• (Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

    A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations
    To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association
    (Page 1 of 11)

    Forward
    We wish to make it clear at the start that we do not believe any regulation or current technology can make shale gas and oil extraction safe enough to justify its presence in New Brunswick, or elsewhere. Public consultation on the issue of shale gas extraction is critical, as the risks to health and economic and political well being touch every New Brunswicker.
    "We ask you to recognize us as the serious
    and intelligent citizens we are"
    Rural New Brunswickers who are careful observers of their surroundings provide useful perspectives on environmental health.Our proximity to Fredericton’s universities, government offices and scientific businesses means that we count among our residents highly qualified researchers in all the areas relevant to the issue of shale gas, including geologists, ecologists, hydrologists and more. Many, of course, have labored for us in anonymity, because of their fear that their jobs or businesses may suffer retribution.
    Our views have sometimes been characterized as mere ‘emotional’ responses. It is not the word ‘emotional’ that offends us, since one would be a fool not to have an emotional response to threats to one’s health, family, and way of life. It is the ‘mere’ part that is troubling our multigenerational experience with local land and water issues and the countless hours spent researching this issue by those of us with academic training. We ask you to recognize us as the serious and intelligent citizens we are. [...]

     
  • DR. ANTHONY INGRAFFEA TO SPEAK IN MONCTON ON NOV. 30 AND IN HAMPTON ON DEC. 1.

    The following includes an excerpt from the Nov. 2011 issue of Scientific American, in The Truth About Fracking.

    Dr. Anthony Ingraffea will be presenting in Moncton, November 30th at the Capitol Theatre and at Hampton High School on Thursday, Dec. 1st at 7:00 p.m.. He will explore myths and realities of large-scale development of unconventional natural gas resources.

    On a local scale, these concern geological aspects and the resulting use of directional drilling, high-volume, slickwater,hydraulic fracturing, multi-well pad arrangements and the impacts of these technologies on waste production and disposal. On a global scale, he will explore the cumulative impact on greenhouse gas loading of the atmosphere. Dr. Ingraffea is known for his clear and straight-forward explanations of these rather complex processes using visual displays and down to earth language.

    Dr. Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and a Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University. He participated in research and development for the oil and gas industry for 25 years, specializing in hydraulic fracture simulation and pipeline safety and twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics.

    Dr. Ingraffea became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991; he became Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005; he won ASTM’s George Irwin Award for outstanding research in fracture mechanics in 2006; and in 2009, he was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture. Recently, he has been deeply engaged in informal education regarding the topic of this lecture with over 50 public presentations over the last year.

    This event is part of the Shale Gas Speaker Series and is sponsored by CCNB Action and New Brunswick Shale Gas Alliance Member Groups throughout the Province.
    This is a unique opportunity to become well informed about the most controversial issue facing New Brunswickers today.

    Contact info:

    Carl Wolpin: crwolpin@xplornet.com 832-7827

    Chris Rendell: appsolca@yahoo.ca 832-4660
  • First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

    [In response to Shale Study Finds Opportunities for NB and report comissioned by the New Brunswick Business Council: nbbc-cenb.ca/en/blog/shale-study-finds-opportunities-for-nb]


    Fredericton NB - The communications committee for the alliance of community groups opposed to shale gas asked Jim Emberger for a first response to the NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas.

    Jim Emberger, a resident of Taymouth NB and a retired software developer says: “The most striking point is that this report proves that if you pay a consulting firm they will produce a positive report for you regardless of how weak and conditional the conclusions are. “

    "Below are my first comments to the questionnaire that was used, the supporting data they used, the conclusions that were drawn, and their review of current regulations and their lack of assessment of costs incurred by road damage” Mr. Emberger continues.

    On the questionnaire and subsequent conclusions:

    Right off the bat, there was a response rate on their questionnaire of 16% and they calculate the report has an 11% margin of error on those few points where the report can even make a comment, because of the small response rate. I’m not a pollster or statistician, but I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on that foundation.

    On the supporting data:

    The report uses some outdated data to support some of its statements. On the outlook of unproven technically recoverable gas, it cites a 2010 EIA report showing 1,931 trillion cubic feet in North America – the source of the famous 100 years of natural gas comment. However, the EIA recently revised that figure downward by 42% in the US, meaning at best a 24-year supply.

    I don’t have figures on Canada itself, but it is undoubtedly similar. The revisions mirror the actual production figures recently calculated for 65,000 shale wells by Canadian energy analyst David Hughes (Drill, Baby, Drill Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance – David Hughes, 2/13)

    The real life accounting of wells by David Hughes, (also Deborah Rogers and Art Berman and others) show that existing shale plays peak in about 4 years on average, with individual wells depleting by 79% to 95% in three years. Entire plays deplete at an annual average of 30% to 50%. So despite drilling thousands of new wells, terminal decline starts rather quickly and it is inconceivable that shale plays will last anywhere near the 6-25 years mentioned in the report. Remember that shale gas is barely a decade old, and that the figures used for longevity are based on conventional gas wells. Virtually all plays older than 5 years are in decline.

    The report also cites consulting firm IHS CERA for predictions about how much royalty money will flow by the year 2030. Unfortunately, IHS CERA has one of the worst records of long term predictions anywhere. It’s long term predictions for oil from their reports of the early 2000’s stated that oil production would soar to millions of more barrels a day, and that we would now be paying between $30 and $40 a barrel. Instead, the price has been $100 a barrel or more for many years, and supply has not increased since 2005.


    The use of GDP as a measure of benefits is flawed as things like road repair, environmental clean-up and legal action would all increase GDP, while actually illustrating negative consequences for NB citizens.


    The Conclusions:

    The figures for Full time equivalent jobs (FTE) per well based on a One Well model can be misinterpreted. One cannot simply take the figure of 21.5 FTE jobs per well and multiply it by the number of wells to get how many people will be employed. Most jobs are portable, meaning that a few drilling crews go from well to well, thus not increasing the number of employees, only the FTE statistics.

    Since they did not explain the one-well model in the paper, I may have misinterpreted it, but it is something that the press should question.

    The report also supports our contention that except for a few geologist type jobs, most jobs for NB’ers would be truck driving and security type jobs.

    The conclusions note that gas companies have many existing relationships with existing suppliers and trained employees. This confirms what we have been saying about the benefits to NB.


    Regulatory review:

    They compared NB to BC, Alberta, Colorado and Arkansas. First, BC and Alberta’s gas plays are in the boondocks generally – many miles from anywhere. Alberta, as noted by the report, is new to shale and is only now addressing new regulations for it. For example, they do not currently require testing of water wells for a frack.

    Arkansas, one of the first shale plays, has been playing catch-up, as production started with few regs. Correspondents from there have told us to stop shale before it starts, because regulations always lag damages.

    Colorado – the only long-term health study from the Univ. of Colorado showed the states regs to be inadequate to protecting public health. As extraction moves into populated areas, friction between local governments and state government is increasing.

    Geologically, none of these areas resemble NB. Pennsylvania is probably the closest analogue, but was not considered. The main point continues to be that all those areas continue to have widespread problems despite a variety of regs.

    Road repair paid for by companies?

    It is interesting to note that the report claims the cost estimate for road damage cannot be determined yet, but that the government regulations “contemplate” that companies will be responsible for these costs. We haven’t found any direct reference to this in the new government rules. Furthermore, shale oil and gas income from royalties have been shown in other jurisdictions to be way less than the costs incurred by accompanying road damage.

    For example, since 2009, Arkansas has taken in approximately $182M in royalties but estimates its road damage from drilling to be $450M. This is not surprising, as it takes over 1,000 loaded trucks to bring one gas well into production, plus 350 loaded trucks per year formaintenance, and another 1,000 loaded trucks for each additional frack.

    -30-
  • PRESS RELEASE
    For Immediate Release December 8, 2011
    N.B. Shale Gas Opposition Alliance Announces Text Message Action


    New Brunswick’s opposition to shale gas alliance consisting of twenty-eight community organizations is using social media to enable New Brunswickers to send a text message to our fifty-five MLAs denouncing shale gas mining and exploration in our province. Organizers say that with this Text Message Action Campaign, additional public scrutiny will be focused on the Alward Government’s push for oil and gas corporations to explore and extract shale gas using hydraulic fracturing.

