Political positions on shale gas shift with change of power
In April 2010, David Alward was questioning safety of fracking, while Liberals were defending practice
Seismic testing is finished for the season in Kent County, but the political debate on shale gas is continuing.
Premier David Alward's Tories continue to say development is key to New Brunswick's economic future. But the premier's critics are pointing out that Alward was raising the alarm about the industry less than four years ago.
"We want to bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to New Brunswick," Savoie said.
Savoie accused the Liberals of "fear-mongering" for urging caution in developing shale gas in the province.
"The do-nothing moratorium party has made their decision," he said.
Now the People's Alliance party and environmentalists are highlighting comments by Alward when he was the Opposition leader. In April 2010, in the legislature's question period, it was Alward who was urging caution and raising fears about fracking.
"The process has been known to result in dangerous chemicals ending up in the water table," Alward said at the time.
"In many cases in the United States fracking poisoned wells," he said.
The Progressive Conservative election platform in the fall of 2010 said a PC government would allow "responsible" development of natural gas.
The Liberals have also changed their stance on the shale gas file.
During that 2010 question period exchange with Alward, Liberal cabinet minister Wally Stiles was defending hydraulic fracturing and the companies that do it.
"Southwest Energy has a very good track record, an environmentally friendly company," Stiles said.
The Liberals are now calling for a moratorium on shale gas development in New Brunswick while further study is carried out.
SWN Resources Canada completed its testing for potential shale gas development in Kent County on Friday.