Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says no to shale gas

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says there will be no shale gas development in the province.

Premier comes out against developing the resource a day after a report raised environmental concerns

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says shale gas development doesn`t have the support of the population. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says there will be no shale gas development in his province.

Couillard made the pronouncement in an interview to be aired tonight with Radio-Canada's Téléjournal, a day after the province's environmental protection agency released a report raising environmental and safety concerns.

The premier said developing shale gas would bring economic and financial benefits, but there isn`t enough support from the population to move forward.

"Right now, I do not see the interest in developing (the resource)," Couillard told host Céline Galipeau.

The report released Monday outlined potential negative consequences from extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits along the St. Lawrence River. It cites risks to air and water quality, as well as potential increases in noise and light pollution, and says the deposits in the province are located in densely populated areas along the river.

The Quebec government issued a moratorium in 2011 on exploring for natural gas in the province until it finished an environmental assessment, which included the report published today.

There are up to 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in shale deposits in Quebec and that before the moratorium, 31 exploration wells had been drilled between Montreal and Quebec City, according to the federal government.

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