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Ines Piccinino,

Assistant Deputy Minister, Oil and Gas Division,

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources,
5th Floor, 1810 Blanshard Street,
PO Box 9323,
Victoria, British Columbia,

March 12, 2018.

Dear Ms. Piccinino,

My organization has learned that in your capacity as assistant deputy minister of Energy,
Mines and Petroleum Resources, you have given the Canadian Association of Petroleum
Producers important advance information on an upcoming “hydraulic fracturing review.”
An email circulated from CAPP to the association’s member companies in February
reads in part:
“Ines Piccinino, ADM with the B.C. Energy Ministry, has asked CAPP to develop a list
of experts to present to the B.C. hydraulic fracturing panel this spring. We’d like to have
an expert list developed within the next two weeks. Panel hearings will take place in
April and May 2018.”
As your ministry and the provincial government are aware, the organization I work for
and 16 other organizations have called for a full public inquiry on hydraulic fracturing. In
response to that call, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister, Michelle
Mungall, responded by saying that a science panel would be struck.
We are extremely concerned that your actions suggest that your ministry wants to limit
the scope of any inquiry into hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the province and to the
full extent possible maintain the status quo.
We do not believe that this is something that the general public would support, especially
in light of the immense increases in water usage that have occurred in fracking operations
in the province, the large number of unlicensed dams built by the hydraulic fracturing
industry to impound water used in the fracking process, the potential for increased
groundwater contamination as a result of fossil fuel industry activities, increased
incidence of earthquakes induced by fracking operations, and rising greenhouse gas
We are extremely concerned that your ministry has given advance information to an
industry association whose member companies are actively engaged in hydraulic
fracturing operations in the province and who have a vested economic interest in the
outcome of any review. From the documentation we have, we know that your ministry
has given CAPP the following information in advance of a review being announced by
the government:

1) That a science panel, not a full public inquiry, will be appointed by the provincial government.

2) That the panel will consist of three academics.

3) That the panel is expected to do its work in April and May.

4) That the panel will be tightly focused on water use by the hydraulic fracturing industry and “induced
seismicity” or earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing operations.

5) That the panel will not consider any human health impacts associated with such operations or any issues
relating to greenhouse gas emissions associated with fracking.

It appears that either your ministry or CAPP has also shared this information with at least
three other industry organizations who also have a vested economic interest in the
outcome of any review or inquiry into fracking. Three other industry organizations who
also have foreknowledge of the review are: the Canadian Society for Unconventional
Resources, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, and the Petroleum Technology
Alliance of Canada.
My questions are as follows:

1) Why has your ministry or the provincial government shared important details on a proposed hydraulic
fracturing review with the preeminent fossil fuel industry association in Canada while failing to alert members of
the public to such a review?

2) Has your ministry or the government alerted any other organizations to such a review? If you have, which
organizations have you alerted? If you have not, why have you not done so and how do you respond to the
criticism that by giving a heads up to only one constituency you are helping to predetermine the outcome of any

3) Why has your ministry and the government rejected appointing a panel with a broader mandate to look at the
significant human health impacts and climate change issues associated with hydraulic fracturing?

Please provide answers to these questions by the end of the day Wednesday.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or to email me.


Ben Parfitt,
Resource Policy Analyst,
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office.
From: "Dalal, Suntanu GCPE:EX" <>
Subject: Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources...
Date: March 14, 2018 at 4:42:45 PM PDT
To: "''" <>

Mr. Parfitt,

We understand you sent an email to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) for the
Oil and Gas Division, and are looking for some answers about the scientific
review for hydraulic fracturing. Please find information on background below.

Please note all public servants adhere to the same standards of conduct. As an
executive within the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
responsible for oil and gas, the ADM you contacted is frequently involved with
stakeholder engagement, including correspondence with the Canadian
Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and other industry associations,
local governments and other organizations, as directed by the governing
responsibilities of the Minister/ministry. You can find details about the purpose of
the ministry here.
B.C.’s new government will act on its election platform commitment and appoint a
scientific panel to review the process of hydraulic fracturing in the province –
details will be announced in the near future. As Minister Mungall has outlined
publicly, the review will look at the impacts on water and the relationship to
seismic activity, and will also incorporate traditional indigenous knowledge.
Specific details about the scope of the review will be announced in the near
future, and will be publicly released via
The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has let stakeholders,
including CAPP, Northeast municipalities and the Pembina Institute know it is
working on putting the Hydraulic Fracturing Scientific Review Panel together
based on the scope directed by Cabinet and Minister Mungall, and that we
expected the Panel will ask the ministry (as Secretariat) for a list of potential
technical experts on multiple topics to complement any literature/regulatory
review on the approved scope of the scientific review. We are unaware of what
information CAPP or other associations might have circulated among their
The ministry has suggested the associations start building a list of expert
individuals so that it can be tabled for Panel consideration once it is in operation.
The same information about the Panel was provided to Northeast municipalities
and to the Pembina Institute, and work is currently ongoing to identify individuals
from Treaty 8 First Nations who can contribute traditional indigenous knowledge
to the Panel process.
The ministry will provide any information the Panel might require in the fulfillment
of their duties – this includes available research, overall support and logistics,
and lists of potential experts for consideration. We expect the Panel will make its
own decisions on who it will talk to.
Thank you,
Suntanu Dalal
Public Affairs Officer
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources