If shale gas development is shut down is it a sad or happy day?

How would you answer this question?

It’s not a trick question.  It’s a straight forward question.

If you are full of glee because you were able to bring down an industry that might – just might – have been an important economic driver for the province, I don’t understand it.  If you are thrilled that you relegated hundreds of mostly blue collar New Brunswick males to have to work in Alberta or Labrador instead of their home province laying pipeline, building infrastructure, etc., I don’t understand it.   If you are happy to deny the government of New Brunswick potentially tens of millions of dollars in revenue to pay for public services, I don’t understand it.

If you soberly review the facts and come to the conclusion that the risks of shale gas development are just to great, it should still be a sad day.  We lose an economic opportunity – one that will be pursued all over North America – because we just can’t accept the risk.

For folks such as that, I respect your position.

For folks that are gleeful, I do not.

5 thoughts on “If shale gas development is shut down is it a sad or happy day?

  1. All I can say is the people against shale gas must have a good paying job. Most New Brunswickers that live in rural areas do not have jobs or well paying jobs. These people must be out of touch with the real world. NB needs something small towns are dieing. Keep your comments coming, maybe NB will wise up someday.

  2. From what I understand, a lot of people don’t like how the shale surveys are going about with their survey. People don’t like others “walking on” their property (even if it’s on a roadside) and telling them how it’s going to be (even when they don’t have rights to what is underground on their property). the result is politicians, who rely on votes, are very sensitive to this. A reality that business rarely puts much attention into.

    there is a water quality concern as well. Shale is a new technique that very few people know even the basics of the processes and their potential effects. Wells in rural NB and some parts of urban NB rely on wells. if these shale extraction processes do reduce water quality, what then?
    For someone thinking solely of a paycheck rather than a complete assessment of the potential costs involved, the likely answer would be “bottled water creates more revenue”…ignoring the other significant variables that could make any immediate investment, action or otherwise completely self-defeating if there is a significant variable that is not included yet changes any formula or assigned value to a given set or variables with that equation. Saying that, no one have a complete picture of any policy choice.

    We live in a pluralistic democracy that uses multiple avenues to develop policies that put forth what is perceived as the maximum benefit to voters that can be calculated to potentially giving a majority winning government. At the moment, those involved in shale have clouded the issue effecting any calculation which could in turn determine who is in government…something politicians don’t like as it is their livelihood.

    From what I have read and seen going around the world, the potential for revenues from shale (a natural resource that needs relatively few people to keep operations going in comparison to say agriculture which is the dominant tradition in NB along with forestry) will have likely very little effect on trends in rural NB contracting.

    Some jobs will come with shale, but nothing compared to what is needed. But the argument would likely go…it’s a start. But one would need to know and understand the costs of that “start” to understand if it is a “good” start. we need to be reasonably sure about this. we are not Alberta, a province that the probably 99.9% of the population lives nowhere near the oil sands., but saying that oil was extracted near where these urban centers are today.

    Remember the SJ frigate program, did that change NB’s direction? I believe NB needs to change. Compromises are needed, but so does our world-view which could allow for a variety of strategies to be considered which are not even known to exist that would make us less dependent on the traditions we know so well today….

  3. I recently read that shale gas exploration is starting on China and Latin America which will render all this debate for not. These are countries that will put little if any weighting on public opinion or regulations AND exploit cheaper. So NB will get what it wants – a pristine environment with clean water but no cash for heat and fuel. And to keeping clean water? WHEN the day comes that … say the US or China runs out of water? Do we really think they’ll just pony up to the bar to pay for ours?!

  4. I do not favour fracking in NB or Canada or USA. People have to learn that to live with less- that is not a bad thing. We expect too much from government. My parents lived within their means and lived a happy life.
    I believe that NB does not have the highways, health facilities or negotiation skills to deal with the big guys. What’s the rush…why not wait till more is known on hydraulic fracking? My husband and I will continue to voice loud and clear are opposition to hydraulic tracking in NB.

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