    The texting initiative was planned and conceived in partnership with the Council of Canadians. With its ease of use and quick result, text messaging will allow New Brunswickers to express their opinion directly to our elected members from the comfort of their own homes.

    The letter contained in the text message sent to New Brunswick legislators includes arguments championed by economists, geologists, engineers and former industry insiders which contradict industry and government speaking points centred around job creation, royalty revenues and public benefits. They include the following:

    • The need for industry to import skilled workers from outside New Brunswick as has been happening in the US and western Canada

    • Inflated royalty payments which do not take into consideration increased health care costs due to the migration of carcinogenic materials into our air, water and the land on which we live

    • Reduced tax revenues from decreased property assessments and reductions in new home construction in areas ear-marked for shale gas development

    • Reduced tax revenues as a result of citizens and visitors to the province seeking to escape an ever-increasing level of industrialization and the resulting pollution

    • Increased road and bridge repair expenditures in counties where existing infrastructure was not engineered to withstand tens of thousands of truckloads of water, waste water, and methane gas


    The Text Message Action Campaign is scheduled to go on indefinitely. Organizers invite New Brunswickers to take this opportunity to make their voice heard, especially in light of the Alward Government’s decision to not engage in consultations with the public and its intention to continue on a path towards shale gas production.

    Media Contacts:

    Jean Louis Deveau
    506 442 1413
    jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Terry Wishart
    506 238 4001
    t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

    *********************

    COMMUNIQUÉ
    Pour publication immédiate 8 décembre 2011
    L’Alliance contre les gaz de schiste annonce une Action Texto


    L’Alliance contre les gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick est formée de vingt-huit organisations de collectivités qui utilisent les médias sociaux afin de permettre aux NéoBrunswickois de faire parvenir des textos à nos cinquante-cinq députés provinciaux pour dénoncer l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste dans notre province. Les organisateurs sont d’avis qu’avec cette Campagne Action Texto, un examen public plus minutieux portera sur les tentatives de l’administration Alward d’accélérer l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste par fracturation hydraulique de nos sous-sols par les sociétés à capital des pétrolières et des gazières.

    Cette initiative texto a été planifiée et conçue en collaboration avec le Conseil des Canadiens. Avec sa facilité et ses résultats rapides, les textos vont permettre aux Néobrunswickois d’exprimer directement du confort de leur maison aux députés qu’ils ont élus leur opinion sur les gaz de schiste.

    La lettre contenue avec le texto envoyé aux députés du Nouveau-Brunswick inclut les arguments avancés par les économistes, les géologues et d’anciens initiés de cette industrie qui contredisent les points de vue de l’industrie et du gouvernement qui se bornent à la création d’emploi, aux revenus des redevances et aux bénéfices pour la population. Ces arguments soulignent que :

    • L’industrie aura besoin de faire venir ses travailleurs spécialisés de l’extérieur du Nouveau-Brunswick tout comme c’est arrivé aux États-Unis et à l'ouest du Canada;

    • Les paiements de redevances gonflés ne prennent pas en considération l’augmentation des couts de soin de santé causés par la migration de matériaux carcinogènes dans l’air, l’eau et la terre où nous vivons;

    • La réduction des revenus de taxation provenant de la diminution de la valeur des propriétés et de la réduction de la construction de nouvelles résidences dans les régions réquisitionnées pour l’exploitation des gaz de schiste;

    • La réduction des revenus de taxation suite à la fuite des citoyens et des visiteurs pour échapper aux niveaux toujours croissant de pollution causée par l’industrialisation;

    L’accroissement des dépenses de réparation des routes et des ponts dans les régions où les infrastructures en place n’ont pas été prévues pour supporter des dizaines de milliers de camions chargés d’eau, d’eau usée et de méthane.

    On prévoit que la Campagne Action Texto continuera pour une durée indéterminée. Les organisateurs invitent tous les NéoBrunswickois de saisir cette occasion pour faire entendre leur voix, spécialement que l’administration Alward a décidé de ne pas consulter la population et de persister à favoriser l’exploitation des gaz de schiste.

    Personnes-ressources pour les médias :


    Jean Louis Deveau
    506 442 1413
    jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Terry Wishart
    506 238 4001
    t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca
  • October 11, 2011 Hampton NB -- Hampton Town Council received a standing ovation this evening after they voted unanimously to reject Windsor Energy’s request to allow thumper trucks to conduct seismic testing within town limits.

    Thanksgiving dinner plans with families were interrupted for many Hampton residents on Sunday when geophone equipment used for seismic testing was discovered along a lengthy stretch of Highway One, including within the Town of Hampton and Town of Quispamsis limits. The thumper trucks were also parked nearby and were set to go.

    Windsor Energy previously made a request to Hampton Town Council to allow thumper trucks within town limits. They were notified council would make a decision at their regular council meeting this evening. Permission had not been granted by the town, yet the company appeared ready to start seismic testing without the required approval.

    Hampton residents quickly organized a peaceful demonstration at the Town of Hampton – It’s Our Nature sign on Highway One this afternoon. Approximately 70 people participated in the demonstration to show Windsor Energy they did not have permission to conduct seismic testing. During the demonstration, protestors received word the company had decided not to “thump” the section of highway going through Hampton.

    However seismic testing did take place along Highway One within Quispamsis Town limits on Monday without their councilors or mayor’s knowledge or permission.

    Hampton Council Chambers were overflowing this evening with town residents concerned about seismic testing taking place within their community. Carl Wolpin from the group Hampton Water First, addressed council to thank them for supporting the moratorium on shale gas exploration at the recent provincial meeting of New Brunswick Municipalities. This was met with a standing ovation and drawn out applause from those in attendance.

    Council member Peter Behr moved that Windsor Energy’s request be denied stating that he received a great deal of feedback from community residents. Not a single person he spoke with was supportive of seismic testing. He went on to say that since he was elected to represent the people, it was the right thing to deny the request. The motion was quickly seconded. One of the councilors noted that although they do not have control over what happens in the rest of the province, they do have control over what happens within Hampton town limits.

     

    Contact:  Hampton Water First

     

    Carl Wolpin:  crwolpin@xplornet.com  832-7827

     

    Chris Rendell:  appsolca@yahoo.ca 832-4660

  • Public Release

    Q. Why this protest?

    A. Over the last year, the NB government has not given any indication that it is willing to ban or impose a moratorium on hydrofracking, despite mounting evidence on the threats it poses. We want to remind our government in the opening of the Legislature that the people of NB have not given their consent to go ahead with this industry, and that we still demand an immediate stop to any further exploration or development.

    Q. What is the big deal about hydro-fracking?

    A. Fracking is an inherently contaminating industrial process that injects trillions of liters of water laced with toxic chemicals at enormous pressure to break apart rock and release hydrocarbons from underground formations such as shale and sandstone. Part of this toxic water, which may afterwards contain heavy metals and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) from the rock it opened, flows back to the well head and has to be tracked out and treated for safe disposal. NB lacks any such treatment facility, and even if it existed, there is no way to treat NORMs.

    Q. Are there other concerns?

    A. Yes. We are talking about unconventional gas (and possibly oil) reserves than can only be exploited through a massive network of wellpads spaced every mile or so and that will require clear-cutting, 24-hour noise and light pollution, huge amounts of truck traffic (and thus accidents and road damage) and permanent alterations of the landscape of rural NB. Furthermore, many of these wells are statistically bound to fail and leak methane and other compounds through the well casing, thus contaminating groundwater. The air quality of the entire area is also bound to decrease through toxic emissions from the well operations, which include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause cancer.

    Q. How can you tell that the people have not given their consent?

    A. In the first place, there is no explicit mention of shale gas in the PC 2010 electoral platform. There is a just a call for ’responsible‘ development of NB Natural Gas reserves. Given the available evidence, ‘responsible’ would be to apply the precautionary principle and call for a moratorium as the government of Quebec has done. So they are not even honouring the call in their platform.

