• (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. [...]

     
  • From the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

    The struggle to keep unconventional gas and oil development (UNGOD) out of New Brunswick is a story filled with many actors, heroes and organizations, each playing important and vital roles.

    However, for many of us involved in that struggle, the seeds for our victory were largely sown by a single person – Stephanie Merrill, the Water Specialist at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.  What follows is our special tribute to Stephanie, who is now heading out to share her expertise with the Global Water Futures program at the University of Saskatchewan.

    http://www.noshalegasnb.ca/tribute-to-stephanie-merrill/
  • Alward government bungles first test of so-called world class shale gas regulations

    FREDERICTON--“Premier Alward’s world-class regulations on shale gas mining have failed their first major test,” says Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    On February 7th, Corridor Resources registered with the government’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) registry a proposal to propane frack four exisiting wells in Penobsquis sometime in July. This is Phase III of a three-phase project. Corridor’s short announcement was published in one small newspaper on February 11, but apparently nowhere else. The word fracking did not appear in the newspaper ad.

    Before 2010, shale gas companies were not required to register for an EIA until ready to drill and frack wells. “But public pressure forced the Alward government to change that, so they created a new category of EIA called a ‘phased EIA,’ which now requires companies to register each phase of a project for an EIA.”

    “The problem is this ‘phased EIA’ process is not designed to require a company to submit a formal environmental impact assessment which would trigger public hearings on their proposal,” says Deveau.

    Deveau points out that until February 21st, there was nothing in the government’s EIA registry to suggest that fracking would be taking place. Nor was Corridor's proposal initially available on-line. “We live in the information age,” says Stanley resident Lawrence Wuest, “but I had to physically drive to the Department of Environment to read about the details of Corridor's proposal.”

    In addition, according to a floodplain map of New Brunswick, two of the wellpads scheduled for fracking by Corridor lie on the 20 year floodplain of the Kennebecasis River. Corridor’s EIA registration document, now available on its own website does not appear to take this into consideration. This is problematic as the new rules for industry released in February 2013 place restrictions on shale gas mining in floodplains.

    Energy Minister Craig Leonard even said last September that shale gas mining in flood zone areas would have to go “through a full EIA." The phased EIA now underway will likely allow Corridor to frack without any of us ever knowing how the public and the waters of the Kennebecasis River are to be safeguarded in the event of flooding," said Deveau.

    “This is a far cry from what New Brunswickers should be expecting from so called ‘world-class’ shale gas regulations,” says Deveau. “I encourage New Brunswickers to demand that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment be conducted on this fracking project.”
  • IMPORTANT: Please E-mail Your MLA To Release Dr. Cleary's Health Study On Shale Gas

    It has been learned that the NB Chief Medical Officer's health report on shale gas has been ready for about a week. The government appears to be delaying its release.

    Please find below the draft text of an e-mail YOU can send to your MLA!

     

    MLA email addresses at this link: http://www1.gnb.ca/legis/bios1/index-e.asp

    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick 

    (listed by riding in numerical order and e-mail address)

    Please forward wide and far to your friends.

     

    Thank you for your action!

     

    Contacts

    Mark D'Arcy Email markandcaroline@gmail.com 

     

    Terry Wishart Email t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

      

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

    E-MAIL ADDRESSES OF YOUR MLA CAN BE FOUND HERE:

     

    http://www1.gnb.ca/legis/bios1/index-e.asp

     

    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick

     

    (listed by riding in numerical order + e-mail address)

     

     

    Dear _______________, MLA

      

    RE:  An Open Letter to MLAs for the Immediate Release of the Complete Health Study on Shale Gas Sector

      

    I just learned that the Health Study on Shale Gas has been completed by Dr. Eilish Cleary, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick.  It is my understanding that Dr. Cleary submitted her report to the Alward government about one week ago, and that the report was scheduled to be released in September 2012.

     

    The health implications of introducing shale gas development in this province is one of the most important issues facing New Brunswickers today.  I respectfully request the following:

     

    1.  The Alward government should take care to release the report immediately and to neither delay nor censor it.

     

    2.  The MLAs hold meaningful public consultation on whether to allow or disallow shale gas development in New Brunswick. This consultation should start with legislative hearings, and later include public meetings on the government's final recommendations.

     

    It will be very troubling to our democracy if either of these two steps is not forthcoming.

     

     

     

    All discussion and decisions on shale gas regulations are premature.  

     

     

     

    It is my understanding that the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, has developed recommendations on the shale gas industry "at preventing or mitigating potential adverse public health effects associated with the industry".

    In the CBC interview with Dr. Cleary (see reference below), she explained that the health study would document how the industry could impact human health, how to mitigate or prevent the risks, as well as how to measure the actual impact of the industry on the health of New Brunswickers if the shale gas industry was to proceed in this province.

    Dr. Cleary said she would make recommendations in each of the following 4 areas: (1) Physical risks; (2) Risks to the community and mental health; (3) Risks from exposure to environmental sources; and (4) Risks to the long-term health of the population.

     

    Furthermore, the public has not yet been consulted on whether or not the province should move forward with shale gas exploration and fracking. Dr. Louis LaPierre publicly admitted, at the shale gas regulations meeting in Norton, NB on July 04, 2012, that the mandate given to him by your government did not include the ability to recommend a moratorium or ban on shale gas development. 

     

    Lastly, during a speech delivered in Moncton last October, Premier David Alward advised that Members of the Legislative Assembly would be organizing town hall and information meetings later that month “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue."

     

    We have a right to know and to be properly consulted. 

     

    I look forward to an honest and open discussion of all the health, environmental, and economic implications of shale gas development in New Brunswick. 

     

    Sincerely yours,

    [YOUR NAME OR ORGANIZATION HERE]

    cc:  Premier David Alward

     

    Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement

     

    Province of New Brunswick

     

    E-mail: david.alward@gnb.ca

     

     

    References:

     

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/05/21/nb-shale-gas-health-study-445.html

     

    Health study may examine impact of shale gas sector

     

    Chief medical officer will issue recommendations in the summer - CBC News May 22, 2012

     

    Premier David Alward, October 3, 2011 - Speech to Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton

  • On May 17, the provincial government released documents containing new measures and recommendations on the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick. The documents, prepared by the Natural Gas Group, include 116 recommendations to ensure the environmentally responsible management of the industry, and are divided into short-term (104) and long-term (12). In addition, the government announced it will put in place a maximum fine of $1 million for breaches of the Oil and Natural Gas Act.

    The Natural Gas group is now seeking feedback on the new measures and recommendations, and the public is invited to provide comments until July 18, 2012.Led by environmental expert Professor Louis LaPierre, the group will be conducting a citizen engagement tour across the province to collect feedback on the discussion paper. Stopping in selected communities across New Brunswick, they will offer a public open house as well as a public meeting, where citizens will be allowed to ask questions regarding exploration, development or other topics of interest.

    The documents are available for download and can be found in the shale gas area of our public consultations page.

    Here is a list of host communities for the tour:

    ●    Wednesday, June 6 - Chipman
    ●    Monday, June 11 - Stanley
    ●    Monday, June 18 -Salisbury
    ●    Tuesday, June 19 - Hillsborough
    ●    Wednesday, June 20 - Grand Falls
    ●    Thursday, June 21 - Bathurst
    ●    Friday, June 22 - Bouctouche
    ●    Monday, June 25 - Blackville

    Feedback can also be made by contacting the Natural Gas Group at 1350 Regent Street, Room 150 Fredericton, NB E3C 1G6 Fax: (506) 453-3671 Email: naturalgas@gnb.ca

    The Natural Gas Group is also open to meeting privately with groups or associations, who are asked to e-mail their requests.


  • Commission’s Fracking Report Shows Moratorium Remains Smartest Policy And That Time Is Right To Begin New Brunswick’s Transition to Low-Carbon Economy

    FREDERICTON — The report released today from the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing provides more evidence that the provincial government made the smart policy decision by putting a moratorium in place and throws down the gauntlet for N.B. to start the transition to a thriving low-carbon economy.

    Consider what the Commissioners say in their report:

    • The challenge and opportunity for economic development today is in clean and low-carbon technologies as governments across the world — including New Brunswick — prepare to deal with the opportunities and challenges of climate change. The Commissioners say New Brunswick must transition away from the old-world economies of resource extraction into a new value-added and knowledge-based era driven by new forms of energy, stating: “The world is shifting towards integrated energy systems that will be supported by a variety of advanced technologies, most of which will not require fossil fuels.”

    • The environmental protection and energy regulatory system in New Brunswick is prone to conflicts of interest. The Commissioners highlight significant gaps in the current framework, such as the lack of understanding and mapping of our groundwater system, and highlight pieces that are broken entirely, such as the failure of the Water Classification regulation for protecting rivers and streams. The current approach means a government department has to have two heads, meaning ministers serve two masters — one that promotes energy projects and another that regulates them. This system leads not only to confusion, anger and distrust but also creates too many unanswered questions, especially with respect to the cumulative effects of energy projects on water, air and public health.

