A hot button issue in New Brunswick has lead to one group filing a legal claim against the government.
Some will say land and natural resources are at risk, others say there’s potential for economic development and jobs. The debate over Shale gas exploration runs deep in the Province of New Brunswick. By Fracking, massive drills will basically be digging underground to fracture shale rocks in order to release pockets of gas.
Garth Farquhar/Green Party, “Well it’s very environmentally risky primarily to our water table.”
Wayne Sabine/Green Party, “Once you’ve contaminated the water source, where do you get the clean water?”
CTV news reports that the New Brunswick Anit-Shale Alliance, which includes 22 community organizations, has filed a legal claim against the government, calling for a halt to the fracking from companies until they prove it can be safe for the land. And supporters of the alliance like Garth Farquhar, a green party candidate, says you expect reward with some risk, but believes that’s not even the case.
Farquhar, ” Our Government has negotiated with the companies that are going to be doing the fracking, and they’ve come up with a royalty rate of 2.5 percent. ”
He says that’s the lowest of any jurisdiction he’s heard of. One of the companies seeking to explore for oil and natural gas is the Southwestern Energy Company, or SWN. They were not available to interview by say in an email response that, “Their operations are being conducted in accordance with their license to explore granted by the Province, and with all local laws and regulations.” They also say, the projects will create jobs and improve economic development.
Farquhar, “We just don’t buy into it. The promise of jobs and prosperity seems to be a bit of a con game. There will definitely be jobs created for truckers, because these wells require massive amounts of trucking to place. Each well requires approximately one thousand truck trips per well.”
Sabine, “As the Green Party, needless to say we are concerned about the environment. But not at the expense of development but we want development to go ahead in taking the environment seriously.”
SWN tells us right now, they are in the early stages of drilling a few vertical wells and taking rock samples to determine the viability of future energy development. These projects will happen mostly in Southeastern New Brunswick. Meanwhile the Anti Shale Alliance and it’s supporters say they continue to stand against any project that they see as having no consideration for land preservation.