    Second: In November last year a petition for a ban on shale gas that nearly 20,000 people signed was tabled at the Legislature, which, by the way, were completely ignored. This is the largest collection of signatures that has ever taken place in NB on an environmental issue.

    And third, a year ago, a CBC poll of 1,800 New Brunswickers indicated that 80 percent thought environmental concerns outweigh the desire for revenue from hydro-fracking; 74 percent thought hydro-fracking should not continue, and 61 percent called for a total ban on fracking. So it is clear they cannot get the people’s consent, that’s probably why they haven’t asked for it yet.

    Q. But Dr. Louis LaPierre ruled out a moratorium in his report and calls for a phased approach, what do you have to say about this?

    A. Dr. LaPierre based his recommendation on a false assumption, namely that evidence from other jurisdictions cannot be extrapolated to New Brunswick and therefore we need to allow the industry to experiment here. What we see through the facts is that different shale plays behave very similarly both in the economics, which are systematically hyped, and in the environment, where problems are continuously surfacing. It is absurd to think that the NB case will not follow this pattern.

    Q. But couldn’t this pattern be reversed by the tough regulations the Government has promised?

    A. Unfortunately, regulations have no effect on human error or the laws of physics and chemistry. In other words, no regulations can prevent a blowout, a spill or a truck crash, or, accidents apart, the cement casing of a well to deteriorate with time and leak, or the VOCs emitted from a wellsite to travel for tens of kilometers around. In any case, rather than strengthening existing regulations, the government is dismantling them through the introduction of loopholes in environmental legislation that in fact make way for the shale gas industry.

    Q. This gutting of legislation is a serious accusation, can you please elaborate?

    A. On March 16, 2011, then Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney introduced a Natural Resources wetland map that does not show more than 60% of the wetlands in NB, breaking the province's own regulations on wetlands protection and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).

    On July 13, 2011, Minister Blaney notified a network of 19 watershed groups that their 10-year project work to develop a Water Classification Program was dropped because the regulations would be too difficult to enforce. This would have provided the regulatory framework for watershed protection. On November 13, 2012, Minister Bruce Fitch received final public input on their plans to exempt shale gas operations from the provincial Clean Air Act.

    Q. Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has recently pointed to the shale gas industry as an area the province could tap into for additional revenue to tackle the debt. Also, Premier Alward said on November 7th at the Minerals and Petroleum Conference in Fredericton that "Shale gas is our only path to prosperity". Do you agree with them?

    Absolutely not. Government bases these prospects on hyped industry estimates. Data from the US now show that the frenzy of drilling for shale gas in many states has not been the economic boom that industry claimed. In a study that Deborah Rogers, a renowned financial analyst, showed in her recent talk in Fredericton on the 40 counties that have been heavily drilled in the three major shale gas plays in the US, almost all of these counties had a median income, retail sales and employment rates below their State average.

    She also showed that shale plays are not as consistent and uniform as assumed. Only 2 out of 10 wells are profitable in the average shale play, and the rate of production decline is much steeper than what industry claims (on average, 60 to 80% of the total production of a well occurs in the 1st year, and by the 5th year, most wells are unproductive). Can this really be a stable source of jobs and revenues?

    Q. But don’t you think some readers may question whether your information is also biased, against industry?

    A. There is already a wealth of scientific information and journalistic investigations that support our claim that fracking is neither safe nor economic. Interested readers can weigh by themselves for example the thousands of pages of documents gathered by the New York Times under the heading 'federal officials quietly question shale gas'. What is incredible is that we are still fighting this, given the appalling evidence against the practice that is already available.

    Q. How many people do you expect will join the protest?

    Hundreds have already committed to attend through social media, and the list is growing by the day. In addition, we have over 20 community groups, 4 student groups, 6 NGOs such as the NB Lung Association and the Council of Canadians, 3 unions (CUPE, national farmers union, and Distric Labour Council), and two political parties (NDP and Greens) that are joining. These represent tens of thousands of New Brunswickers and are a real cross-section of both rural and urban NB.

    Q. What would you say to someone considering joining the walk?

    A. If you are considering joining, then you probably already understand that the shale gas industry threatens our future. Our government has been co-opted by this industry and trumpets that it can be made safe with tough regulations, while in fact gutting existing ones and that it will bring jobs and prosperity.

    To top it off, they are not listening to New Brunswickers by ignoring our petitions and calls. This is a slap in the face to Democracy that we have to make loudly visible in the streets, so that others may become aware of it.

    And if they already are, then there are hundreds of fellow citizens that feel the same way. Knowing that someone else has the same views you do and is experiencing the same outrage as you is an extremely empowering experience. Come and walk with us!
  • JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY

    July 24, 2018  Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript

    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.

    It’s not as if there is some mysterious force wrecking the climate, with nothing we can do besides learning to live with it. Rather, it is undeniable that the climate-change culprit is our burning of fossil fuels, and the way to slow climate damage is to simply burn fewer of them.

    This elementary and obvious policy solution, however, seems impossible for some to publicly acknowledge. Perhaps, that’s because once you acknowledge a fact, then you must act on that knowledge even if it is uncomfortable.

    Mr. Phillips could have painted an even darker picture. Numerous studies show the climate is changing faster than originally thought and will result in an even hotter world. This past month’s global heat wave shattered temperature records worldwide, often by double digits. Fifty-four people died in Quebec as a result of the heat wave.

    It’s a foreshadowing that should focus our minds, much like the record-breaking floods in New Brunswick. Adaptation to such catastrophes will certainly be necessary, but there are limits to adaptation, especially if conditions continually get worse.

    How many times can you raise the height of a dike, seawall or house on stilts? For trees destroyed by tropical storms, ice storms, warmer temperatures and an ever-growing list of invasive species, it’s too late to adapt.

    And when it’s too hot to work (or even exist) outdoors, adaptation has reached its end, as it is already has in some places. The only long-term solution is to keep conditions from getting worse, and that means reducing our use of fossil fuels.

    Recently, I asked Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs how his plans to lift the moratorium on fracking and promote a shale gas industry fit into plans to combat climate change. It was actually a trick question, because there is only one answer: To slow climate change we cannot exploit any new fossil fuels, and we must leave much of what we have already discovered in the ground.

    This reality now drives global economic trends, which cast doubt on the wisdom of any new fossil fuel investments.

    New studies predict that the plunging cost of renewable energy, advances in battery storage, electric vehicles and energy-efficiency measures will reduce the demand for fossil fuels so significantly that $1 trillion dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure will become worthless by 2035.

    If governments act to reduce emissions as well, the losses grow to $4 trillion dollars and the timetable is shortened by years.

    The U.S. and Canada would be the biggest losers in this scenario because they produce the most expensive fossil fuels – fracked oil and gas, and oil sands. New Brunswick is fortunate to not have much existing unconventional fossil fuel infrastructure at risk.

    But the Atlantica Centre for Energy and Encana claim that now is the time to build a shale gas infrastructure, because current supplies from Nova Scotia will soon run out, leaving 8,600 buildings without gas.

    The obvious rebuttal to this argument is to simply buy gas from elsewhere. But an even better answer is that most gas customers can switch to cleaner sources of energy, which they will eventually have to do anyway. The government and NB Power could even assist in their transition, as part of climate, innovation and energy-efficiency programs.

    In any case, New Brunswick has 319,773 private dwellings and 30,164 businesses. Simple math shows that 8,600 gas-using buildings make up only two per cent of the total. This hardly makes a case for undertaking the huge financial, health and environmental risks of building a new shale gas industry.

    Ireland and Scotland also have fracking moratoriums. Ireland just decided to disinvest all government funds from fossil fuel projects, and Scotland is debating whether to even accept fracked gas from other countries.

    Canada, however, remains among the world’s top three contributors to climate change on a per person basis, due to the high greenhouse gas emissions of our unconventional fossil fuel industries.

    Surely, our New Brunswick moratorium makes the moral statement that “we” at least won’t make things worse for our children, the world and ourselves.

