Reporter was right to say opposing group wastwisting the conclusion of a scientific report

MONTRÉAL, Wednesday January 23rd 2019 –  The Quebec Oil and Gas Association (QOGA) welcomes the decision given on Monday by the Quebec Press Council (Conseil de Presse), who says a reporter from Le Soleil newspaper was right when he said in 2017 that opposing group Regroupement Vigilance Hydrocarbures Québec twisted the conclusion of an INRS scientific report stating that fracking is not a threat to underground water.

In its Checking the Facts ( « Vérification faite » ) column, reporter Jean-François Cliche wrote that the opposing group was quoting parts of the report out of context. Even worse, the reporter was saying parts of the report before and after were contradicting the group’s interpretation.

« We are happy to see an authority like the Quebec Press Council confirm what is obvious, that the opposing groups only want to hear what they want, to the point where they will twist a scientific report », said QOGA spokesperson Eric Tetrault. « And the will to go to the Quebec Press Council shows they are ready to do everything to prevent what should remain a democratic debate in Quebec ».

QOGA is pointing out recent polls that say Quebeckers are largely in favor of local hydrocarbons, contrary to what the opposing groups are saying. An IPSOS poll released in June 2018 confirms that 60% prefer local natural gas production to import. A Léger poll recently released suggests they largely prefer Canadian oil to foreign oil.

« Opposing groups have derailed the conversation for many years, to the point where social acceptability may seem difficult to get from the authorities point of view. What we know now is citizens do not share the opponents points of view ».

The Quebec producers are inviting the opponents to a real debate on hydrocarbon production, one where science will prevail. As an example, they are reminding them that by opposing local natural gas production they are encouraging Quebec to cause real damage to the environment, as this scenario creates 330% more emissions on the planet.