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Do the benefits of fracking outweigh the potential risks?

Categories: Canada, News Promo

Corridor Resources is currently using hydraulic fracturing at McCully Field in New Brunswick. (Corridor Resources)

The discovery of shale gas in New Brunswick has created debate about a gas extraction process that could create jobs but also pose environmental risks.

At issue is the controversial gas extraction technique called fracking.  Drilling companies say it is safe, but opponents claim it is already poisoning water supplies and ruining rural lifestyles.  

Shale gas fracking -- blasting water, sand and chemicals into deep, underground rocks to release natural gas -- is a controversial means of drilling for gas.  Critics claim it can contaminate groundwater, cause health problems for residents nearby and boost greenhouse gas emissions.

Fracking has already caused concerns in other Canadian regions experiencing a shale gas boom, including Dawson Creek, B.C.

Similar concerns are now being voiced in southern New Brunswick, and anti-shale protesters have begun blocking roads and demanding bans on shale gas drilling.

But shale gas has one major upside that can't be overlooked: drilling brings with it the promise of jobs and wealth for a debt-ridden province. In Pennsylvania's Susquehanna county, a region with terrain similar to that found in rural New Brunswick, shale gas helped boost the county's failing economy four years ago.

Do the benefits of fracking outweigh the potential health or environmental risks? Why or why not? Share your comments below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: CBC News, Community, New Brunswick, POV

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