    Keeping the moratorium not only protects us from fracking’s many threats to our health and the environment. It also helps slow climate change, and keeps us from making an unnecessary and seriously self-destructive fiscal decision.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB.ca).
  • Attention: The New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission

    Ancient Voices

    We are totally dependent on the Earth for life, and because of the arrogance of a superiority attitude, western society is headed in the wrong direction. As a consequence, climate change is here and people are in a panic. Grandchildren are asking, “What will happen to me?”

    What 200 year old prophesies said has now come to pass. People have disobeyed the natural laws of the universe, and are stubbornly determined to ignore the voices of reason and truth. The Earth governs all life here, and she will have no mercy.

    The Wolastokewinobk (Maliseet Grand Council) is the traditional decision-making structure of the Wolastokewiyik - the people of the beautiful river. We are the river people, indigenous to the entire St. John River watershed. Our Grand Council is made up of our clans, from the oldest to the youngest. We send these words to your commission on behalf of our extended families, as well as the deer, the moose, birds, fishes, and all other living things within our traditional territories. Our lands and waters have never been ceded or surrendered, therefore we are still the title holders.

    Canada, New Brunswick and big business have and continue to exploit and expropriate our traditional lands and resources amounting to categorical infringement on our right to use our land and hunt, fish, and gather. Currently the following industries are infringing on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights:
    • All attempts to further the industry of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in our territory must stop immediately.
    First of all our people have not been adequately consulted, and in fact we have been abused and punished for taking a stand to protect our sacred lands and waters. Secondly, traditional stories in our language tell us of a time when there was great flooding on the river and the reversing falls was caused by an ancient earthquake. There is also historical evidence of major fault lines through the centre of our territory from earlier earth quakes which is what caused salt water lakes to form all the way up to central parts of the Province of New Brunswick. It is well known that ‘fracking’ causes earthquakes to happen, because of the lubricated, chemically laced cocktail that is pumped into the ground under extremely high pressure. There is too much of a risk to allow fracturing to take place here and we do not support this destructive industry. We request that you to put a stop to this detrimental activity in our homeland.
    • The Irving Forestry Companies have not only clear cut our forests, they are also spraying poisonous carcinogenic herbicides such as glyphosate all over ‘our land,’ to kill hardwood trees, and other green vegetation. Both human and animal health is at serious risk, not to mention leaving no food for the animals.
    Streams, brooks and creeks are drying up, causing the dwindling of Atlantic salmon and trout. Places where our people gather medicines, hunt deer and moose are being contaminated with poison. We were not warned about the use of these dangerous herbicides, but then cancer rates have been on the rise in Maliseet communities, especially breast cancers in women and younger people are dying from cancer.
    • Open Pit Mining for tungsten and molybdenum is another infringement on the rights of our people – archeology shows that our people have been there around 7000 years – the oldest period found in the heart of New Brunswick.
    This is Maliseet traditional territory and we have not been consulted. Open pit mines require tailing ponds, this one designated to be the largest in the world. It is well known that all tailing ponds have a high probability to breach their bounds, and definitely will seep out into the environment. A spill or leak from the Sisson Brook open pit mine will permanently contaminate the Nashwaak River, which is a tributary of the Wolastok (St. John River) and surrounding waterways. This is the only place left clean enough for the survival of the Atlantic salmon.
    • Oil pipelines and refineries are also among the current abominable schemes, bent on contaminating and destroying the very last inch of (Wblastokok) Maliseet territory.
    The above mentioned industries are just another layer of infringements on the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Wolastokewiyik. Rivers, lakes, streams, and lands have been contaminated already to the point that we are unable to gather our annual supply of fiddleheads, and medicines. This territory has never been ceded or surrendered by our people – yet not an inch of our land has been spared for our traditional use. Government and industry blindly and carelessly proceed to exploit and misappropriate Indigenous lands and resources to the point of extreme damage and destruction, and continue to ignored the concerns and protests of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick.

    The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that all levels of government have a “duty to consult with aboriginal people” prior to the beginning of any project, or any other kind of land use, that would cause an infringement on the Indigenous rights of our people.

    The Wolastokewiyik (Maliseet People) - the Title Holders - have not been consulted on any of the above projects. Therefore governments and/or companies do not have our consent to proceed with hydro-fracturing, open pit mining, or the building of pipelines for gas and oil bitumen, on or across our traditional lands and waters.

    The duty to consult has become a meaningless process. Companies meet with INAC Chiefs, who’s jurisdiction is limited to within each of their respective reserves. Individuals are given a power point presentation, and then told the next step is accommodation. Question: then to the chief - What do you want?

    The majority of the people do not go to these meetings due to the manipulation of the process, and the lack of regard for collective rights. Collective rights require collective discussion and collective decision-making. The closest interpretation of our treaty and aboriginal right to consultation is written in international law: Free, Prior and informed consent.

    In conclusion, humans are supposed to be responsible and intelligent beings, who were given instruction on how to live on the earth.

    One of the oldest teachings about how to live on the land – “ wihkwelan tehpo eli powalbkw wblam keti sepowsowipbn” itbm Kelowbskap.” Take only what you need in order to live. Maintaining the balance of nature is the way to live on the earth. Arrogance is why we are going in the wrong direction. If we do not follow the spiritual laws of the universe, nature will take over. There will be no mercy in nature, only law.

    It is the Earth that governs life here – all life comes from the earth. You can have no value for resources that have been stolen. Greed, selfishness, and foolishness have taken over, and they have no value at all for life. Why else have become the enemy of the earth?

    Business as usual is over. Oil and Carbon is over. We will pay for damages by what is coming. Economies will be wrecked. If we continue to disregard the laws of nature the Earth will bring about the balance herself, through diseases, crisis events – etc. We have to change the way of living.

    Sincerely,

    Alma H. Brooks
    Grandmother, The Maliseet Grand Council

    October 15, 2015
  • NB Groups Want The Provincial Government To Heed Their Message
    For Immediate Release
    September 16, 2011

    Moncton -- On Saturday, September 17, the anti-shale gas network of citizens have planned
    another march for New Brunswickers to say “NO!” to shale gas in the downtown core of
    Moncton.

    More than 2 dozen groups from around the province, from places like Cornhill, Sackville,
    Taymouth and Hampton, recently announced the network they’ve formed to stop shale gas
    development in New Brunswick, and their next step is to hold another rally to continue sending
    their message to the provincial government that the shale gas industry is not welcome here.

    This grassroots movement has committed itself to informing their fellow New Brunswickers of
    the dangers of shale gas. “It’s shameful that our government has not honestly engaged and
    informed its citizens of the dangers of this industry,” says Debra Hopper, a spokesperson for Our
    Environment, Our Choice, Notre Environnement, Notre Choix. “We have an intelligent group
    here. We have done our homework; now the government needs to do the same. It has been
    reading off of cheat sheets provided by industry. The same tired lines that we’re all sick of
    hearing. The people of New Brunswick have a right to know what we are really facing.”

    “We ask that our government do its job in protecting our life sustaining resources against an
    industry that is advancing at an accelerated rate and that threatens our quality of life for
    generations to come. Once the damages are done, there is no return,” says Patricia Léger,
    spokesperson for Memramcook Action. “We cannot expect industry to warn us of the dangers of
    this toxic method of extracting natural gas and our government seems to only be listening to
    industry.”

    In our ongoing effort to get the facts about the dangers of shale gas drilling out into the open, a
    second march is being held this time in Moncton.  It will begin at 12:00 noon at the Hal Betts
    Ball Fields – Moncton SportPlex, located at 250 Assomption Blvd at the corner of Vaughn
    Harvey. Protesters will march along Vaughn Harvey Blvd, and down Main Street before
    congregating at Moncton City Hall, next to SWN Offices.  We invite all water drinkers and air
    breathers to join us in our PEACEFUL display of democracy in action. 

    At City Hall, there will be speakers from various groups and communities from across the
    province, including the Youth Environmental Action Network, Elsipogtog First Nation, Friends
    of Mount Carleton, the Maliseet Grand Council, and Ban Fracking NB. 

