Proposed fracking regulations no relief to opponents
New Brunswick government proposing 116 changes to shale gas industry regulations
An opponent of fracking in the small community of Taymouth said he won’t be sleeping easier following the announcement of the government’s proposed changes to the shale gas industry.
"It’s impossible to regulate this to the point where it can be done safely," said Jim Emberger.
The province announced 116 proposed changes to the fracking industry Thursday. The changes will set out strict rules on protecting the environment while overhauling the framework that would ensure more money flows into the provincial coffers.
Once they're made law, the province said it will have some of the toughest fracking regulations in North America
But Emberger says with new revelations about hydraulic fracturing continually coming out, by the time the new laws come into effect, they'll be outdated.
"A year ago when I first was in this, geologists were saying, 'No problem, earthquakes won't be a consideration'. Well then they had lots of earthquakes in the United States and elsewhere, in Canada and England, and they said, 'Ok, you can have earthquakes, but they weren't actually caused by the fracking, but by the deep injection wells where they put the fracking fluid when they're done," he said.
"So this is just the nature of all this, is the great unknown? And how do you write regulations for the great unknown?"
In Memramcook, plumber Walter Belliveau said if the government doesn’t stop fracking companies from coming in, he’ll vote the government out.
Belliveau believes no matter what the regulations, citizens don’t win when they go up against big companies.
"Anything they come up with won’t be adequate for the job, and they won’t have the personnel to enforce it," he said. "All the other problems, industry will get around it. They’ll just pay the fines, and loopholes, and get permits to do what they want."