Lone Pine vs. Canada: Fracking
Photo by daniel foster/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
  • Amount demanded: US$110 million
  • Outcome: pending
  • Treaty invoked: NAFTA
  • Sector: energy
  • Issue: environment

by Public Citizen

In September 2013, Lone Pine Resources, a U.S.-based oil and gas exploration and production company, launched a $110 million challenge against Canada under NAFTA to challenge Quebec’s suspension of oil and gas exploration permits for deposits under the St. Lawrence River as part of a wider moratorium on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The provincial government had declared a moratorium in 2011 so as to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the extraction method widely known for leaching chemicals and gases into groundwater and the air.

Lone Pine had plans and permits to engage in fracking on over 30,000 acres of land directly beneath the St. Lawrence Seaway – the province’s largest waterway. According to Lone Pine, the moratorium contravened NAFTA’s protection against expropriation and guarantee of a “minimum standard of treatment.” The case is pending.

Last update: April 2021