Anti-shale group calls for 10-year moratorium on fracking
A group that opposes shale gas development in New Brunswick is calling on the provincial government to impose a 10-year moratorium on fracking.
Jim Emberger, a member of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, says more time is needed to study the long-term health effects of shale gas development.
“This is the minimum amount of time that is necessary in order to do the long-term studies on all aspects, but particularly the public health aspects,” says Emberger.
With a provincial election in the fall, the group hopes to force the hands of political parties. The request to halt shale gas exploration for 10 years has the support of the New Brunswick Green Party leader.
“This is old-style thinking, old-style economic development, and it’s not good for people,” says David Coon. “It’s not good for the environment.”
However, the New Brunswick government says it is not considering a moratorium on shale gas developments.
“Our government is moving forward not only because of the economic benefits the industry can provide, but also because we know it is safe as evidenced through countless studies and decades of experience in the field,” says New Brunswick Energy Minister Craig Leonard in a statement to CTV News.
The CEO of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce says the majority of her members are supportive of shale gas development, if it can be done in an environmentally-responsible manner.
“It will bring people…who are living in other places in Canada and in the world, to come back to their home province and get work,” says Carol O’Reilly.
Despite the promise of jobs, many residents have expressed concerns over the health and environmental impacts of shale gas development in their backyards.
“People are becoming more and more educated, more and more informed and engaged, and the government is not responding at all,” says Moncton resident Leslie Chandler.
With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell