New Brunswick's decision to extend hydraulic fracturing moratorium is a step in the wrong direction

May 27, 2016 - Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) today expressed disappointment with the New Brunswick government’s decision to extend the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

“Industry has been working with the government to ensure world-class regulations and environmental protection is in place,” said Paul Barnes, manager of Atlantic Canada and Arctic.

In March 2015, the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing was created with a mandate to determine whether it would be possible to meet the five conditions set out by the New Brunswick government in order to lift the December 2014 moratorium.

CAPP provided the commission with a written submission to address the five conditions, focusing on social, economic and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick. The commission’s report was released in February 2016. 

The report indicates that increased natural gas development is an economic opportunity for New Brunswick. Natural gas will be consumed in large quantities by institutional, industrial and commercial users well into the future.

With a moratorium in place, natural gas will likely come from another North American source that uses hydraulic fracturing and New Brunswick will lose the opportunity. 

“Producing natural gas at home can help the province create economic benefits such as jobs, tax revenue, royalties and the ability to attract other business. The decision to extend the moratorium is a step in the wrong direction and sends a negative message about attracting investment to help grow the economy.”

Hydraulic fracturing has been done safely for more than 60 years in Canada. Comprehensive government regulations and industry practices are in place in jurisdictions where natural gas is produced, to ensure public safety and protection of the environment.

These best practices are the result of collaborative efforts from industry, regulators and governments working together to ensure safe, reliable operations are in place.

“We encourage the government of New Brunswick to reconsider the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and to continue to work with industry to meet the five conditions. We have seen progress on this issue in other parts of Canada and we don’t want New Brunswick to miss the opportunity.”