Fracking News

First Nations, Health and Labour groups weigh in with support for the moratorium

Within a week of Premier Blaine Higgs’ “Big Reveal” to the press that they have put necessary exemptions in place to lift the moratorium on fracking in Penobsquis, First Nations Chiefs, feeling blindsided by the move, are clear that any change in the status of the moratorium does not have their consent. As well, the New Brunswick Lung Association and the New Brunswick Federation of Labour have issued clear statements of their support for maintaining the moratorium.

We thank them all for their leadership and support. Read their reasons below:

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“Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

By Jim Emberger. Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript – March 11, 2019

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.” Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

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New Brunswick Support for We’suwet’en

OPEN LETTER TO NEW BRUNSWICK MPs
by Jim Emberger

I am writing on behalf of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, a collection of Anglophone and Francophone groups with members in every constituency of the province.

I am writing to address two separate but closely related issues. The first is to voice our displeasure in the federal government’s actions in the matter of the recent RCMP assault on the checkpoints established by the traditional We’suwet’en Clan Leaders in British Columbia.

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End ‘profligate use of fossil fuels’

Commentary by Jim Emberger,Telegraph Journal, 7 December 2018

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance initially gave Premier Blaine Higgs’s throne speech a decent review. We’re now having second thoughts. In the speech, the new government made a strong statement against “inter-generational theft,” which it defined as stealing the future from our children by creating debt today that they would have to pay back.

That being a moral principle, we assumed it would be applied universally. The most poignant example of “inter-generational theft” is the failure to address climate change and environmental degradation by continuing our profligate use of fossil fuels.

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For our Physical (and Economic) Well-being, Leave the Gas in the Ground

by Jim Emberger, for Huddle.

There has been much discussion recently about the economic case for bringing fracking to the province versus the health and environmental risks of doing so.

The authors of a recent Huddle article (New Brunswick’s Ban On Fracking Must Be Overturned) framed their economic argument for fracking with the quote, “The development of ‘natural resources’ is one of the biggest drivers of business investment in Canada,” and they then argued that there is lots of investment money going to the fossil fuel provinces, while New Brunswick misses its share.

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No basis for overturning fracking ban

by Jim Emberger, LTE, Telegraph Journal
Nov. 29, 2018

The Higgs government has attached an amendment to the throne speech, calling for the lifting of the moratorium on fracking in the Sussex area and extending southeast into Albert County. The justification for doing so is that, because there has been fossil fuel development there in the past, the local populations want it. There is no proof provided for this statement.

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Shale gas won’t change N.B.’s fiscal woes

by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal   Sept. 21,2018   Featured Letter

The recent Atlantica Centre for Energy commentary about making N.B. a “have” province, by comparing it to Saskatchewan, uses only one financial figure. It predicts that shale gas could provide $900 million annually to our economy.

This is a hopeful speculation.

Perhaps examining some actual figures would be more instructive.

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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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Maintain the NB Moratorium

PC Platform Plank on Resource Development is Without Substance

For Immediate Release
Sept. 13, 2018

[Le français suit]

(Fredericton) With less than two weeks left until the election, the Progressive Conservatives’ finally released their party platform. It contains a single sentence supporting ‘regional resource development.’  The words ‘shale’, ‘fracking’ and ‘moratorium’ do not appear in the document.

It is clearly designed to mask the PC’s plan to lift the moratorium on fracking without arousing citizens who fought a bitter battle to stop fracking during the last election.

Jim Emberger, Spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), warns that, “The platform statement is a catch phrase without benefit of details, designed to mute discussion of a contentious and deadly serious issue during the election,” adding that, “the language is so vague because the PC’s are aware of the continued widespread opposition to shale gas development.  They don’t want the issue examined too closely.”

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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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