped a two-year moratorium on any exploration activities. The moratorium was extended another two years, but ends Tuesday.

Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach said the B.C. government and Shell have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by putting the Klappan region off-limits to coal-bed methane drilling.

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