    • Nation-to-Nation communication with First Nation communities is sorely lacking and needs years of repair and capacity-building for all involved.

    “The Commissioners rightly point out that the world shifted with the signing of the first universal climate agreement and that the real opportunities for jobs and economic growth comes from clean energy and energy efficiency,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “The economic case for renewables grows stronger every month and energy efficiency has long been recognized as a tool for creating jobs and keeping electricity affordable.”

    Corbett continued: “It’s clear from the Commissioners’ report that New Brunswick’s regulatory and oversight system is prone to conflicts of interest and is at best years away from being ready to handle shale gas. If we spend 90% of our effort and New Brunswickers’ ingenuity focused on building the clean energy transition then we’d all be much better off than continuing an endless conversation about fracking.”

    Corbett concluded: “The moratorium was the smart public policy decision in 2014 and it remains the right public policy well into the future. The Commissioners outline the crossroads our province — and the world at large — is facing, and it’s hard to imagine a future for new shale gas development in a world committed to protecting our families from climate change. Our best bet for creating jobs right now in New Brunswick is through energy efficiency and clean power technology. That’s the road we need to take, and it’s the road that doesn’t put our drinking water or communities’ health at risk.”
    —30—

    The report will be available on the Commission's website.

    Read the submissions the commission received from groups and individuals here.

    Read the commissioners’ blog here.

    To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Director. Office: 458-8747; Cell: 261-1353; Email: jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Pour publication immédiate              COMMUNIQUÉ                           21 novembre 2012

    Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

    FREDERICTON NB ---- Une marche à Fredericton qui se terminera par un rassemblement à l’Assemblée législative aura lieu le mardi 27 novembre pour demander de mettre fin à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel au NB.

    Au mois de novembre l’an dernier, plus de 20 000 NéoBrunswickois ont demandé d’interdire l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste en présentant des pétitions à la Législature.  Par ailleurs, durant l’année dernière plusieurs différentes associations au Nouveau-Brunswick ont adopté des résolutions pour soit interdire ou soit imposer un moratoire à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel.  Celles-ci incluent :

    1)   L’Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 51 membres (octobre 2011);

    2)   Le Syndicat des infirmières et des infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick comprenant 6 900 membres (décembre 2011);

    3)   Le Syndicat national des agriculteurs NB regroupant 150 fermes (mars 2012);

    4)   Le synode des Maritimes de l’Église unie du Canada (mars 2012);

    5)   Le Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique regroupant 30 000 membres (avril 2012);

    6)   Le Collège des médecins de famille du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 700 membres (avril 2012);

    7)   Le personnel médical de l’hôpital Mémorial de Sackville (mai 2012);

    8)   Les médecins de l’Hôpital de Moncton (juin 2012);

    9)   La Fédération des NéoBrunswickois des zones rurales (FoR NB);

    10)   Les médecins de l’hôpital Georges Dumont Moncton (septembre 2012);

    11)  Un nombre de municipalités incluant (Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, Minto, Stanley, Bathurst, Sussex Corner, Quispamsis).

    Marilyn Lerch de l’Alliance de Tantramar contre la fracturation hydraulique constate que : « Le gouvernement du NB n’a donné aucune indication qu’il écoutait tous ces appels pour un moratoire ou une interdiction. »  « Au contraire, la toute première proposition à la deuxième session de l’Assemblée législative a ignoré les pétitions et confirmé que la politique de l’administration conservatrice était en faveur de l’exploitation « responsable » des réserves de gaz naturel au Nouveau-Brunswick. »

    « Les réserves de gaz naturel au NB ne sont pas traditionnelles, c’est-à-dire qu’elles doivent être extraites par une technologie relativement nouvelle appelée fracturation hydraulique massive fracking, » explique Stephanie Merrill d’Action CCNB.  « La fracturation hydraulique est essentiellement un processus industriel contaminant qui injecte des milliards de milliards de litres d’eau mélangés avec des produits chimiques toxiques à des pressions énormes pour faire éclater la pierre et laisser échapper les hydrocarbonés des formations souterraines comme les schistes ou les grès rouges. »

    « Des preuves provenant d’autres juridictions ne cessent de démontrer que les risques sanitaires, sociaux et environnementaux sont majeurs et que les avantages économiques sont exagérés, » souligne Guillermo Castilla, professeur adjoint de l’Université de Calgary.  « C’est pourquoi notre gouvernement a le devoir de prévenir les dommages et mettre fin à toute exploitation jusqu’à ce l’on puisse démontrer que cette technologie est sécuritaire et qu’un plan d’exploitation complet est présenté. »

    « Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est de se rappeler à la mémoire les pétitions des 20 000 NéoBrunswickois qui ont été ignorées, mais qui demandent la cessation immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke du chapitre Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.  « Cela veut dire l’arrêt immédiat des explorations pour les gaz de schiste, la fin des émissions de tous nouveaux permis et du renouvèlement des permis existants, » précise Dr. Linke. 

