The federal Environment Minister, Peter Kent, is reportedly vocalizing his support for shale-gas exploration in New Brunswick, Canada for its significant economic benefits. That said, Kent also admits that having a “drill rig in one’s backyard is not the most pleasant of visions.”
The Globe and Mail writes:
New Brunswick is the only province east of Manitoba not to have a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as the controversial drilling technique is called. The province, desperately searching for an economic boost, is trying to build a case for shale-gas exploration.
On Friday, the province will release new rules governing exploration and development activities with an eye to having several companies in the field this summer and conducting test drills by 2014. It wants to see how much of the resource it has and whether it can be extracted economically. This, despite criticism from environmentalists and calls for a moratorium from the province’s Liberal opposition, the party Mr. McKenna once led.
“I would say there has been a little bit of, again, exaggeration, misrepresentation and even scare journalism in terms of overstating the risk [of fracking],” Kent says in an interview. “… The technology and the chemicals – the cocktails or the soups that have been used – the technology has improved significantly in recent decades.”
Many are concerned over the process of extracting gas as there is a chance of contaminating the natural water—the process requires shooting millions of liters of water and chemicals (some toxic) underground. What’s more, last week the Federal Environment Commissioner called for more vigorous enforcement of regulations in shale-gas production, as neglect could result in damage to human health and to the environment.