Counterpoint to my view

It’s nice to know that someone is paying attention to my column in the TJ. It would be boring if everyone agreed with me all the time, wouldn’t it? I have met Dr. Moir on several occasions and find him to be a smart and engaging fellow but we are just going to have to disagree (agreeably) on this issue.

My point in the column was that I wished environmentalists would agree that using our indigenous natural gas resources, is a good thing that will bring economic value to New Brunswick. If they started at that point, and then went on to discuss how this development could occur with minimal environmental impact, that would be – I think – the basis for a good development path. But, as I said and Dr. Moir confirmed in his op/ed, they adopt an aggressive, anti-company stance and that is not conducive to working together. He says:

However, it is fundamentally unfair to let companies simply reap the cash rewards – often with government inducements like tax incentives, royalty breaks, subsidies, and variances – while expecting the rest of us to pay. Indeed, in New Brunswick our business mantra seems to be “privatize profit and socialize risk.”

If Dr. Moir wants to engage and be a partner in this does he think this statement is conducive to working together?  If I said “all environmentalists are trying to empoverish our communities” would that set the good will to work together?

If environmentalists want to be at the table (and Moir says that is true), they should admit these companies have a right to exist and New Brunswick has a right to use its natural resources for the betterment of the society.

Park the rhetoric and build goodwill.

1 thought on “Counterpoint to my view

  1. Its only a ‘good thing’ if people don’t lose well water for a benefit they probably won’t see (rural areas aren’t connected to natural gas lines).

    What environmental group has EVER questioned a companies ‘right to exist’? The conservation council’s position on natural gas has been to question the safety of HOW the gas is removed, namely the use of ‘fracking’. You can see the new film “Gasland” to see WHY they are saying that, and why they have good reason to be.

    Ironically it is YOU who have most consistently ‘questioned their right to exist’ far more than the CCNB (and good for you). I can’t count the number of times you’ve stated that the natural gas should be used within NB and not simply shipped out. Now, unless you are stating that the NB government should pay a higher rate to the company as an inducement, then that means there needs to be some kind of legal mechanism to prohibit that company from selling to the states or that the province needs to set up an equity position in the gas field (which I agree with but means some companies ‘right to exist’ goes out the window).

    All the CCNB has been concerned about is the use of fracking to remove the gas, something well known to have often disastrous effects. They even praise the northeastern states which have policies to encourage natural gas’ use in cars. They even list natural gas at their ‘all things efficient’ website. As has often been the case on the environment, you are seeing through prejudiced eyes. But it really shows how convoluted the political economy is when the economic developer guy is questioning the structure of the natural gas market more than the environmentalists, all while chastising the environmentalists for not ‘sitting at the table’!

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