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NEWS: 76% of Quebecers support fracking moratorium

The Montreal Gazette reports that, “Despite a poll showing that more than three-quarters of Quebecers want the province to stop shale gas exploration until environmental impact studies are completed, exploration will continue, provincial Environment Minister Pierre Arcand says.”

“A Leger Marketing poll commissioned by the environmental group Equiterre showed 76 per cent of Quebecers polled believe the government should suspend all shale gas exploration until impact studies are complete. The poll was taken Oct. 4-6, before several experts told the BAPE that claims about job creation and economic advantages of shale gas mining have been exaggerated and that certain environmental concerns are valid.”

“Quebec’s environmental watchdog, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement, has just completed a first round of public hearings on the environmental impact of natural gas extraction from the Utica Shale in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. A second round of hearings is to begin Nov. 15. A report is to be submitted to the minister in early February. ‘Some companies have decided to halt their exploration while the BAPE does its work. Others are continuing, but there will be no exploitation before 2014,’ Arcand told reporters yesterday.”

“At a joint media conference with Arcand, federal environment minister Jim) Prentice said the federal government supports Quebec’s initiative in shale gas development, adding that other provinces with potential for shale gas extraction are looking to Quebec for leadership.”

“Two Calgary-based companies that have pioneered shale gas drilling in the Drummondville area – Questerre Energy Corp. and partner Talisman Energy Inc. – say they are delaying completion of two deep wells for six months or more, citing depressed prices for natural gas, high drilling costs and downward pressure on exploration budgets generally. Talisman spokesman David Mann played down reports that all drilling in the region has been halted indefinitely.”

The full article is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Exploration+will+continue+minister+asserts/3680475/story.html.

On October 6, the Montreal chapter of the Council of Canadians held a public event on fracking. For more on that, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4921.