    « Les groupes et les organisations qui se sont déjà joints à cette manifestation ou qui l’ont endossée constituent un véritable échantillon des populations rurales et urbaines du Nouveau-Brunswick, » observe Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.  « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que l’administration ne réussit pas à présenter une analyse de rentabilité pour appuyer ses prétentions concernant les emplois et les redevances tout en continuant à affaiblir la protection environnementale de nos zones humides, de nos bassins versants et de notre atmosphère pour faire place à cette industrie. »

    Conseillère municipale à Sackville, Margaret Tusz-King prévoit : « L’exploration non traditionnelle du gaz naturel va affecter l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick, ses villes comme ses collectivités rurales »  « C’est pourquoi il est intéressant de noter le grand nombre de NéoBrunswickois qui manifestent leur solidarité en s’assemblant pour protester en solidarité lors de l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative.  Ces citoyens montrent clairement qu’ils sont en faveur de l’arrêt d’une entreprise qui pourrait modifier notre paysage à jamais. »

    Le mardi 27 novembre, des groupes et des citoyens vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes dont les signatures ont été ignorées, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation.  Cette marche pacifique va commencer à 11 h au vieux cimetière et se terminera avec un rassemblement entre midi et 13 heures devant l’édifice de l’Assemblée nationale.  De brèves discours seront présentées.

    Voici les noms des groupes/organisations qui se sont joints à la manifestation et/ou qui l’ont endossée :

    A) Groupes des collectivités :  1) Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, 2) Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis, 3) Friends of Mount Carleton, 4) Hampton Water First, 5) Harvey Environmental Action Team; 6) Memramcook Action, 7) New Brunswickers Against Fracking, 8) Parents Against Everyday Poisons, 9) Taymouth Community Association, 10) Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking, 11) Notre Environnement, Notre Choix, 12) Upriver Environment Watch, 13) Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance, 14) Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk, 15) Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 16) Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization, 17) Quality of Life Initiative, 18) Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, 19) Stanley Area Action Group, 20) Sustainable Energy Group, 21) Maliseet Grand Council, 22) Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, 23) Cornhill Area Residents Association and 24) The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (ForNB)

    B) ONG: 1) CCNB Action, 2) Association pulmonaire du NB 3) ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc., 4) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Saint-Jean, 5) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Fredericton et Sierra Club Atlantic

    C) Organisations professionnelles/Syndicats : 1) Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP), 2) Syndicat national des fermiers NB (SNF NB), 3) Conseil du travail de Fredericton & District

    D) Partis politiques :  Parti vert et NPD

    E) Jeunes et jeunes adultes : 1) 5e année, classe du chef Harold Sappier École élémentaire Memorial, Première nation St. Mary’s, Fredericton 2) Étudiants et étudiantes de l’université Saint Thomas & de l’UNB, 3) Éco-action groupe de l’université Mount Allison 4) Élèves du Collège des métiers du NB.

    F) Groupes Facebook : “New Brunswick is NOT for sale”, “SAY NO TO SHALE GAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK”, “NoShaleGasNB”, “Upriver Environment Watch” et “Ban Hydraulic Fracturing (hydro-fracking) In New Brunswick

  •  For Immediate Release                PRESS RELEASE                November 4, 2013

    Communities, groups and organizations call on Alward Government to start listening to people

     

    FREDERICTON– This Tuesday, November 5th at lunch hour, the Council of Canadians will be joined by citizens, community groups, Church organizations, unions and professional associations from throughout the Maritimes and other regions at the provincial legislature for the Unity and Solidarity Rally. Rally goers will be delivering a message to Premier Alward that all shale gas exploration and development must be halted and that the New Brunswick government must begin listening to all people about the future they want, based on his government’s duty to consult and in the spirit of true democracy. 

     

     

    “The Alward Government must reopen dialogue and have a genuine conversation around issues surrounding our natural resources”, says Terry Wishart, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “Part of this discussion has to be about the unsustainable projects they continue to pursue while many countries and jurisdictions have firmly stated their opposition to extreme resource development like shale gas and oil. Others are realizing significant increases in jobs by laying the groundwork for the resource development of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, biogas and their forests”, Wishart points out.

