Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Encana, Energy and Insects

Encana (TSX:ECA, NYSE:ECA) is getting attention over a large shallow gas project in Southern Alberta.

Energy vs. insects battle in court

This battle is about things not done, specifically understanding how this large prairie ecosystem functions. We simply don't know because it has yet to be studied in detail. According to a University of Calgary insect expert, there may be "8,000 species of insects" making their humble home on the Suffield range. Nature is never in perfect balance. My "big picture" guess is that the decimation of buffalo herds, resettlement of Blackfoot and Plains Cree Indians, and prevention of periodic wildfires have already drastically altered the ecology of this region over the last 50-100 years.

I believe it is important for us to preserve natural areas for future generations but we don't even understand what we are trying to preserve at this point. Hopefully some science gets included in the discussions. Otherwise it will turn into a mud wrestling match. Public perception will track fear-based reports of corporate wrongdoing whether they are scientifically valid or not.

In the words of Michael Crichton:

I conclude that the "exploiters of the environment" include environmental organizations, government organizations, and big business. All have equally dismal track records.

There are multiple stakeholders involved and all have legitimate interests. Lets see how well they do in the coming weeks.