Younger: Government Needs to Take Hydraulic Fracturing Concerns Seriously
June 24, 2011
(Halifax, NS) Liberal energy and environment critic Andrew Younger says the New Brunswick government’s announcement of new hydraulic fracturing regulations for that province should be the minimum considered by the NDP government here in Nova Scotia.
On Thursday, the Government of New Brunswick announced new requirements to protect and inform its citizens on the fracking process. The announced changes largely mirror what Younger and the Liberal caucus have said should be the starting point for the Dexter government.
“Unfortunately, the NDP government is following other provinces when it could have been leading on this issue for over a year,” says Younger. “Initially, the NDP were pulled kicking and screaming into a review - a review the government is now rushing. The NDP are refusing to consider certain issues in the review scope and have refused demands to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until the review and new regulations are complete.”
New Brunswick’s announced requirements include an obligation to provide full disclosure of all proposed and actual contents of all fluids and chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process - something Younger previously demanded be guaranteed as part of new regulations in Nova Scotia. The NDP refused to commit to this.
As well, New Brunswick has committed to developing a formula so landowners and nearby communities can share in the financial benefits of the natural gas industry - another issue the Liberal caucus has championed for well over a year.
“We’ve asked the Minister of Energy to ensure that these requirements, along with many others, are included should government decide to move forward with fracking in Nova Scotia,” says Younger.
“It seems the NDP is just going through the motions and is not interested in real consultation. The Dexter government won’t even demand some basic common sense minimums for onshore natural gas extraction.”
“The NDP government must make certain that strict requirements are in place to protect the environment, inform Nova Scotians of what’s happening and guarantee benefits to local landowners.”