• Pour diffusion immédiate
    Le 21 novembre 2018

    FREDERICTON — Après avoir pris connaissance du discours du Trône du premier ministre Blaine Higgs, M. Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAGSNB), a déclaré que son organisation fait preuve d’un « optimisme prudent concernant la volonté et la capacité du gouvernement minoritaire d’agir judicieusement dans son approche vis-à-vis de nos mandats d’empêcher la production de pétrole et de gaz non classiques dans notre province et de ralentir le changement climatique par l’instauration d’une économie verte.»

    Dans son discours, M. Higgs s’est fortement prononcé en défaveur d’un « vol intergénérationnel », qui reviendrait à voler l’avenir de nos enfants. M. Emberger relève, cependant, que « l’exemple le plus flagrant de cet enjeu n’est pas le lègue d’un fardeau fiscal, mais le laisser-aller face au changement climatique, l’utilisation de ressources non renouvelables et d’autres problèmes liés à la dégradation de l’environnement qui priveraient nos enfants et nos petits-enfants de la moindre chance de bénéficier d’une vie de qualité ». À cet égard, il a cité de nombreuses poursuites judiciaires intentées dans le monde entier concernant le changement climatique par, et pour, des enfants en vue de défendre le droit des prochaines générations de jouir d’une vie décente.

    Dans son discours, M. Higgs reconnaît que le changement climatique est un problème causé par les humains, et que nous devons travailler à y remédier, notamment en passant à une économie « verte » viable et susceptible de créer des emplois; des positions que l’AAGSNB soutient depuis longtemps.

    Il réclame, en outre, la désignation d’« un fonctionnaire de l’Assemblée législative responsable de la science et du changement climatique, qui serait également chargé de rétablir l’indépendance du système de santé public récemment démantelé ». M. Emberger, qui partage ces positions, a déclaré que « l’examen des données scientifiques et des connaissances sur la santé public liées au climat et au gaz de schiste va pleinement dans le sens de nos positions concernant ces enjeux ».

    Finalement, M. Emberger a affirmé que les membres de son organisation étaient heureux de constater l’attention accordée à notre relation avec les peuples autochtones, ainsi que la mise en place de la Commission de vérité et de réconciliation, mais a toutefois relevé que « comme toujours, il est difficile de savoir dans quelle mesure le gouvernement est sérieux, ou jusqu’où il est prêt à aller ».  

    Le ton conciliant du discours ainsi que la volonté affirmée de travailler avec les législateurs de tous les partis politiques pourraient constituer un bon moyen de gouverner, mais seulement si l’on permet la liberté des votes.

    En conclusion, M. Emberger a estimé que le ton du discours et les valeurs présentées étaient positifs, mais que les mesures qui en découleraient devaient être à la hauteur des balises établies; à cet égard, il a rappelé que « nous avons poursuivi en justice le gouvernement Alward sortant pour n’avoir pas tenu compte des données scientifiques, ni de la santé et de l’avenir de nos enfants, et que nous pouvons également poursuivre un autre gouvernement, y compris celui de M. Higgs. Nous espérons sincèrement que ce ne sera nécessaire ».

    Personnes-ressource
    Jim Emberger, porte-parole : cellulaire : 506 440-4255; courriel :shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com
    Denise Melanson, porte-parole (francophone) : cellulaire : 506-523-9467 ; courriel : inrexton2013@yahoo.ca


  • Jim Emberger Commentary


    The Opposition Energy Critic says that the discontinuation of the Energy Institute will stop the examination of the science surrounding shale gas. Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault says that New Brunswick’s shale commission could approve development. Neither of these two political smokescreens reflects the actual rigorous scientific examinations of shale gas occurring elsewhere.

    Lengthy and exhaustive reviews have recently been completed in four jurisdictions. All those jurisdictions then enacted bans or moratoria.

    New Brunswickers know that our neighbours, Quebec and Nova Scotia, passed lasting moratoria following their reviews. The state of Maryland just enacted an additional two-and-a-half-year moratorium based on a review conducted by their highly regarded university system’s public health school.

