The people of New Brunswick deserve to know the truth behind our government’s repeated statements on ‘fracking’. Our top level of government assumes that most people will blindly accept what they have to say, without researching the facts for themselves.
Researcher/writer Carla Gunn answers the most pressing fracking questions on the minds of New Brunswickers and provides the counter-arguments, with links.
1. Q: For what areas of New Brunswick do oil and gas companies have licenses to explore?
A: An interactive map of licensed areas – encompassing roughly 1/7 of NB’s land mass – can be found here.
2. Q: Both NB’s Premier and Minister Energy and Mines, Craig Leonard, have stated that this type of fracking has been done safely in Alberta for years. Is this true?
A: No. Alberta has been mined for conventional gas – not unconventional gas. The Government of Alberta’s website clearly states that high-volume, multi-stage slickwater hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for unconventional shale gas, like that found in the hard shale formations in N.B., had not occurred up to July 2011. Since then, there have been some exploratory and experimental wells drilled. However, “Alberta, though Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, has been behind many other jurisdictions in identifying and tapping many of its shale prospects, so development is still in early stage.” See this article. [See below for further explanation of what fracking entails].
3. Q: N.B. Minister of Energy and Mines, Craig Leonard, has repeatedly stated that most New Brunswickers want a fracking industry. Isn’t this true?
A. No. As revealed by a MQO research poll in June 2012, the majority of New Brunswickers oppose fracking (56 per cent opposed, 28 per cent in support and 16 per cent undecided). Then, in a June 2013 poll, when asked to rate the safety of shale gas exploration on a scale of one to 10 – with 1 being not safe at all and 10 being extremely safe – the average rating was 3.8. In addition, over 20,000 New Brunswickers signed a petition calling for a ban on fracking and First Nations communities along with many service districts, municipalities and organizations are calling for either a ban or a moratorium.
Nationally, Canadians want a halt to fracking. A October 2013 Environics poll reveals: ”B.C. residents, at 67 per cent, were most likely to support a moratorium on fracking. B.C. was followed by Atlantic Canada, where 66 per of those polled supported a moratorium, then Ontario (65 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (64 per cent), Alberta (57 per cent) and Quebec (55 per cent).
For the answers to more questions, including the biggie: ‘Won’t fracking create lots of jobs?‘ visit her website.