Premier Brian Gallant changing how he speaks about fracking
Gallant says he remains opposed to hydraulic fracking, but is less certain about other methods
A subtle change in the language being used by Premier Brian Gallant around his promise of a moratorium on fracking is raising questions about whether Liberals may allow the practice after all.
Gallant says he remains opposed to hydraulic fracking, but is less certain about other methods.
In Saint John Wednesday to announce grants for community groups, Gallant said clearly: “We believe there should be a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing due to the lack of information concerning the risks to our environment, our health, and our water," he said.
It was one of six specific references he made to "hydraulic fracturing" in a brief exchange with reporters. He went on to say: "I think it's important for people to know what we're concerned about - it's the process of extraction called hydraulic fracturing."
Gallant's answers were straight forward but his use of the term "hydraulic" raised a question about a subtle shift in his position.
In the legislature last spring, Gallant often pressed the Alward government to ban fracking. During those exchanges, he seldom used the full term "hydraulic fracturing" when discussing the issue.
Fracking opponents say that is why Gallant's current use of the term hydraulic seems significant, especially after GASFRAC Energy Services was hired this past summer to refrac wells in the Sussex area. It is a method some argue is not hydraulic because it uses a propane gel instead of water.
Green party Leader David Coon is already calling it a distinction without a difference and vows to fight any move in that direction.