Nova Scotia bans fracking until 2014; wants more information
(Calgary Herald; April 18) - Companies searching for oil and gas in Canada's Maritimes received conflicting messages this week around the use of hydraulic fracturing to develop the resources. New Brunswick granted a five-year license to Calgary-based Windsor Energy to explore and drill for natural gas, while Nova Scotia banned fracking until the summer of 2014 to have more time to review the contentious technology.
Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker said the provincial government wants to study reviews being drafted by the EPA and Environment Canada on the impacts of fracking. Parker cited other jurisdictions that have been reviewing how the technology could affect water resources and earthquakes. "We think it's important to get the best possible information that's out there and make an informed decision after we've learned all that."
Administration critics suggest the government is freezing discussion about hydraulic fracturing until after the next election. The announcement was a setback for companies such as Elmworth Energy, a subsidiary of Triangle Petroleum Corp., which holds a 10-year lease representing the province's first shale gas development project. Nova Scotia province will join Quebec, which earlier this month extended a freeze on fracking issued a year ago, pending results from a final report targeted for some time in 2013.