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Pétrolia's social role

Alert to the polluting effects of hydrocarbons, Pétrolia is committed to developing technologies favourable to sustainable development. The exploration, production and use of energy, as with most human activities, have environmental and social impacts. Seismic surveys, petroleum and gas development all have little effect on the environment; the effects of consumption are more tangible. Governments have recently adopted environmental standards that are today the basis of important projects of development and application of new technologies and introduction of fuels.

It would be illusory to think the Quebec Government, Hydro-Québec or private firms could go ahead with exploration and eventual development without the population being kept informed about these activities. As is the case, the general perception of people is clearly negative regarding the use of hydrocarbons as sources of energy.

If it is true that petroleum contributes to atmospheric pollution, mainly through sulphur emissions, the same cannot be said about natural gas which when burned emits no sulphur. Instead, it emits carbon dioxide, like petroleum, but in lesser quantities, and it is classed among the greenhouse gases. Natural gas is a relatively clean combustible fuel and its use gives one credits in the context of the Kyoto Protocols.

It seems paradoxical to speak of sustainable development while extolling the use of non-renewables, but the present circumstances don’t leave us with another choice than to continue to use these forms of energy. The best solution consists in continuing to maximize the pursuit of renewable energies without neglecting forms of energy that can be developed to benefit the economy and with respect for the environment.

Petroleum and gas exploration, followed by eventual development of Quebec’s hydrocarbons, can be straightforwardly integrated into a perspective of ensuring harmonious transition to renewable energies, a transition that could take decades to accomplish.