    Media Contacts:
    Our Environment, Our Choice, Notre Envrionnement, Notre Choix, Denise Melanson: 523-9467
    Quality of Life Initiative, Otty Forgrave: 839-2326
    CCNB Action, Stephanie Merrill: 261-8317
    Ban Fracking NB, Terri Telasco: 866-7658
    New Brunswickers Against Fracking, Mary de La Valette: 369-1995
    Council of Canadians, St. John Chapter, Carol Ring: 847-0953
    Grand Lake Watershed Guardians, Amy Sullivan: 339-1980 or 339-5324
    Sierra Club Atlantic, Hazel Richardson: 452-8915

  • Public Release

    NEW BRUNSWICK PEOPLES’ DECLARATION ON SHALE GAS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

    November 27, 2012

    WHEREAS

    Licences have been granted by the New Brunswick Government on 1.5 million hectares of New Brunswick enabling exploration for shale gas without public consultation or free, prior and informed consent of First Nations as informed by the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and

    With a well casing failure rate of between 2 and 8 percent, and as high as 50 percent over two decades, shale gas extraction using hydro-fracking poses an unacceptable risk to drinking water wells, groundwater aquifers, lakes and streams, as well as consumes millions of gallons of fresh water, rending it a waste product requiring treatment; and

    The shale gas industry will introduce substances such as benzene, diesel fuel, kerosene, naphthalene and antifreeze into our water through spills/leakage of toxic fracking flow-back fluids, and into our air, through fugitive emissions and venting, placing local residents, livestock, wildlife, and critical agriculture and watershed areas at risk; and

    Communities where hydro-fracking has occurred have experienced explosions, fires, spills, stream contamination and well pollution, which have placed volunteer fire departments, EMS units and healthcare providers at risk; and

    Extensive shale gas extraction, and its required infrastructure of roads, drill pads, pipelines, compressor stations, heavy truck traffic, and impacts of noise, emissions and dust will undermine property values and increase tax burdens on New Brunswickers who have not given their consent to this industry;

    AND WHEREAS

    Approximately 20,000 New Brunswickers in 2011 signed a petition calling for a ban on shale gas licensing and extraction in New Brunswick; and

    In November, 2011 a CBC survey of 1,800 New Brunswickers indicated that 80 percent thought environmental concerns outweigh the desire for revenue from hydro-fracking; 74 percent thought hydro-fracking should not continue, and 61 percent called for a total ban on hydro-fracking; and

    The October 2012 report by Dr. Louis LaPierre (The Path Forward) did not reflect the will of the people as expressed at public meetings held in 2012, and Dr. LaPierre did not gather evidence over the course of the public meetings to support his opinion finding that a moratorium on shale gas development was or was notwarranted; and

    The September 2012 report of Dr. Eilish Cleary (Chief Medical Officer’s Recommendations Concerning the Development of Shale Gas in New Brunswick) establishes the extensive and costly parameters required to be put in place to assess basic human health impacts before any exploratory hydro-fracking takes place; and

    New Brunswick does not have an Environmental Bill of Rights guaranteeing its citizens and First Nations a clean environment including air, water and land and recognizing water as a fundamental Human Right; and

    Employment claims of the industry have been largely overstated elsewhere, for example, in Texas. Furthermore, the work requires skills not generally held by New Brunswickers, rendering them ineligible for all but unskilled employment on shale gas sites;

    AND RECOGNIZING

    That, responding to objections from people, especially from those most directly affected, hydro-fracking has been forbidden or banned in many jurisdictions in the world primarily due to concerns over water; and

    That industry infrastructure development will require clear-cutting of trees, 24-hour noise and light pollution, increases in truck traffic and permanent alterations of the landscape which are incompatible with forestry, fishing, guiding, agriculture, tourism, recreation and other pursuits which contribute to the New Brunswick economy; and

    That resources which otherwise could be directed towards clean, renewable energy alternatives such as solar, wind, geothermal, micro-hydro and other non-consumptive energy resources are currently going into the pursuit of natural gas in shale, an un-sustainable fossil fuel that contributes to global climate change; and

    That the private interaction of government and industry groups as occurred in Fredericton from November 4-6, 2012 at the taxpayer-supported 2012 Exploration, Mining and Petroleum New Brunswick Conference has the effect of inhibiting New Brunswickers’ expression against fossil fuel development and prevents alternative energy propositions from gaining recognition or reaching fruition;

    WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, RESPECTFULLY DEMAND THAT

    The New Brunswick Government begin, TODAY, an energy transition program based on reducing overall energy consumption, energy efficiency and giving priority to renewable energy over sources that are finite, whiletransferring all subsidies from carbon to renewables/sustainables and increasing them in scale; and

    That the production and delivery of energy be re-oriented to satisfy the needs of the people of New Brunswick, and not for export or to be managed by transnational interests or driven by industrial consumption; and

    That local, alternative and sustainable solutions be prioritized, decentralizing generation. This transition requires an immediate ban on drilling for shale and in general prohibiting unconventional hydrocarbon extraction using methods too dangerous for the environment and health; and

    That Government invite meaningful, constructive dialogue with social and environmental movements to determine all the economic possibilities and opportunities for New Brunswick that will address our debt and deficit and eliminate shale gas from consideration in this regard; and

    That Government accept that the people reserve the right to enact civil disobedience to confront destruction of the New Brunswick environment, methods of subsistence, of quality of life and of health; and

    That Government prioritize the adoption of a New Brunswick Environmental Bill of Rights, entrenching every citizen’s right to clean air, land and water in legislation, for the benefit of current and future generations.

    Signed this day, the 27th of November, by

    Please sign the electronic petition here

  • May 23, 2012

    Premier David Alward

    Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement

    Centennial Building
    P. O. Box 6000
    Fredericton, NB
    E3B 5H1
    Canada

    Dear Mr. Alward:

    Our government is not living up to its commitment to engage with citizens. Shale gas mining and development is one of the most important and controversial issues facing New Brunswickers today. During the past 12 months, thousands of urban and rural New Brunswickers have been moved to action. Some have had their well water tested. Many have participated in protest marches for the first time in their lives. Others have sent letters to newspaper editors denouncing our government’s involvement in the promotion of this industry. All of these well-informed people are cognizant of scientific evidence that confirms that shale gas extraction threatens our air quality, surface and groundwater, health, property values, and quality of life.

    Despite your promise in a Moncton speech last October, our MLAs have failed to hold town hall and information meetings “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue.” So, on May 10th, a group of citizens organized a debate in Fredericton on the pros and cons of shale gas mining. Eight government representatives, including you, were invited to participate. Based on our government’s booklet entitled Citizen Engagement and Responsible Government (http://www.scribd.com/doc/31665820/Citizen-Engagement-and-Responsible-Government), we fully expected our government’s active participation in this debate. Instead, our government declined the invitation.

    The e-mail from Mr. Troy Lifford, PC Caucus Chair, attempting to explain our government’s refusal to participate in this debate, was perplexing. Mr. Lifford said our government has yet to decide whether it endorses the development of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

    This statement seems contradictory to the result of the “free vote” last December, in which Conservative MLAs voted unanimously in favour of “responsible and regulated development” of this industry. Moreover,the Dept. of Natural Resources’ Web site, Natural Gas from Shale, declares, “Welcome to our web site dedicated to shale gas exploration and development,and goes on to address only the alleged benefits of this industry. This does not sound like the words of a government that is undecided on the issue. Nor have Minister Northrup’s repeated refusals to place a moratorium on the industry pending further study sounded like the stance of a government that has yet to decide.

    In April 2012, when Mr. Northrup gave a new shale gas exploration license to Windsor Energy, a company which had previously ignored exploration regulations, he claimed it was to avoid an expensive lawsuit. But in December 2011, our government showed no such reluctance to pass legislation that breached the province’s agreement with Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, legislation to facilitate the economical distribution and use of natural gas. That does not seem to be the action of a government that is undecided about developing a shale gas industry.

    Our government just days ago claimed to have developed “world-class” regulations to control the shale gas industry. That, too, does not seem to be the action of a government that is undecided about developing a shale gas industry.

