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SWN to return with exploratory fracking wells in New Brunswick


Photo: Council of Canadians activists meet with Warrior Chief John Levi and members of the Elsipogtog First Nation.
Photo: Council of Canadians activists meet with Warrior Chief John Levi and members of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

It could well be another summer and fall of community and First Nation resistance to Texas-based SWN Resources and their plans to frack New Brunswick.

CBC reports, “SWN Resources Canada intends to drill four exploratory wells in the next phase of its exploration program for potential shale gas development in New Brunswick. …It will be surveying land and doing other preparations for drilling the exploratory wells (this year). It expects the (exploratory) wells to be drilled in (the summer of) 2015.”

“Two of the exploratory wells are planned for Kent County, in Saint-Charles and Galloway. The other two are planned for Queens County, in the vicinity of Bronston Settlement Road and the Pangburn area.”

“The company has initiated the environmental impact assessment process to move forward with exploratory drilling. Public consultations will be in the communities where exploratory wells are to be drilled. SWN says it will also be continuing its discussions with First Nations.”

The Canadian Press adds, “The Liberal Opposition wants a moratorium on shale gas exploration until reports on the industry from Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are complete. But Premier David Alward has said his Progressive Conservative government will push ahead with shale gas development in the province, arguing it would be ‘irresponsible’ not to do so.”

The Council of Canadians has called for a ban on fracking in New Brunswick. Earlier this month, a Council of Canadians delegation – with Board, staff and chapter activists – visited the Elsipogtog First Nation and expressed our solidarity and continued commitment to protect water and stop SWN from fracking on their territory.

In her blog about that visit, Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui wrote, “Shale gas is a heated and divisive topic, particularly with the provincial election coming up on September 22, 2014. We can be certain that opposition will continue, especially if SWN Resources does return this year.”

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