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New Brunswick is banking more than ever on shale gas

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan3,2024

Le New Brunswick is banking more than ever on shale gas

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Minister Mike Holland talks about lifting the moratorium on shale gas in New Brunswick. Pictured, Pennsylvania workers work at a Chesapeake Energy well site near Burlington on April 23, 2010.

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New Brunswick Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development Mike Holland estimates shale gas development could begin within 5 years in the province.

A moratorium has prohibited hydraulic fracturing since 2014 throughout New Brunswick, with the exception of the Sussex region which has had an exemption since 2019.

Mike Holland maintains that the province is open to the exploitation of natural gas resources.

We could see something in five years.

A quote from Mike Holland, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development

Minister Mike Holland assures that the Conservative government is open to exploitation projects.

We are open to doing business in the natural gas field responsibly, he maintained.

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Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland says that the province could lift the moratorium on shale gas.

Moreover, Fredericton has signed an agreement in principle with the Czech Republic, on 'possible export of natural gas.

Actually, the Czech Republic said they have significant needs, we think natural gas is something that can be an advantage for us, and they signed this agreement in principle so that we can continue to work together to communicate, share information, share good practices, explains the minister.

Minister Holland maintains that the government has not committed to delivering a specific quantity of shale gas to the Czech Republic. However, he acknowledges that discussions are taking place with the industry regarding exploitation.

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Conversations have taken place and are taking place and we will continue to do so, says the minister.

However, Mike Holland refuses to specify the content of these discussions .

It's not appropriate to talk about the conversations with the private sector companies that have spoken, says Mike Holland.

Brian Gallant's Liberals had imposed a moratorium on the exploitation of shale gas, as long as five conditions were not met. The main one of these conditions is social acceptance.

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There is no indication that social acceptance has been achieved with regard to shale gas.

Despite this, the minister's message to The industry is clear.

Don't let the moratorium hinder your business plan. If you want to come to us with a plan, we'll discuss what that would look like, he says.

Mike Holland specifies that the government can, if it wishes, lift the moratorium.

The moratorium is in place, but it can be lifted by a law of the legislative power, he said.

The official opposition is far from sharing Minister Holland's enthusiasm for the development of shale gas. According to MP René Legacy, we must first and foremost obtain social acceptance.

The first thing is to have a discussion with the people of New Brunswick, and to have a clear mandate to negotiate with these companies , he said.

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Liberal MP René Legacy says the Conservative government has not really engaged in discussions with the population on the exploitation of shale gas.

And according to the Liberal MP, the government has not yet obtained this clear mandate.

The highest condition of the moratorium was social acceptance, and we know that changing social acceptance takes time, it takes discussion . There is absolutely no discussion with the population of New Brunswick, he deplores.

René Legacy believes, ultimately, that the conservatives are on the wrong track on this issue. It's not a clean technology, and what we hear from people is that they want green energy.

For its part , the leader of the Green Party, David Coon, is categorically opposed to the exploitation of shale gas in New Brunswick. Rather than lifting the moratorium, according to him, it should instead be strengthened.

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Green Party Leader David Coon says legislation should prevent shale gas development in New Brunswick.

The moratorium, now, is not enough. We must have a law to block the development of fossil fuels in New Brunswick, he insists.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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