    All of our government’s public statements, actions and attitudes have made it clear that it favours the development of this industry in the province, regardless of the well-known and scientifically verified dangers it presents to our people. In such a context, Mr. Lifford’s declarations of government neutrality on the issue seem a disingenuous dodge to avoid accountability for the government’s approach to this issue, a dodge that disrespects all of our cherished democratic principles of public consultation and transparency on important issues affecting the people.

    We believe that it is your responsibility, as Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement, to guide our government in an honest and open discussion of all of the implications of shale gas development in New Brunswick, and to be straightforward and forthcoming about our government’s standpoint towards this extractive resource industry.

    Respectfully,

    Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis – Beth Nixon

    Conservation Council of NB –Stephanie Merrill

    Corn Hill Area Residence Association of NB – Jane Achen

    Council of Canadians – Carol Ring

    Friends of Mount Carleton – Jean Louis Deveau

    Friends of UNB Woodlot – Mark D’arcy

    Hampton Water First – Chris Rendell

    Harvey Environmental Action Team – Terry Wishart

    Memramcook Action – Patricia Léger

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking – Stan Donovan and Mary de La Vallette

    Our Environment, Our Choice –Mike McKinley

    Parents Against Everyday Poisons – Stephanie Stoneleigh 

    Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization – Eric Hadley

    Quality of Life Initiative – Otty Forgrave

    Sierra Club Atlantic – Hazel Richardson

    Stanley Area Action Group – Robert Valiquette

    Sustainable Energy Group – Sam Arnold 

    Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking – Marilyn Lerch 

    Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance - Bradley Wood 

    Upriver Environment Watch- Ann Pohl

    Corinne Hersey, 724 Irvine St., Fredericton, NB.

    Susan Linkletter, 291 Scott Road, Salisbury West, NB

  • (Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

    A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations

    To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association

     

    (Page 11 of 11)

    Our Remaining Important Questions

     

    The government’s position has been that it is okay to continue exploration, because if we find shale gas development to be unsafe for either the people or the environment, we can simply stop it at that point. SWN had a three-year license to explore during which it pledged to spend $47 million dollars. The government recently passed a new regulation to grant them extensions of that license.
    "If a large portion of the medical profession in
    the province… says it is not safe to continue…
    can they be overridden by a political decision?"
    It is hard for us to conceive that after allowing the company to explore for 5 years and spend $47 million dollars that the government would say, ‘Sorry SWN, we don’t think it’s safe, you’ll have to go.’ Even if the government did say that, we suspect the action would be followed by costly lawsuits and extreme damage to the province’s reputation.
    The only sane approach is for a moratorium or ban to be started immediately before industry invests millions more. However, if the government wants to persist in what many consider a reckless policy, we want to know several things:

     

    - First, what will be the legal instrument used to deny leases to companies who have lawfully fulfilled their license agreements?

    - Secondly, who will decide on what is safe, what will be the decision-making process and who will provide the criteria to decide the standard of ‘safeness’?

    - Will the entire decision making process by open to public comment?

    - If a large portion of the medical profession in the province, backed by other medical societies around the world and supported by studies, says it is not safe to continue, given their commitment to the ethic of “first do no harm”, can they be overridden by a political decision?

    - What percentage of leaking gas wells or water well contaminations will our ‘safety standards’ allow as ‘acceptable’? How will that be decided?

    - If local communities have different conceptions of what is safe, what can they do?

    We need answers to these basic questions before we can give any serious consideration to the government’s current position.

     

     

     

  • (Personal Submission to Dr. Louis LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group, June 19 2012 Hillsborough, New Brunswick by Margo Sheppard)

     (Page 1 of 4)

    Dr. LaPierre and members of the Shale Gas Group, I would like to express my concern with shale gas development as informed by my experience assessing the environmental impacts of major infrastructure projects from both the proponent’s and regulator’s perspectives

     

    After twelve years in environmental assessment and policy in the Ontario government, I moved here and since 1996 have worked for the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, fourteen of which as Executive Director. I currently chair the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, an umbrella group for conservation trusts across this country. I am on the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Protected Natural Areas in New Brunswick because I care about the future of this province’s wild spaces and species. I speak as an individual, not as a representative of any group.

     

    “The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home”

     

    As a fresh-faced environmental planner back in the early 1980s, I studied and consulted the public on new highways. Walking pastoral landscapes I made lists of flora and fauna, knowing that a four-lane expressway would soon flatten it all. I assured people that the effects would be small; the forests and farms soon to be bisected would heal or just cease to be. The need for the highway, the sustainability of the highway or the urban sprawl and loss of countryside it caused I never questioned.

     

    How blithely my ministry paved over Class I agricultural land in the interest of cars and development; how irreverently we dismissed the public’s concerns-- about homes lost, villages split in two—mostly, as facilitators of this upheaval, in order to be able to sleep at night. To address the true impacts would have meant to listen to people and actually prevent the destruction before it started. From the perspective of today, how I wish I had questioned authority and challenged all we did. Alas I did not. I was a few years into an environmental planning career when I discovered my role was to simply minimize, or downplay the damage in the public’s eyes, not actually prevent it.

     

    That was in 1984; global population was 4.8 billion and C02 levels in the atmosphere were 340ppm. Environmental concern worldwide was growing, but there was not the vast store of scientific fact, understanding of the threats or their causes that we have today.

     

    “…but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly”

     

    Fast forward to 2012, global population is 7 billion according to the United Nations and the C02 concentration in the atmosphere is close to 400ppm. The cumulative effects of 160 years of industrial activity supercharged by fossil fuels and unconstrained consumption have caught up with us in the form of climatic changes that are going to eclipse any remediation that could, but likely won’t, be administered. At least we now know how to avoid causing further harm, don’t we?

     

    Yet here we are tonight, discussing the merits of still another emissions-intensive fossil-fuel development: shale gas. Clearly we have learned nothing from our current predicament and past failures. Or perhaps we have learned, but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly.

    I do not criticize the shale gas group. I criticize its political masters who, encouraged by industry representatives and growth advocates, are willing, no, eager, to sacrifice the clean environment and landscapes of New Brunswick to further their careers and twisted ideas of what it is to have true prosperity. The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home, is so huge it makes my head spin and my heart break. […]

     [Please Note: Download attachment Hillsborough Shale Gas Presentation]

  • PRESS RELEASE

    For Immediate Release        November 17, 2011

    Shale Gas Protest March and Rallies in Fredericton November 19th and 23rd

     

    FREDERICTON NB ---- A march and two rallies at the Provincial Legislature will take place on November 19th and November 23rd to protest unconventional shale gas development in New Brunswick.
    Citizens and community groups from throughout New Brunswick will converge on Fredericton on Saturday, November 19th and at the opening session of the New Brunswick Legislature on Wednesday, November 23rd with their message to the Alward Government that the exploration and extraction of natural gas from shale using horizontal drilling in combination with slick water hydraulic fracturing will not be tolerated.

    New Brunswickers from all over the province denounce the development of an unconventional shale gas industry. The process used to extract unconventional shale gas is less than 20 years old. It is the undisputed cause of ecological damage and long-term economic net debt, earthquakes, air and noise pollution, infrastructure degradation and the profligate use and irreversible poisoning of trillions of litres of fresh water. It leaves deleterious impacts on the lives and health of humans and other animals in its wake.

    “The civic duty of New Brunswick residents does not require that they be guinea pigs in anyone's science experiments”, states Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the Taymouth Community Association.

    The promise of large-scale job creation appears over-exaggerated. In a recent presentation at the University of New Brunswick on October 22, 2011, Mr. Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas mentioned that since this industry requires highly skilled workers, most will be imported from outside the province to enable the industry to be more competitive at a time when stock market prices for natural gas are low.

    Events on Saturday, November 19th will begin at 7:00 am with a Sunrise Ceremony at the Old Burial Grounds at 51 Woodstock Road. At 10:00 am there will be a benefit concert at the Old Burial Grounds for the people of Penobsquis. A march to the Provincial Legislature will begin after the concert, starting at 11:00 am.