    But the most thorough review was undertaken by the state of New York. It had already declared a moratorium based on a previous public health review. Last week, after completing a ‘seven-year’ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), they essentially banned shale development. All these jurisdictions reached similar conclusions, but New York’s extraordinary effort deserves quoting.

    The EIS concluded that the scientific evidence showed:

    “Significant uncertainty remains regarding the level of risk to public health and the environment that would result from permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing.”

    “In fact, the uncertainty regarding the potential significant adverse environmental and public health impacts has been growing over time.”

    “Significant uncertainty remains regarding the degree of effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures.”

    In other words, there are many serious risks needing much more study, the number and severity of the risks is continually increasing, and the effectiveness of mitigation and control efforts are questionable.

    Most of the hundreds of scientific papers supporting these conclusions about risk can be found in two places and are periodically updated:

    A Compendium by the Concerned Health Professionals of NY. ( con  cernedhealthny.org  ).

    Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy. ( pse  healthyenergy.org  ).

    Since these reviews, alarming studies covering health effects, wastewater disposal, water well contamination, air pollution, radon, and earthquakes continue to appear weekly.

    One such comes from medical research about ‘endocrine disruptors.’ These are chemicals that in miniscule quantities act on the body’s hormone system, causing developmental, immune system and reproductive diseases. Children and pregnant women are particularly at risk.

    A new review of the science about them concluded,“Many of the air and water pollutants found near (Unconventional Oil and Gas) operation sites are recognized as being developmental and reproductive toxicants, and therefore there is a compelling need to increase our knowledge of the potential health consequences for adults, infants, and children from these chemicals.” ( www.degruyter.com  ).

    Another study found that several endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly used in gas production caused disease at a tiny fraction of the levels considered ‘safe’ by current standards. It also found that levels of these chemicals in the“air near oil and gas development can be orders of magnitude higher than exposures for which we found health effects.”( pubs.acs.  org  ) As to the questionable effectiveness of mitigation efforts, the Council of Canadian Academies already noted that neither the government nor industry adequately monitor shale development. Therefore, without scientific data, no jurisdiction can claim its ‘world-class’ regulations are based on science. Industry-defined ‘best practices’ are not scientific guarantees of safety or effectiveness.

    The clear trends in the scientific review of shale gas are the increased identification of risks, and the resulting increase in bans and moratoriums. The few studies that our Energy Institute could complete in our one-year moratorium would have little effect on trends based on hundreds of studies. The Institute’s reputable scientists deserve thanks for doing some worthwhile baseline studies, but existing departments such as Environment and Health can direct such research.

    The Institute had a problem beyond its ethically questionable founding by the former PC government and the now discredited Dr. LaPierre. If it had been intended to be an ‘Energy’institute, its mandate would have been to examine all energy options and help choose the best one, rather than to simply make shale gas palatable to the citizenry.

    Our current Commission,staffed by volunteers,with only a travel budget and a less-than- one-year window,will work in the shadows of jurisdictions who conducted multi-year reviews with paid researchers,multi-million dollar budgets, and extensive human resources.

    It is almost inconceivable that our Commission could reach a different conclusion. To contradict the now well-established scientific evidence of unacceptable risk, it would require truly extraordinarily difficult public explanations and levels of proof.

    JIM EMBERGER

    Jim Emberger is the spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.

    Please see a correction and apology on page A2.


    Correction and apology

    A June 12 letter to the editor questioned the truthfulness and motivations of Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, including an assertion that his is a paid position.In fact,Mr.Emberger is a volunteer. Further,we have no information that Mr. Emberger has been untruthful.

    We regret these statements were published unchecked, and apologize to Mr. Emberger.

    In addition, the original opinion piece to which the letter was responding was not published by the Times and Transcript. It should have been. That opinion piece appears today on page A9.


  • JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY


       The Opposition Energy critic says that the discontinuation of the Energy Institute will stop the examination of the science surrounding shale gas. Energy Minister Donald Arseneault says that New Brunswick’s shale commission could approve development. Neither of these two political smokescreens reflects the actual rigorous scientific examinations of shale gas occurring elsewhere.

       Lengthy and exhaustive reviews have recently been completed in four jurisdictions. All those jurisdictions then enacted bans or moratoria.

