Newfoundland Bans Fracking, As First Nations-Led New Brunswick Protests Continue

Search form

Newfoundland Bans Fracking, As First Nations-Led New Brunswick Protests Continue

Newfoundland Bans Fracking, As First Nations-Led New Brunswick Protests Continue
Fri, 11/8/2013 - by Andy Rowell
This article originally appeared on Oil Change International

As First Nations continue to fight fracking in New Brunswick, the neighboring provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador has halted the controversial drilling technique. The government is arguing that more research is needed to see if it is safe for both people and the environment.

Western Newfoundland’s shale-oil deposits have been described as potentially vast, but the region includes the Gros Morne National Park, which is a world heritage site and huge tourist attraction.

Exploration licenses had already been granted in the Green Point shale near the Park. But UNESCO had recently indicated that the Park’s heritage status could be at risk if fracking is allowed to proceed near its boundaries.

“Our government will not be accepting applications for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing,” said Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley in the State’s House of Assembly on Monday.

“Our first consideration is the health and safety of our people,” Dalley added. “In making this decision, our government is acting responsibly and respecting the balance between economic development and environmental protection.”

Dalley said that the moratorium would allow the province to undertake a review of regulations, rules and guidelines in other jurisdictions. It would also involve public consultation.

Opposition politicians approved the move. One New Democratic Party member, George Murphy, said, “It seemed like it was very rash, it seemed like it was very unconcerning the way they wanted to proceed with development.”

So did local anti-fracking groups. One member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, Angie Payne, said, “I think this is a really, really wise thing to do. It’s great the government is listening to us.”

The decision was said to have come as a surprise to Black Spruce Exploration and its partner Shoal Point energy, which wanted to frack in the west of the province.

Meanwhile the anti-fracking protests in New Brunswick are continuing. The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, along with members of the Elsipogtog First Nation, are planning to light a “sacred fire” blockade to impede SWN Resources Canada from conducting testing in the province this week.

“We are here to save our water and land, and to protect our animals and people,” Louis Jerome, a Mi’kmaq sun dancer, said on Monday. “There will be no fracking at all. We are putting a sacred fire here, and it must be respected.”

This week, up to 650 people protested in front of the provincial legislature in Fredericton, demonstrating against fracking in the province.

“They go into the community to exploit the people of the community,” said protester Charles Richard. “Once they exploit them, take everything, they pack their bags and they go. That’s why they call them carpetbaggers.”

Originally published by Oil Change International

Article Tabs

U.S. negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark regulatory proposal in the E.U. aimed at addressing climate change – and instead to force European countries to import the world's dirtiest oil.

This summer, the CIA's private Amazon Web Services cloud—shielded from the public behind a wall of national security—becomes operational.

The study released Monday by Human Rights Watch raises questions about the criminal justice system's ability to respect civil rights and due process since 9/11.

Extensive research and reports commissioned by the fracking industry are treated as seminal, informative works within the U.K. government – but to date, no one outside industry vouches for its safety.

“It doesn’t make sense that I work hard, help the restaurant make money and yet I can’t eat there or support my family on just one job. This is not the America that I believe in."

In the 80s and 90s they called them "IMF Riots" – but what the biggest international investment organizations and consultants now see happening looks a whole lot bigger.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago

Part 3: Chris Hedges interviewed Harvard professor and MayDay SuperPAC founder Lawrence Lessig about his plans to break the hold of big money on American elections.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago

Patient details were shared with organizations including private health insurance companies, many based in the United States.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago

Investors led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and PIMCO, the world’s largest bond-fund manager, have sued some of the world’s largest banks for breach of fiduciary duty.

Posted 6 days 16 hours ago

The aggressive foreclosures and water shut-offs are a deliberate scheme to shock the population, drive long-time residents out of the city center, seize property and gentrify downtown Detroit and the waterfront.

Posted 5 days 16 hours ago

A lawsuit filed Monday by the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center contends that Missouri legislators removed two important paragraphs from the state's 2008 energy law, allowing utilities to do an end run around new renewables investing.

A New York shell fisherman is fighting back against retribution for speaking out against environmental violations.

Billionaire Debunks "Job Creator" Myth

A billionaire admits the truth: the rich are not job creators. The only thing that stimulates the economy is supply and demand. In other words: the consumer. You have more power in the broader economy than the wealthiest industrialist.

Occupy Amsterdam Sets the Record Straight

Wary of being unfairly portrayed in the media, an occupier unfurls the story of the occupation of the stock Amsterdam stock exchange, including mixed messages from law enforcement, evictions and the pitching and unpitching of many tents.

Sign Up