    Sixty residents in Penobsquis have lost their well water and have experienced ground subsidence allegedly from the industrialization of their rural community. Some who want to move away have been unable to sell their homes. We ask, where is justice for the people of Penobsquis? Will regulations serve anyone when more things go wrong? A point made clear in the recent documentary by Rob Turgeon, ‘Be... Without Water’. (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Events on Wednesday, November 23rd are scheduled to begin at the Provincial Legislature at 12:00 noon. A program with music and speakers will begin at 1:00 pm.

     

    Media Contacts:

    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca     

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

    _________________________________________________

    COMMUNIQUÉ

    Pour publication immédiate                              17 novembre 2011

    Marche et rassemblements contre les gaz de schiste à Fredericton les 19 et 23 novembre

    FREDERICTON NB — Une marche et deux rassemblements devant l’Assemblée législative auront lieu les 19 et 23 novembre pour protester contre l’exploitation non traditionnelle des gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick.

    Des citoyens et des groupes communautaires de toutes les régions du Nouveau-Brunswick se réuniront à Fredericton le samedi 19 novembre et lors de la séance d’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative du Nouveau-Brunswick le mercredi 23 novembre pour livrer leur message à l’administration Alward que l’exploration et l’exploitation du gaz naturel des schistes en utilisant le forage horizontal avec des fluides de fracturation ne seront pas tolérées. Les Néobrunswickois de toute la province dénoncent l’exploitation non conventionnelle des gaz de schiste par l’industrie. Le processus utilisé pour extraire les gaz a moins de 20 ans. Et il est la cause non contestée de dégâts écologiques, de dettes économiques nettes à long terme, de tremblements de terre, de pollution atmosphérique et sonore, de dégradation des infrastructures et de l’utilisation immodérée d’eau et de l’empoisonnement irréversible de trillions de litres d’eau douce. Par ailleurs, cette industrie laisse dans son sillage des impacts nuisibles sur la vie et la santé des humains et des autres animaux.

    « Le devoir civique des résidents du Nouveau-Brunswick n’exige pas qu’ils servent de cobaye pour les expériences scientifiques, » affirme Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.

    Les promesses de créations d’emplois à grande échelle semblent très exagérées. Dans sa récente présentation à l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick le 22 octobre dernier, monsieur Calvin Tillman, ancien maire de Dish au Texas a mentionné qu’étant donné que cette industrie a besoin de travailleurs hautement qualifiés, la plupart d’entre eux proviendront de l’extérieur de la province afin de permettre aux opérations d’être plus compétitives au moment où les prix sur le marché du gaz naturel sont bas.

    Les évènements de samedi 19 novembre vont commencer à 7 heures avec une cérémonie du lever du soleil au vieux cimetière situé au 51 Woodstock Road. À 10 heures, il y aura un concert au bénéfice des citoyens de Penobsquis. La marche vers l’Assemblée législative commencera après le concert à 11 heures au même endroit.

    En effet, soixante résidents de Penobsquis ont perdu l’eau de leur puits et ont subi des affaissements de terrain après l’industrialisation de leur collectivité rurale. Certains qui ont voulu déménager ailleurs n’ont pas été capables de vendre leur maison. Nous demandons, où se trouve la justice pour les habitants de Penobsquis? Est-ce que des règlementations vont servir à qui que ce soit lorsque d’autres choses tourneront mal? Un récent documentaire par Rob Turgeon donne une réponse très claire :

    « Vivez...sans eau » (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Les évènements de mercredi 23 novembre débuteront à l’Assemblée législative à midi. Un
    ensemble d’évènements avec musique et conférenciers débutera à 13 heures.

     

    Personnes-ressources pour les médias :

    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

  • PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release November 22, 2011

    Shale Gas Protest Rally in Fredericton November 23rd

    FREDERICTON NB ---- A rally at the Provincial Legislature will take place on November 23rd to protest unconventional shale gas development in New Brunswick.

    Citizens and community groups from throughout New Brunswick will converge on Fredericton on Wednesday, November 23rd at the opening session of the New Brunswick Legislature with their message to the Alward Government that the exploration and extraction of natural gas from shale using horizontal drilling in combination with slick water hydraulic fracturing will not be tolerated.

    Members of CUPE locals from throughout the province will be joining industry opponents in solidarity on Wednesday. At their November 3rd 2011 National Convention, CUPE adopted Resolution No.96, which expressly states that all levels of government must put an end to shale gas development because the industry, “has failed to demonstrate that such development would not have serious consequences for the environment and the health of citizens”; and governments being “clearly unprepared for this issue, and have done a poor job of responding to public concerns”.

    New Brunswickers from all over the province denounce the development of an unconventional shale gas industry. The process used to extract unconventional shale gas is less than 20 years old. It is the undisputed cause of ecological damage and long-term economic net debt, earthquakes, air and noise pollution, infrastructure degradation and the profligate use and irreversible poisoning of trillions of litres of fresh water. It leaves deleterious impacts on the lives and health of humans and other animals in its wake.

    “The civic duty of New Brunswick residents does not require that they be guinea pigs in anyone's science experiments”, states Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the Taymouth Community Association.

    The promise of large-scale job creation appears over-exaggerated. In a recent presentation at the University of New Brunswick on October 22, 2011, Mr. Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas mentioned that since this industry requires highly skilled workers, most will be imported from outside the province to enable the industry to be more competitive at a time when stock market prices for natural gas are low.

    Sixty residents in Penobsquis have lost their well water and have experienced ground subsidence allegedly from potash mining and the added burden of shale gas drilling in their rural community. Some who want to move away have been unable to sell their homes. We ask, where is justice for the people of Penobsquis? Will regulations serve anyone when more things go wrong? A point made clear in the recent documentary by Rob Turgeon, ‘Be… Without Water’. (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Events on Wednesday, November 23rd are scheduled to begin with a gathering at the Provincial Legislature at 12:00 noon. A program with music and speakers will begin at 12:45 pm.

    Media Contacts:
    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Pour publication immédiate COMMUNIQUÉ 22 novembre 2011

    Rassemblement contre les gaz de schiste à Fredericton le 23 novembre

    FREDERICTON NB − Un rassemblement aura lieu à l’Assemblée législative demain le 23 novembre afin de protester contre l’exploitation des gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick.

    Des citoyennes et des citoyens ainsi que des groupes communautaires de l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick convergeront vers Fredericton à l’ouverture de la Législature du Nouveau-Brunswick demain mercredi le 23 novembre pour signifier à l’administration Alward que l’exploration et l’extraction des gaz naturels en utilisant le forage horizontal avec des fluides de fracturation sous pression ne seront pas tolérées.

    Les membres des sections locales de toute la province du SCFP se joindront en solidarité à ceux qui s’opposent à l’exploitation des gaz de schiste. Lors de leur Convention nationale le 3 novembre dernier, ils ont adopté la résolution 96, qui déclare expressément à tous les niveaux de gouvernement que l’on doit mettre fin à l’exploitation des gaz de schiste parce que cette industrie « a failli de démontrer que de telles entreprises n’auraient pas de conséquences graves sur l’environnement et sur la santé de la population, » et que les gouvernements « sont manifestement mal préparés devant cet enjeu et qu’ils n’ont pas réussi à répondre aux préoccupations de la population. »

    Les NéoBrunswickois de toute la province dénoncent le développement non conventionnel de l’industrie des gaz de schiste. Le processus utilisé pour extraire les gaz de schiste non conventionnels a moins de 20 ans. Et il est la cause non contestée de dégâts écologiques, de tremblements de terre, de pollution atmosphérique, de pollution par le bruit, de dégradation des infrastructures et de l’utilisation immodérée et de l’empoisonnement irréversible de trillions de litres d’eau douce. Elle laisse dans son sillage des impacts nuisibles pour la vie des humains et des autres animaux.

    « Le devoir civique des résidents du Nouveau-Brunswick n’exige pas qu’ils servent de cobaye pour les expériences scientifiques de qui que ce soit, » affirme Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.

    Les promesses de créations d’emplois à grande échelle semblent très exagérées. Dans sa récente présentation à l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick le 22 octobre dernier, monsieur Calvin Tillman, ancien maire de Dish au Texas a mentionné qu’étant donné que cette industrie a besoin de travailleurs hautement qualifiés, la plupart d’entre eux proviendront de l’extérieur de la province afin de permettre aux opérations d’être plus compétitives au moment où les prix en bourse du gaz naturel sont bas.