       New Brunswickers know that our neighbours, Quebec and Nova Scotia, passed lasting moratoria following their reviews. The state of Maryland just enacted an additional two and a half year moratorium based on a review conducted by their highly regarded university system’s public health school.

       But the most thorough review was undertaken by the state of New York. It had already declared a moratorium based on a previous public health review. Last week, after completing a seven-year environmental impact statement (EIS), they essentially banned shale development. All these jurisdictions reached similar conclusions, but New York’s extraordinary effort deserves quoting.

       The EIS concluded that the scientific evidence showed:

       •“Significant uncertainty remains regarding the level of risk to public health and the environment that would result from permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing”

       •“In fact, the uncertainty regarding the potential significant adverse environmental and public health impacts has been growing over time”

       • and“significant uncertainty remains regarding the degree of effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures.”

       In other words, there are many serious risks needing much more study, the number and severity of the risks is continually increasing, and the effectiveness of mitigation and control efforts are questionable.

       Most of the hundreds of scientific papers supporting these conclusions about risk can be found in two places and are periodically updated:

       • a compendium by the Concerned Health Professionals of NY at http://bit.
    ly/1t8E2bo

       • Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy at http://bit.
    ly/1QbOtdD

       Since these reviews, alarming studies covering health effects, wastewater disposal, water well contamination, air pollution, radon, and earthquakes continue to appear weekly.

       One such comes from medical research about “endocrine disruptors.” These are chemicals that in minuscule quantities act on the body’s hormone system, causing developmental, immune system and reproductive diseases.Children and pregnant women are particularly at risk.

       A new review ( http://bit.ly/1yqfJvj
    ) of the science about them concluded,“Many of the air and water pollutants found near [Unconventional Oil and Gas] operation sites are recognized as being developmental and reproductive toxicants, and therefore there is a compelling need to increase our knowledge of the potential health consequences for adults, infants, and children from these chemicals.”

       Another study ( http://bit.ly/1CMad
    kk ) found that several endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly used in gas production caused disease at a tiny fraction of the levels considered“safe”by current standards. It also found that levels of these chemicals in the “air near oil and gas development can be orders of magnitude higher than exposures for which we found health effects.”

       As to the questionable effectiveness of mitigation efforts, the Council of Canadian Academies already noted that neither the government nor industry adequately monitor shale development. Therefore, without scientific data, no jurisdiction can claim its “world-class” regulations are based on science. Industry-defined“best practices”are not scientific guarantees of safety or effectiveness.

       The clear trends in the scientific review of shale gas are the increased identification of risks, and the resulting increase in bans and moratoriums. The few studies that our Energy Institute could complete in our one-year moratorium would have little effect on trends based on hundreds of studies. The institute’s reputable scientists deserve thanks for doing some worthwhile baseline studies, but existing departments such as Environment and Health can direct such research.

       The institute had a problem beyond its ethically questionable founding by the former PC government and the now discredited Dr. LaPierre. If it had been intended to be an “energy” institute, its mandate would have been to examine all energy options and help choose the best one,rather than to simply make shale gas palatable to the citizenry.

       Our current commission,staffed by volunteers, with only a travel budget and a less-than-one-year window, will work in the shadows of jurisdictions who conducted multi-year reviews with paid researchers, multimillion-dollar budgets, and extensive human resources.

       It is almost inconceivable that our commission could reach a different conclusion. To contradict the now well-established scientific evidence of unacceptable risk, it would require truly extraordinarily difficult public explanations and levels of proof.

       JIM EMBERGER is a spokesman for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.



  • 21 November 2018

    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. Emberger noted that, “The most extreme example of this, however, is not an inherited tax burden. It is allowing climate change, the use of non-renewable resources, and other problems of environmental degradation to remove any possibility of a good life from the future of our children and grandchildren.” He cited the many lawsuits on climate change filed worldwide by, and for, children and their right to a decent life.

    Climate change was recognized in the speech as a problem that people cause, and that we must deal with, including by transitioning to a ‘green’ economy that will provide jobs and be sustainable, positions long maintained by NBASGA.

    The speech called for a “legislative officer responsible for science and climate change, and to restore the independence of the recently dismantled public health system”. Endorsing these positions Emberger stated, “We maintain that the examination of the science and public health knowledge concerning climate and shale gas firmly support our position on those issues.”

