Calgary – The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is lobbying the New Brunswick government to hold off its proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and to work with industry and communities to keep the door open for future natural gas development in the province.
“The natural gas industry shares Premier Gallant’s values and commitment for the safe, responsible and sustainable development of New Brunswick’s natural resources,” said CAPP president Tim McMillan on Dec. 18. McMillan, former minister responsible for Energy and Resources for Saskatchewan, left politics last year to head up CAPP.
McMillan said industry believes it can work with the New Brunswick government to achieve the province’s five conditions and legislation is therefore unnecessary.
“New Brunswickers have worked hard and invested in their province to develop this industry with the trusted oversight of the province to ensure the health and safety of communities,” McMillan said.
“But if the government wants to grow the economy, create jobs and encourage investment, it is now at risk of doing the opposite through legislation.” McMillan said Canada is recognized as a leader in developing natural gas from shale. Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years in Western Canada, according to regulators in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
He said this “exemplary track record” is the result of comprehensive government regulations and industry operating practices designed to ensure
public safety and the protection of the environment. “We encourage the government of New Brunswick to learn from experiences in other jurisdictions that are benefitting from hydraulic fracturing and help create at home the same economic opportunities natural gas development has created across Canada,” McMillan said.
“A moratorium will deprive New Brunswick of secure, reliable and affordable domestic natural gas at a time when demand for this resource is growing and offshore natural gas supplies are projected to decline.
“This means New Brunswick may have to import natural gas from jurisdictions that are benefitting from hydraulic fracturing.”