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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47 groups call on New Brunswick government to turn page on fracking, focus on building healthier, affordable, sustainable electricity system


[Le français suit]

May 8, 2023

Traditional territory of the Wabanaki Peoples/Fredericton — Yesterday, a solidarity statement was sent to every MLA in New Brunswick, calling for the government to immediately halt its drive to bring a shale gas industry to the province.

The statement, from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the Sierra Club Atlantic Region, and the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), was accompanied by the endorsements of 44 organizations from across the province, nation and world.

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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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Solidarity Statement Calling for Government to Respect the Right to Free, Prior, Informed Consent for Fracking in New Brunswick

Premier Higgs is pressuring Wolastoqey and Mi’kmaw leaders in NB to allow fracking by threatening to withhold funding, and promising future, speculative funding derived from fracking in the province, and NBASGA is seeking signatories to a Solidarity Statement calling for the government of New Brunswick to cease attempts to coerce consent to fracking in traditional and unceded territories of the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq people in the province.

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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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Remembering Warrior Chief John Levi

John Levi
Elsipogtog, NB

Only a few weeks ago, we were decrying the fact that even now, in the year of its 10th anniversary, the RCMP raid at Elsipogtog remained an open wound for the community, and for all allies of the shale gas movement who fought for justice and resolution.

Now, we regret to share the passing of one of the most recognizable figures of that time, Warrior Chief John Levi of Elsipogtog First Nation.

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Court of Appeal ruling marks major victory for access to environmental justice in Nova Scotia


Court grants public interest standing to environmental groups in case related to Goldboro LNG

HALIFAX/ TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE MI’KMAQ PEOPLE – Environmental groups are celebrating a decision released yesterday by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal they say will help safeguard access to justice in environmental cases in the province. The ruling overturns a decision by a lower court that denied Ecology Action Centre and the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), represented by Ecojustice, public interest standing to challenge the provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s approval of a highway realignment central to the proposed Goldboro LNG (liquified natural gas) project.

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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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