     

     

    One of David Alward's promises during the 2010 provincial election was citizen engagement, yet the Premier– who is also the Minister of Citizen Engagement and Aboriginal Affairs – has demonstrated his contempt for public consultation, consent, and aboriginal treaty rights. Premier Alward has refused to meet with the Wabanaki people in a traditional place of North American democracy, the Longhouse, which now rests on the banks of the Saint John River, across the street from the Provincial legislature, and was constructed for such a meeting.

     

     

    As Leader of the Opposition on April 6th 2010, David Alward spoke frankly about the consequences of shale gas development on water contamination, saying, "Many problems have been reported because of [fracking] companies. Significant contamination of people's drinking water is taking place. We know that, in the United States, companies are not required to provide the information.”  Government, health and academic studies document additional environmental hazards of the industry, like severe air contamination and impacts on human health, including accelerated rates of cancer and childhood asthma.

     

     

    “Today Premier Alward claims he was elected with a mandate to develop shale gas. His minister of energy, Craig Leonard, says that shale gas opponents are ‘ridiculous’ or he resorts to calling us names. They discount the real facts and ignore citizens who are petitioning for public meetings and asking some very important questions”, states Council of Canadians member, Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.  “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in their platform. In fact they avoided any mention of it in the platform’s ‘Energy Plan’, yet renewable energy and efficiency are included”, adds Lubbe-D’Arcy.

     

     

    Critics charge that in the wake of Mr. Louis Lapierre’s fraud, the Alward government is also lying in order to justify moving ahead with their plans for a shale gas industry. They point out that the Alward government is following suit with the Harper Government by diluting or changing laws based on industry requirements, and are thwarting the efforts of citizen groups that work to shine a light on their failure to adequately consult with the public on shale gas.

     

     

    “We hope David Alward will respect democracy and renew constructive dialogue with the Wabanaki and all peoples on the direction and future of New Brunswick” says Wishart.

  • New Brunswick Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint

    Wishful Thinking about Our Future

    The government’s blueprint is not a plan for the future; it is the history of a past to which we cannot return. It was forged in an alternate reality created by fossil fuel companies, banks and PR firms. No outside information may pass into this reality. How else can we explain the following about the plan?

     

    It ignores the worldwide alarms from scientists, global financial and energy institutions, and the world’s military and intelligence establishments that climate change is the most serious threat to our existence, our financial systems, and our security. Yet, the blueprint bases our future on shale gas and tar sands, two of the worst emitters of greenhouse gases.

     

    It ignores the lack of public health studies about shale gas, and disregards the serious warnings raised from the studies that do exist.

     

    It ignores implementing many of its own Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for baseline health studies, and relegates others to a ‘will be considered in the future’ status.

     

    It ignores adequately addressing some recommendations by simply claiming they are answered in the ‘Rules for Industry’. Those concerning fracking fluid disclosure, well testing and setbacks clearly are not.

     

    It ignores the fact that insinuating the newly created Energy Institute into matters formerly handled by health professionals will only deepen public mistrust.

     

    It ignores the calls from New Brunswick health professionals, including doctors, nurses and cancer and lung associations, for a moratorium until studies can be done.

     

    It ignores the extensive record of air and water pollution that has occurred everywhere shale has been produced, regardless of regulations, including ignoring data from industry’s own records showing a high frequency of well failures.

     

    It ignores the facts that alternative energies such as wind and solar are the fastest growing parts of the energy sector and are supplying increasing amounts of energy and good long-term jobs at competitive costs - everywhere else in the world but here.

     

    It ignores the growing number of economic studies that show that local communities do not profit from shale gas, and that most fare worse than similar non-shale communities on virtually every socio-economic measure.

     

    It ignores the growing number of financial and petroleum analysts who have taken the measure of shale gas through industry records and judged it to be a bubble that will soon burst. They question its longevity and its business plan.

     

    It ignores the growing number of countries, states, provinces, regions and municipalities (including many in New Brunswick) that have instituted bans or moratoriums on shale gas.

     

    And, most troubling of all, it has ignored the voices of its own citizens.

     

    It ignored a 2011 petition with 20,000 signatures, and a recent letter from groups representing more than 50,000 people calling for a halt to shale exploration.

     

    It ignores the growing number of diverse social, labor, professional, environmental, health, political and citizen groups that continue banding together to oppose shale gas.

     

    It ignores its treaty duty to do real consultation with First Nations, and ignores its own call for public meetings. It even ignores the well-researched public comments from the alleged ‘listening tour’ conducted by Dr. LaPierre.

     

    Instead it has listened to the shale industry exclusively, and kowtowed to its needs, whether by not punishing lawbreakers like Windsor Energy, or by improperly granting license renewals to SWN on the flimsiest of excuses.

     

    It has listened to industry trade groups like the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, whose language, deceptive advertising, disinformation, and meaningless phrases like, ‘best practices,’ show up in the government’s blueprint and website.

     

    It has listened to Dr. LaPierre, a biologist with no demonstrated expertise on shale gas, who sits on the board of NB Power and channeled their wishes in his report. In return he was rewarded with the patronage job of chairmanship of the publicly funded Energy Institute that he, and he alone, had proposed a new government entity that will cost taxpayers a million dollars in its first year.

     

    It has listened to the self-interested banks via former premier Frank McKenna, who represents TD Bank – a major investor in Transcanada’s pipeline business, and a bank that makes fortunes from oil and gas mergers and acquisitions.

     

    It has listened to Hawk Communications, a public relations firm it hired with at least $200,000 of taxpayer money, not to improve communications, but to help sell the LaPierre report.

     

    In short, to govern in New Brunswick is to live in a self-contained universe with no links to the outside world. Only in such a place could the government’s blueprint be deemed a serious approach to the issues facing both New Brunswick and the earth.

     

    Therefore, we call again for a halt to any exploration and production of shale oil or gas, until such a time that the citizens have had a chance to examine in depth all the factors surrounding it. Only then can they explicitly reject it, or proceed with it after understanding all of its implications.

  • Some new information about shale gas environmental impacts was recently released. Read the Cornell University study,  Methane and the Greenhouse-Gas Footprint of Natural Gas
    from Shale Formations. This is important information for New Brunswickers to know during this time of discussion and debate around the development of the industry.

     Mnister of Environment, Margaret Ann Blaney, responds to the report in a CBC news article providing insight to NB government's stance on the issue.

  • Press Release

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter


    Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    FREDERICTON – The Mi’kmaq Chief and council of Elsipogtog First Nations issued a statement on Tuesday vowing to protect our land, water, and air from mining companies like SWN Resources Canada. SWN Resources was also told by Chief and council to leave the province. The Maliseet Chief of Saint Mary’s First Nations concurred.

    “We proudly stand by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters on this issue,” says Julia Linke, member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    “It is difficult to imagine how this could come as a surprise to anybody,” says Alma Brooks, Traditional Clan Mother Wolastoqiyik of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

    Next Monday, October 7th marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 states that lands not ceded to, by treaty or purchased by, the Crown, are reserved for First Nations.
    “The elected and hereditary leaders of Elsipogtog and the Signigtog district,” says Andrea Bear Nicholas, Retired Chair of Native Studies, St.Thomas University, “are therefore re-asserting their obligations as rightful stewards over Crown lands which they believe are continuously being mis-managed by Canada, the province, and corporations.”
    - 30 -
  •  Press Release

    Council of Canadians,                                                                           24 October 2013

    Fredericton Chapter

    Council of Canadians stunned by Premier’s comments on consultation with Indigenous Peoples

    FREDERICTON– The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians is stunned by Premier Alward’s comments suggesting that adequate consultations have taken place between his government and Indigenous Peoples on the issue of shale gas.

    “That is not what I heard at a meeting last night with members of the Wabanaki Confederacy which included Harry Laporte, Grand Chief of the Maliseet First Nation,” says Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, Chair, Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    Deveau, who completed his doctoral studies on the duty to consult and accommodate persons with disabilities in the workplace, believes that Premier Alward is misleading New Brunswickers on this issue.

    “Not only does our government have to consult Indigenous Peoples about shale gas,” says Deveau, but it also has to accommodate their concerns, as outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada”

    “Besides, says Deveau, “if proper consultations had taken place, why would the Mik’maq and the Maliseet of this province along with their allies have blockaded thumper trucks two summers in a row?”

    The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians believes that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) cannot be done safely, and is calling for a ban on the practice in New Brunswick.

     

    Communiqué de presse en français

    - 30 -

  • 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

  • DÉCLARATION DES GENS DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK SUR LE GAZ DE SCHISTE ET L’ÉNERGIE RENOUVELABLE

    Le 27 novembre 2012


    ATTENDU QUE

    Le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick a accordé, gratuitement et sans consultation publique,et avant d’en avoir obtenu le consentement des Premières Nations, des licences permettant l’exploration du gaz de schiste sur 1,5 millions d’hectares de terres de la province, contrevenant ainsi à la Déclaration de 2007 des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones; et