    En effet, la collectivité de Penobsquis a perdu (60) puits et sources depuis plusieurs années. Les plateformes de forage pour les gaz de schiste qui contribuent au fonctionnement des processus de la mine de potasse sont dispersées dans les pâturages et les coteaux à l’amont de la Kennebecasis. Nous demandons, où se trouve la justice pour les habitants de Penobsquis? Est-ce que des règlementations vont servir qui que ce soit lorsque d’autres choses tournent mal? Un récent documentaire par Rob Turgeon donne une réponse très claire : « Vivez…sans eau » (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Les évènements de demain mercredi 23 novembre débuteront à midi lors du rassemblement devant l’Assemblée législative provinciale. Un programme de musique et de conférenciers suivra à midi et 45.

    Contacts pour les médias:
    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca
  • Jim Emberger - Commentary, Telegraph-Journal, Daily Gleaner August 24, 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.

    In 2016, the Houston Chronicle was already reporting,“These new rigs, using sophisticated software and robotics, could reduce the number of people working in the oil patch by up to 40 per cent.”  The article continues: “The Holy Grail [is] to not have to touch the pipe and totally automate the process.”

    The 2014 fossil fuel crash forced companies to slash the number of drilling rigs and lay off 440,000 workers. Although the number of rigs is slowly growing back, analysts say that half the workers may never return.

    That’s because the fracking industry, despite its growth, has always been mired in debt – the Wall Street Journal calculates US$280 billion. To have any chance of reaching profitability, the industry must cut costs, meaning eliminating jobs and increasing automation.

    For example, SWN, the American company once exploring in New Brunswick, has announced it will layoff 200 workers to save on annual personnel costs of $65 million.

    Since the fracking industry has always sold itself as a source of high-paying, blue-collar jobs, it doesn’t publicize that many of those jobs are now disappearing.  Replacing workers with machines is masked as “efficiencies” and “cost-savings,” and, with no apparent sense of shame, as “worker safety measures.”

    Industry debt also leads to numerous bankruptcies and company closures, posing financial threats to taxpayers and landowners in the form of thousands of abandoned, often leaking, gas and oil wells.

    Governments should have demanded sufficient funds from the industry in advance to cover the costs of closing wells, but did not. Industry claimed it couldn’t afford the upfront cost.  Now, bankruptcy laws that give creditors first access to the assets of insolvent companies leave little money to remediate abandoned wells.

    Saskatchewan’s auditor general estimates the problem will cost the province $4 billion, while Alberta, with its hundreds-of-thousands of wells, faces a mind-numbing $47 billion in future costs.  Saskatchewan has already asked Ottawa for a few hundred million until they can figure out a long-term plan, so we can surmise that federal and provincial taxpayers will be on the hook for bailout money.

    Any taxpayer bailout will be a bitter pill, as the industry already receives billions from Canadian taxpayer subsidies, another fact not discussed. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Canada’s subsidies to the natural gas industry are 44-per cent greater than its foreign aid payments.

    The British Columbia government, for instance, offers exemptions from income, sales and climate taxes, provides lower electricity rates, and offers extremely generous “royalty credits for fracking operations.”  The Energy Ministry calculates that these “credits” equal nearly $5 billion in lost royalty revenue.

    Despite generous subsidies, Alberta (our largest gas producer) has seen royalties plummet 90 per cent since 2008: from $5 billion down to $500 million.This explains why the Petroleum Services Association of Canada just announced a decrease in Canadian natural gas drilling this year, citing low natural gas prices and reduced demand.It noted: “Many companies are sitting at near break-even points or are still in negative territory.... This is not sustainable from a business continuity and competitiveness perspective,” and explains the “lack of attractiveness for investment.”

    These subsidies, debts and job losses occur in tandem, with multiple economists warning that market forces may turn Canada’s billions of dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure into worthless “stranded assets” by 2030.

    All of this news comes from industry or government sources.

    So why would conservatives, economists and various chambers of commerce members who write newspaper commentaries promoting shale gas not address any of these issues? One would expect that, as businesspeople, they would be aware of the industry’s financial and trade news.

    What are we to think when they endlessly repeat the meaningless phrase “responsible resource development” while displaying no more detailed knowledge about shale gas economics than they do about its health and environmental threats?

    Should we pin our economic hopes on an industry built on subsidies, debt and potentially huge costs to taxpayers, one that provides fewer jobs with each passing year, while putting our health, environment and climate at risk?

    Or, should we instead keep the moratorium on fracking, and choose a business sector with an economic case that is booming with jobs and prospects. Clean Energy Canada’s recent study of a basic energy efficiency plan for New Brunswick shows that by 2030 we could increase GDP by $5 billion and create 25,879 jobs.

    Going beyond the basic plan, and adding renewable energy, makes those numbers skyrocket. These aren’t imaginary figures. Jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy far outnumber those in the fossil fuel industries, while ensuring a healthier, more sustainable, future.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB. ca)
  •  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    NEWS RELEASE,  JULY 24, 2012

    Ward 10 Residents Request for Shale Gas Consultation Meeting Shut Down

    Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – Provincial government officials deny local grassroots residents group request for participation in province wide information and consultation process on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

    On June 28th a letter was signed by many residents attending a crowded Ward 10 Residents Association meeting in Fredericton.  The letter responded to concerns by many residents that they were not being sufficiently informed and consulted on shale gas development as originally promised by Premier Alward in recent speeches and the election.

    "Over the last several months, Fredericton residents, including those in Ward 10, have expressed concerns about not having been invited to participate in a meaningful conversation about the development and regulation of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick,” said Leah Levac, Fredericton city councillor for Ward 10. “In my conversations with residents, many have expressed a desire to receive more information about the province's plans regarding shale gas development so that they can develop an informed opinion on the matter". 

    The letter asked, "Dr. Louis LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group to meet with the Ward 10 Residents Association in Fredericton (before the end of July 2012) so our residents can be informed on shale gas regulations and have a voice in this important process.”

    The following morning, the letter was mailed and emailed to the Natural Gas Group as well as copied to provincial and city politicians. On July 20th, the Ward 10 Residents Association was told that it could meet with Dr. LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group for 20 minutes. The group was also told that it would have to share the 20 minutes with the Friends of the UNB Woodlot, and that no more than three Ward 10 residents were allowed to participate.

    The group feels that attempts to respond to Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup's announcement which read, “we look forward to hearing from New Brunswickers [during Dr. LaPierre's consultation]” (press release), and to his open invitation to any “groups or associations” to meet with LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group are being undermined.

    “The shale gas public consultation tour missed a majority of our population by not even going to Moncton, Saint John or Fredericton,” said Ward 10 resident Taeyon Kim.  “How can even three Ward 10 residents make any informed decision in 20 minutes shared with another group?”

    The Ward 10 Residents Association will only participate in a consultation process that is democratic and transparent.  On October 3rd 2011 David Alward gave a speech to the Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton on shale gas development and the importance of public information and consultation on this issue.  Mr Alward referred to “town hall and information meetings” where MLAs could “hear directly from their constituents on this important issue.”  Later in the speech he added, “It’s a discussion we as New Brunswickers all need to have.”

    “I met with my MLA, Brian MacDonald, and he agreed with our request for a meeting with the Natural Gas Group, that allows residents to become fully informed and consulted on shale gas development in New Brunswick,” said Ward 10 resident Garth Hood.  “He said he would do everything within his power to help us get this public meeting.”

    The association fully agrees with Mr. Alward that, “It’s a discussion that we as New Brunswickers all need to have.” The association does not agree that Ward 10 residents have been given any open and democratic public opportunity for informed discussion. This is why the Ward 10 Residents Association is repeating the original request:

    The Ward 10 Residents Association requests that Dr. LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group hold a public meeting within Fredericton so all residents can be fully informed and consulted on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

    Posted For Ward 10 Residents Association

    Media Contact: Taeyon Kim frederictonward10residents@gmail.com

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB