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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Focus on Clean Energy

By Liane Thibodeau, LTE, Telegraph Journal, 5 December 2018

Speaking as a retired New Brunswick business owner, one of my concerns about our government’s renewed interest in shale gas development is the cost of lost opportunities in the clean energy sector that will result.

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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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NBASGA Reaction to the Higgs’ Government Throne Speech

(Press Statement 21 November 2018)
(le français suit)

FREDERICTON — After reviewing Premier Higgs’ throne speech, Jim Emberger, Spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), stated that the organization is “cautiously optimistic about the willingness and ability of the minority government to act sensibly in its approach to our mandates of preventing unconventional oil and gas in the province and slowing climate change by developing a green economy.”

The speech made a strong statement against ‘inter-generational theft’, or stealing the future from our children.

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Window is closing to avert climate disaster

JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY   Telegraph Journal, 2018-11-05

Amidst the excitement over New Brunswick’s political situation and the hubbub surrounding cannabis, Brunswick News columnist Chris Morris provided a sober shot of reality in a commentary advising our new MLAs to pay attention to the latest, vitally important report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Her column,“New Brunswick position unclear as clock ticks down on carbon plan” (Oct. 20, A17), says, in no uncertain terms, that we have roughly 12 years to make sweeping changes to the way we live, or we and our children will face a world with climate conditions never experienced by our species.

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New Brunswick position unclear as clock ticks down on carbon plan

CHRIS MORRIS   Telegraph Journal,  Daily Gleaner,  Oct.20, 2018.

The clock is ticking towards the Jan. 1, 2019, deadline for Ottawa to impose carbon taxes on provinces without their own plans, and it remains unclear what will happen in New Brunswick.

It’s an important issue and probably played a bigger role in the outcome of the Sept. 24 election than most realize. The Liberals studiously avoid calling the price on pollution a tax, but that is how many view the extra costs it is expected to add to already-stretched household budgets.

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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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