    Le taux de rupture de tubage des puits, au cours de deux décennies, s’est situé entre 2 et 8 %, atteignant même 50 %, l’extraction du gaz de schiste par la méthode de la fracturation hydraulique constitue un risque inacceptable pour les puits d’eau potable, la couche aquifère, les lacs et cours d’eau, sans compter que cette industrie consomme des millions de gallons d’eau douce transformée en un produit résiduaire devant être traité avant d’être rejeté dans le milieu naturel; et

    Le processus de fracturation utilisé par l’industrie du gaz de schiste libère des fluides toxiques tels que du benzène, du carburant diésel, du kérosène, de la naphtalène et de l’antigel qui s’infiltrent dans l’eau par des fuites et des déversements et dans l’air par des émissions fugitives et la ventilation, mettant ainsi en péril les résidents de la province,les animaux d’élevage et les espèces sauvages, ainsi qu’une agriculture et des bassins hydrologiques essentiels; et

    Les collectivités où des activités de fracturation hydraulique ont eu lieu ont eu à faire face à des explosions, des incendies, des déversements, de la contamination de cours d’eau et de puits, ce qui a causé un risque accru pour les services d’incendie composés de bénévoles, les fournisseurs de soins de santé et de services de mesures d’urgence; et

    L’extraction du gaz de schiste à grande échelle et la mise en place des infrastructuresnécessaires à son activité -routes, plateformes de forage, canalisations, stations de compression - de même que la circulation d’équipement lourd, entraînant bruit, poussière et émissions, affectera la valeur des propriétés et augmentera le fardeau fiscal des Néo-Brunswickois, eux qui n’auront pourtant pas consenti aux activités de cette industrie;

    ET ATTENDU QUE

    En 2011, environ 20 000 Néo-Brunswickois ont signé une pétition demandant de bannir l’octroi de permis pour l’extraction du gaz de schiste et l’extraction du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick;

    En novembre 2011, un sondage de CBC auprès de 1 800 Néo-Brunswickois indiquait que pour 80 % des répondants, les questions environnementales étaient plus importantes que les revenus que pourrait générer la fracturation hydraulique,que 74 % souhaitaient qu’on mette fin à l’exploration par fracturation hydraulique et que 61 % désiraient que la fracturation hydraulique soit interdite;

    Le rapport de M. Louis LaPierre (Ph.D.) publié en octobre 2012, La voie de l’avenir, ne reflète pas la volonté des gens telle qu’ils l’ont exprimée lors des assemblées publiques tenues en 2012 et que de plus, ces assemblées publiques n’ont pas fourni à M. LaPierre de preuves pour appuyer une opinion, à savoir si un moratoire sur le développement du gaz de schiste était justifié ou non;

    Le rapport de la DreEilishCleary publié en septembre 2012 et intitulé Recommandations du médecin-hygiéniste en chef sur l’exploitation du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswickmentionne les paramètres nombreux et coûteux qui doivent être mis en place pour évaluer les impacts de la fracturation hydraulique sur la santé humaine avant que toute activité de fracturation n’ait lieu;

    Le Nouveau-Brunswick ne s’est pas doté d’une Charte des droits environnementaux qui reconnaîtrait l’eau comme un droit fondamental et garantirait à ses citoyens et à ceux des Premières Nations le droit à un environnement sain, comprenant de l’eau propre, de l’air pur et des sols non contaminés.

    Les prévisions de l’industrie du gaz de schiste par rapport aux emplois susceptibles d’être créés se sont avérées en général exagérées ailleurs, par exemple au Texas et que, de plus, les Néo-Brunswickois en général ne possèdent pas les habiletés et compétences recherchées par cette industrie, ce qui les confine à des emplois non spécialisés sur les sites de gaz de schiste;

    ET SACHANT

    Qu’à la suite des objections émises par les populations, surtout par celles les plus directement touchées, la fracturation hydraulique a été bannie ou interdite dans plusieurs endroits dans le monde, avant tout à cause des son impact sur l’eau; et

    Que pour mettre en place les infrastructures nécessaires à cette industrie, il faudra procéder à des coupes à blanc, s’accommoder de la pollution par le bruit, incessant, et la lumière, qu’il y aura une augmentation de la circulation de camions et que des changements modifieront notre paysage à tout jamais, et que tout cela est incompatible avec des industries existantes comme la foresterie, la pêche, l’embauche de guides, l’agriculture, le tourisme, les activités récréatives qui toutes contribuent à l’économie du Nouveau-Brunswick; et

    Que des ressources qui pourraient être affectées au développement d’énergiesnon polluantes et renouvelables,comme l’énergie solaire, éolienne, géothermique, microcentrale hydrauliqueet autres ressources non destructives, seront utilisées pour se lancer dans l’extraction du gaz naturel – un combustible fossile qui contribue au réchauffement climatique –pour le libérer du shale dans lequel il est emprisonné; et

    Que des rencontres privées entre le gouvernement et des groupes de l’industrie, défrayées par les contribuables, telles que la Conférence Exploration et exploitation minière et pétrolière au Nouveau-Brunswick 2012 qui a eu lieu à Fredericton du 4 au 6 novembre 2012, ont pour effet de décourager les Néo-Brunswickoisde s’exprimer contre le développement du combustible fossile et d’empêcher d’autres solutions de se développer et de se réaliser.

