climate change

Comments on the Energy Transition Roadmap


The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance is a coalition of Anglophone and francophone groups from across the province that has since 2010 pursued two mandates – promoting the transition to a clean energy economy, and stopping the development of unconventional fossil fuels in New Brunswick.

We have done so via public education, formal testimony to government, legal actions, and media advocacy, all based on a foundation of scientific, public health, and economic facts and research.  We certainly consider ourselves major stakeholders in the Energy Transition.

The context surrounding all of our comments is the rapidly increasing harms brought by climate change – the underlying reason for this energy transition.

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Conditions not met on shale gas ban

 By Jim Emberger – Special to Brunswick News – Published Apr 15, 2024

The Telegraph Journal’s editorial board advice (Editorial: Drop NB’s gas moratorium, Apr 11, 2024),  to Premier Blaine Higgs, to lift the fracking moratorium, without satisfying the conditions for doing so, was shocking in its lack of both historic and scientific context.

Ten years ago, the provincial government convened a non-partisan Commission of Hydro-Fracturing, which took weeks of testimony from residents, industries, NGOs and expert witnesses from public health and science specialties. This resulted in the Gallant government establishing a moratorium on fracking, which was to be maintained indefinitely, unless several conditions were met.

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New Brunswick does not need shale gas

Commentary by Jim Emberger; Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript | March 11, 202

In a recent com­ment­ary in the Telegraph Journal, the Fraser Insti­tute’s Alex Whalen sug­ges­ted that the recent mer­ger of gas com­pany Ches­apeake Energy and SWN could be a sign that New Brun­swick should recon­sider its morator­ium on shale gas. He touted its eco­nomic poten­tial.

That same day Reu­ters’ news repor­ted: “Ches­apeake Energy announced plans to cut pro­duc­tion by 30 per cent in 2024 in response to a mar­ket that is “clearly over­sup­plied”. Ches­apeake, which will become the coun­try’s largest gas sup­plier after its mer­ger with South­west­ern Energy, is fol­low­ing oth­ers, includ­ing Com­stock, Antero and EQT, announ­cing cuts to drilling or pro­duc­tion plans.”

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Premier’s pursuit of shale gas is perverse

[February 2, 2024, NB Media Co-op Commentary by Jim Emberger]

Premier Blaine Higgs’ continuing desire to exploit shale gas and LNG can only be described as “perverse,” which the dictionary defines as “showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.” Higgs referenced LNG development during his State of the Province address on Jan. 25.

“We have so many advantages with our direct access to the U.S. and international markets along with our rich natural resources including wind, minerals, water, forestry, and natural gas,” he said. “That’s where I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to punch above our weight and really impact global emissions.”

His obstinate, decade-long pursuit of shale gas, can reasonably be called obsessive. It begins with his continuing promotion of gas even after citizens voted out the Alward government, which ran on the issue.

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What will it take?

It has been a summer of: record hot temperatures (and a winter of record high temperatures in the global south), record droughts, record forest fires, record heat waves, record rainfall and flooding, ocean heat waves, and record hurricanes and storms.  These records have not been simply broken, but shattered, and occurred on every continent.

Once again we had water crises of major rivers and the Panama Canal being too low to support normal commercial traffic, or to cool nuclear plants. Glaciers melting in Switzerland, the Andes, the Himalayas and more, affected tourism, agriculture and caused floods and landslides.

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No deal is a good deal to start shale gas

Jim Emberger | Commentary | | 24 April 2023
(Short form ‘Letter to the Editor’ follows)

Premier Higgs likes to project the image of an experienced business leader, but his current effort to resurrect shale gas reveals that he more closely embodies his other reputation as a, “Data, my ass,” decision maker.

There is unequivocal data in the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change, which shows that we cannot develop any new fossil fuel source if we hope to escape the dire consequences of a warming climate. This data was researched by virtually the entire global community of climate scientists and institutions.

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Time for realistic N.B. plans for economic, environmental benefits


[Le français suit]

Traditional territory of the Wabanaki Peoples/Fredericton — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) and the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance issued the following statement with respect to Repsol SA’s announcement that there is no business case for building an export liquefied natural gas plant at the Saint John LNG location.

Premier Blaine Higgs pushed a private-sector company, Repsol, to convert its Saint John LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal into an export terminal for energy security, economic development and energy transition. The company now says, after completing a feasibility study, that there is no business case.

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Unconventional gas is bad for health

Letter to the Editor by Jim Emberger, Telegraph-Journal / Feb.21, 2023

While a legislature committee holds hearings on the province’s energy future, Premier Blaine Higgs proposes a return to the past with a shale gas revival. The committee’s agenda doesn’t mention shale gas. Perhaps it has accepted that virtually every global scientific body agrees that to avoid the worst of the climate crisis, new fossil fuel projects must not proceed. Fracked gas and LNG export terminals, like the one being contemplated for Saint John, are huge greenhouse gas producers.

The 2015 moratorium contains conditions that require scientific evidence that threats to health and the environment from shale have been resolved, before lifting the moratorium.

A multitude of public health studies have associated water and air pollution from shale gas with birth defects, cardiac and neurological problems, cancers, asthma and more. Proposed safe distances between gas infrastructure and human habitation exceed current provincial regulations.

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COP27 shows Higgs is out of touch with reality

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph-Journal, Nov. 19, 2022

New reports from COP27 are useful tools to assess whether Premier Higgs’ natural gas policies reflect current reality.

  • The Premier calls for a new shale gas industry.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), and the UN Environmental Program issued separate reports with a common conclusion: limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires an immediate halt to new fossil fuel development.

The IISD tested 97 possible pathways to stay under 1.5°C.  None succeeded if new fossil fuel development was allowed. The IEA said new development should have ended in 2021.

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Groups Call on Canada, Germany to Keep Climate Commitments on LNG

Media Release

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – On Thursday November 17th, 12 PM Eastern Time ,/ 7 PM Eastern European Standard Time organizations and community leaders from Canada and Germany presented a joint open letter to Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Steven Guilbault at COP27.  The letter outlines concerns that three proposed export LNG projects located on Canada’s East Coast will exceed global carbon pollution budgets and nullify both countries’ climate commitments. Comments made by Canadian leaders, including Canada’s Deputy Minister Freeland, indicate they are willing to “fast-track” LNG in the name of helping allies or “friend shoring” – even though such projects will accelerate the climate crisis and make the world less stable.

“The East Coast of Canada was just hammered by tropical storm Fiona, which caused loss of lives and homes, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. To have Canada and Germany horse-trading over projects that will add fuel to raging climate fires is unacceptable and unjust.” according to Jim Emberger, New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance. “As the world meets at COP27 to shore up climate commitments, we need answers on these projects.“

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