Fracking and Economics

Fracking In 2018: Another Year Of Pretending To Make Money

by Jim Emberger (from Huddle Today)

January is a popular time for reviewing the previous year to see where we are now. Since I write about the shale gas industry and global warming, let me share some annual reports from both, along with some commentary.

Fracking in 2018: Another Year of Pretending to Make Money: This has my vote for best title. The author notes that the 60 largest U.S. fracking companies have been accumulating losses at about $80 million per year for a decade. Investors and lenders lost $70 billion in loans due to 330 North American bankruptcies following the price crash of 2014, and last year The Wall Street Journal calculated industry debt around $180 billion.

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Realism should guide energy development

ROD HILL COMMENTARY, Telegraph Journal, 18 September 2018

According to a story, still popular in some quarters, exploiting shale gas reserves in New Brunswick will provide jobs and lots of money for the public purse. The popularity of a story with such a seemingly happy ending is easy to understand. But is the story true, or is it wishful thinking?

In a recent article,“It’s time to make NB a ‘have’ province” (Sept. 14), Colleen Mitchell of the Atlantica Centre for Energy claims it’s true. She writes that while Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have received billions in royalty revenues from offshore oil and gas, this “is critical revenue that New Brunswick has been shut out of,”  apparently preferring “handouts” to exploiting our mining, oil and gas resources.

The recently released Progressive Conservative party platform seems to agree with this view, stating: “Subject to rigorous safety and environmental protections, and with local support, we will allow for regional resource development, including natural gas development.”

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Keep fracking ban to slow climate change

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 24 July 2018

It was gratifying to see a recent article acknowledging that climate change has already changed our weather, and that weather-related problems will become ever more frequent and severe (“Not .. our grandparents’ weather, July 14, A2).

In the piece, a senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, David Phillips, laid out in no-nonsense terms that New Brunswickers will be challenged to adapt to our increasingly confused climate.

Warnings and good advice about adapting are a necessary discussion, but the real conversation we need to be having on climate change is about ‘preventing’ the growing threats from a changed climate.

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Progressive Conservative leader wrong on fracking

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 4 May 2018

The New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives’ plan to lift the moratorium on shale gas paints a disappointing portrait of a party unable to exercise even minimum due diligence on this issue.

The NB Anti-Shale Gas Alliance filed a lawsuit challenging the province’s embrace of shale gas in 2014, and unlike the PC’s, we have tracked every scientific study since then, from a handful to over 1,300 today. All can be found in the, “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking.”

The evidence presented to the Commission on Hydrofracking from even the modest number of studies available in 2014 was strong enough to lead to our moratorium. Accumulating evidence presented to commissions in Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, New York, Maryland, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, and others, likewise led to moratoriums or bans.

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Fracking, we hardly knew ye

by Alec Bruce

It was fun while it lasted, but the people have spoken. So have New Brunswick’s all-but-departed, hydraulic-fracturing development and production companies. Now, we can declare it: Dear fracking, rest in peace.

You were the bad boy of the oil and gas industry in these parts.

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The other side of risk and science in shale gas

Jim Emberger Commentary, Telegraph Journal, 27 March 2016

Krista Ross’ [Fredericton Chamber of Commerce] recent commentary (12 March 2016) suggested that New Brunswick’s citizens are too unsophisticated to understand the science behind the risks surrounding shale gas, making them easy targets for shale gas opponents to manipulate with fear.

These condescending assertions are, fortunately, easy to dismiss. Our Alliance continues to direct the public to the hundreds of independent scientific studies that are now collected into a Compendium available at: http://concernedhealthny.org/compendium/.

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NBASGA Statement on the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing Report

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance provides the following statement about the report issued last Friday by the New Brunswick Commission on Hydrofracturing.

The Commissioners recognized that the discussion about shale gas had to be looked at in the contexts of the immediate need to combat climate change, the lack of a coherent and forward-looking energy policy for the province, and the inadequacy of current institutions and procedures in New Brunswick to deal with either shale gas or with the new realities of a low-carbon world.

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The Case Against Shale Gas

The following letter was sent to New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant and members of the Liberal Caucus on 22 February 2016.

Dear Premier Gallant:

The Commission on Hydrofracking will soon submit its report and the government will make its decision on the future of shale gas in the province.   We have to ask: “After 5 years of examining the pros and cons, what evidence has accumulated to support each side?”

To answer this question we have put together a short summary of the latest news and scientific information on a few of the major issues at the heart of the discussion.  We hope you will take the ten minutes necessary to read the attached document.

The  executive summary follows.

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Shale gas decision must be made in different contexts

JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY
The Miramichi Leader, 19 February 2016

The Commission on Hydrofracking will soon submit its report and the government will make its decision on the future of shale gas. After five years of examining the pros and cons, what evidence has accumulated to support each side?

If a solid economic case for shale gas ever did exist, it has now evaporated. It is now common knowledge that to offset the rapid depletion of shale gas wells, producers continuously drilled more of them.

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NBASGA presentation to New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing

On August 19, 2015 a delegation of three NBASGA members traveled to Fredericton to present our case against UNGOD (UNconventional Gas and Oil Development)  to the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing.

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