Binding legislation needed, campaign promises not enough, spokesperson says

CBC News  ::  Mar 06, 2014

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance says 10 years is the minimum time necessary to do the required long-term scientific studies on all the aspects of shale gas.

A group opposed to shale gas development and production in the province is calling on political parties to stand behind a legislated 10-year moratorium.

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance says 10 years is the minimum time required for the provincial government to review the industry and the impacts on health and the environment.

Meanwhile, it wants all existing leases cancelled and no new leases granted.

“A 10-year moratorium, rather than a ban, recognizes that there may still be New Brunswickers have doubts about shale gas, but who are not yet convinced that an absolute ban is warranted,” the group said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“NBASGA  is confident that after 10 years, shale gas will be permanently banned as a result of what is learned during the moratorium,” said spokesperson Jim Emberger.

But the moratorium must be enacted by binding legislation, he said. “Campaign promises, executive actions and vague intentions are not good enough.”

The group has timed its announcement to line up with this year’s provincial election, said Emberger. He believes the shale gas debate could weigh heavily on how New Brunswickers choose to vote on Sept. 22.

“We want [the political parties] to all take it into consideration when they draw up the party platform because certainly, you know, we’ll be reporting back to the public as much as we can about what each candidate thinks about this. And so it gives them a standard,” he said.