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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Before you Vote

The New Brunswick Election is September 24 (Early polls September 15, 17) and hydraulic fracturing is once more an issue of interest to New Brunswickers.

Before you vote, consider this: There are many issues to be considered when choosing how to vote. Sometimes we have to choose between two parties, each of which has some positions you support, and some you don’t.

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Tories are incoherent on ‘regional social license’

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 13 Sept 2018

The freshly released Progressive Conservatives platform contains only a single sentence on shale gas, and leaves “regional social license” – mooted by leader Blaine Higgs in April – entirely unexplained.

Even without adequate detail in the platform, the very concept is a clear case of putting the cart before the horse.

The shale gas moratorium’s first condition sensibly dictates that, before social license can be granted, citizens must receive “clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on public health, the environment and water.”

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Clean energy jobs growing while fossil fuel jobs declining

“The Declining Business Case for Fracking”
By Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, 24 August 2018

At a recent oil and gas industry conference, Terry Spencer, head of natural gas infrastructure company, ONEOK, told the audience, “One of these days, one of these big ol’ fracs will be operated with nobody there.”

“We are, as an industry, working towards where we can operate 24/7, unattended.”

He wasn’t forecasting the distant future.

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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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