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WIN! Nova Scotia to conduct review on fracking

Giles and Oommen at the Nova Scotia legislature, November 2010

Giles and Oommen at the Nova Scotia legislature, November 2010

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald reports, “On Monday, the (NDP Nova Scotia) government said it would review hydraulic fracturing, which involves the pumping of fluids into shale rock formations to free up natural gas. The government says it wants to make sure groundwater is protected and the process does not lead to soil contamination. …The review is expected to be finished by early (2012).”

The Canadian Press reported on November 10, 2010 that, “A petition calling for a ban in Nova Scotia on a controversial method of oil and gas extraction has been tabled in the legislature. …The petition with about 1,200 names calls for a provincial ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — a process that involves using large quantities of water mixed with sand and chemicals to free gas from shale. Thom Oommen, chairman of the Inverness County chapter of the Council of Canadians, said some other jurisdictions are conducting reviews or have banned fracking because of health concerns over the chemicals used.”

Oomen and Council of Canadians Atlantic organizer Angela Giles met with Nova Scotia Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks in mid-November. “Estabrooks didn’t make any commitments, but Oommen said he was pleased with the meeting. ‘This is just one step,’ Oommen said. ‘We’re not done by any stretch of the imagination.'”

We agree with the group ‘Stop Fracking In Nova Scotia’ that “the province didn’t go far enough”. That said, and given there are not currently any fracking applications in the province or projects already underway, this is an important first step and we will now intensify our efforts to ensure that the provincial government review recommends a ban on fracking in Nova Scotia.