Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy Andrew Younger has written an opinion article in which he has said that the government will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in shale oil and gas projects, because citizens are “clearly not yet comfortable” with the technique to extract shale gas.
According to his oped:
“Some have questioned why we would forego the potential economic benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing. The first onshore petroleum well in Nova Scotia was drilled in 1869. More than 125 wells have been drilled since that time and we still don’t have commercial production generating royalties. Even before the current ban on the practice, there were no requests before the department to proceed with hydraulic fracturing. Industry has not demonstrated significant interest in our shale resources to this point, so we are not shutting down an active industry in our province. We have the benefit of time to allow issues to be addressed.”
Our resources belong to Nova Scotians and they have a say in how they are harnessed. These resources aren’t going anywhere, so we have time to better understand the science and interests of Nova Scotians before exploiting our shale resources using hydraulic fracturing.
He also referred to the the Council of Canadian Academies fracking study, according to which ”Many of the pertinent questions are hard to answer objectively and scientifically, either for lack of data, for lack of publicly available data, or due to divergent interpretations of existing data.”
“We have incredible potential for safe, sustainable and large-scale resource development in our province. Through a strong and fair regulatory environment, government will pursue resource development that advances our province and local communities. Government will also respect the clear views of Nova Scotians that hydraulic fracturing not be included at this time as part of the development of our onshore shale reserves,” he concluded.