    Emberger said they were happy to see attention given to the relationship with our indigenous population, and implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but noted, “As always, it is hard to know how serious the government is or how far it’s prepared to go.”

    The speech’s conciliatory tone, and stated willingness to work with the legislators from all political parties, could provide a way to govern, but only if free votes are allowed.

    Emberger concluded that the tone and values expressed were positive, but that ensuing actions must live up to those markers, noting, “We sued the out-going Alward government over ignoring science, health and the future of our children, and we can sue an incoming Higgs government as well. We sincerely hope that won’t be necessary.”

    Contact:
    Jim Emberger, Spokesperson: cellphone: 506 440-4255
  • NBASGA supports Dr. Eilish Cleary and calls for her reinstatement
    Public Health needs autonomy and New Brunswicker’s need a voice they can trust

    MONCTON, NB (3 December 2013) - The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance is greatly disturbed with recent news reports speculating that Dr. Eilish Cleary’s leave of absence may be related to her work.

    Yesterday, social media erupted with support and indignation when the story became public, and people immediately rushed to her defense, calling for her reinstatement.

    Dr. Cleary has won tremendous respect of the people of New Brunswick, who hold her in high standing for her honesty, forthrightness and integrity. And rightfully so.

    She has clearly proven herself as a dedicated doctor fulfilling the role of a true health officer, regardless of political influences.

    Dr. Cleary’s award-winning 2012 report on the health impacts of shale gas development was balanced and unbiased, her conclusions based on careful research and science. As a result of this, and her subsequent actions, she is held in high esteem among the citizenry, who appreciate her outspokenness in contrast to the undemocratic actions of the previous government, which attempted to hold back the report’s release.

    The enthusiastic response from her colleagues, the requests to have her speak on the subject - nationally and internationally - are evidence of the esteem she garnered in her field.

    She was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for her services to the people of Canada and earlier this summer honoured with the Dr. Donald Morgan Service Award from the New Brunswick Medical Society. The award recognizes and celebrates the contribution made in education, research, health promotion or humanitarian service.

    The esteem with which she is recognized by her colleagues is articulated in this video with Dr. Cristin Muecke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiU29UvWds4

    And just weeks before her forced leave of absence, she was further recognized with a Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Clubs of Fredericton for her positive impact.

    Dr. Cleary’s selfless and courageous travel to Africa during the Ebola crisis cast a warm light on all of New Brunswick; we were touched by her compassion and proud that ‘our’ CMHO was on the front lines helping others.

    Dr. Cleary’s demonstrated professionalism has elevated the entire office of the CHMO, and the hard work that is accomplished under her leadership has earned wide-spread respect. When public health is impacted, this is a department that needs autonomy and a strong voice that people trust.

    We were relieved that public health impacts were mentioned in the premier’s five conditions for lifting the moratorium and that she provided input during the recent interviews conducted by the Hydraulic Fracturing Commission.

    That people now fear her forced leave of absence is a pre-emptive strike - one that serves multiple interests - is clear evidence of the deep and growing distrust citizens have in the political processes of successive governments that have favoured industry needs above those of the populace. When public health and environmental protection are given precedence, it impacts industry’s bottom line.

    This rush of support, perhaps, is the subtext of the story: The way to win the hearts and loyalty of the people of New Brunswick is with consistently demonstrated acts of courage, openness, honesty, integrity and high ethical and moral standards.

    It would seem evident that those in government can take a lesson from this and we hold out hope this government will rise to that challenge.

    But we ultimately call for this issue to be quickly concluded in-house without further delay, and Dr. Cleary be placed back in her office, again serving her patients – the people of New Brunswick.

    Respectfully,

    The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance Website: www.noshalegasnb.ca
    Email: shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com

    About NBASGA

    The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance represents the interests of New Brunswickers opposed to unconventional gas and oil exploration and development, while promoting a future in clean energy alternatives.
  • Here's a link to the video of Dr. John Cherry’s informative ‘'Shale Gas Experiment” presentation in Fredericton, November 17, 2015. It was posted by the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.
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