    NOUS, LES SOUSSIGNÉS, DEMANDONS RESPECTUEUSEMENT

    Que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick entreprenne dès aujourd’hui un programme de réorientation destiné à réduire la consommation totale d’énergie, à promouvoir l’efficacité énergétique et à choisir des sources d’énergie renouvelables de préférence à des sources épuisables, et ce, en transférant toutes les subventions du charbon aux ressources durables et renouvelables, et en les augmentant; et

    Que la production et la livraison de l’énergie soient repensées de manière à répondre aux besoins de la population du Nouveau-Brunswick, et non pour que notre énergie soit exportée ou gérée par des intérêts transnationaux ou contrôlée par la consommation industrielle, et

    Que l’on favorise des solutions de rechange durables, à plus petite échelle et provenant d’ici. Ce revirement exige d’interdire immédiatement tout forage de schiste et en général d’interdire l’extraction des hydrocarbures par des méthodes non éprouvées qui présentent trop de risques pour l’environnement et la santé; et

    Que le gouvernement engage un dialogue sérieux et constructif avec les intervenants sociaux et environnementaux afin de dresser une liste de toutes les possibilités à exploiter, en tenant compte de la dette et du déficit de la province, afin d’éliminer une fois pour toutes le gaz de schiste comme unique solution; et

    Que le gouvernement accepte que la population du Nouveau-Brunswick exerce son droit à la désobéissance civile pour s’opposer à la destruction de son environnement, et pour protéger ses moyens de survie, sa qualité de vie et sa santé; et

    Que le gouvernement donne la priorité à l’adoption d’une déclaration des droits environnementaux, enchâssant ainsi les droits des citoyens à de l’air pur, à de l’eau propre et à des terres non contaminées, pour le bien des générations actuelles et futures.


    Signéeen ce 27e jour de novembre 2012
  • 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
  • Economic fear mongering is alive and well

    The Daily Gleaner - Letters to the editor, 23 January 2013

     

     

    Re: Shale gas development

     

    Curiously, Minister of Health Ted Flemming, Dr. LaPierre, geologist Adrian Park and some letter-to–the-editor writers use identical language to claim that opponents of shale gas rely on inaccurate data from the film Gasland, and indulge in hysterical fear mongering.

     

    How dishonest, hypocritical and desperate! Unable to convince the public about the wonders of shale gas, they attempt to discredit the opposition.

     

    Gasland served as a wake-up call several years ago, but has been superseded by much history and science. I can’t remember any public forum in two years where it was cited as a reference.

     

    Shale opponents cite Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, international expert in rock fracturing, peer-reviewed scientific studies in prestigious journals, the US EPA, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, government records of violations, and the industry’s own reports of failure.

     

    We cite the only long-term public health study by the University of Colorado, and The Endocrine Disruption Exchange on the toxicity of fracking chemicals. We point to the scholarly report done by New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Eilesh Cleary, which notes that we know almost nothing about shale’s public health threats.

     

    Recent peer-reviewed studies from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado are cited showing that shale worsens climate-change.

     

    Economists, financial analysts, science-based non-profit organizations, and the testimonies of people affected by shale gas from across North America are our sources. We’ve brought many expert speakers to the New Brunswick public.

     

    Where are the voices for the pro side? We hear only from gas-producing interests. Where are the independent studies proving that wells don’t leak, that water doesn’t get contaminated and air isn’t polluted, that there are no health problems, that methane isn’t leaking, that fracking chemicals aren’t toxic/carcinogenic, that roads aren’t destroyed, that quality of life doesn’t suffer, that shale gas’s boom and bust economic shell game doesn’t leave a place worse off? The silence is deafening.

     

    We offered to debate publicly, but government and industry were no-shows.

     

    The government merely repeats the totally false and unsupported idea that shale gas is our only economic hope. Talk about fear mongering propaganda.

    Jim Emberger
    Taymouth, N.B. 

  • 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.

  • Celebrating NB Clean air, water & land

    NBEN RENB - View my 'August 6 août 2012' set on Flickriver

  • 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

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    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
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