Canadian Plastics

Nova Scotia to ban fracking

Nova Scotia has said no to fracking.

September 6, 2014   Canadian Plastics

Nova Scotia has said no to fracking.

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government will outlaw hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques needed to develop shale-gas deposits in the province.

“Nova Scotians have indicated that they are concerned about hydraulic fracturing and they do not want it to be part of onshore petroleum development in Nova Scotia at this time,” Nova Scotia Environment Minister Andrew Younger said in a statement. “Nova Scotians have put their trust in our government that we will listen to those concerns and not allow a process that most Nova Scotians are clearly not yet comfortable with. As a result, our government will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing in shale oil and gas projects.”

The decision follows a report from an expert panel, led by Cape Breton University president David Wheeler, which concluded the province wasn’t able to make fully informed decisions for or against the development of unconventional gas and oil resources by hydraulic fracturing without further research.


The ban was quickly criticized by federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver. “Fracking has been going on in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan for over 50 years…[and] there’ve been 175,000 wells drilled using fracking and not a single case of drinkable water contamination,” Oliver told the Canadian Press. “When a government steps back from the responsible development of its resources and that development doesn’t create an environmental risk, there are economic consequences inevitably to that and there’s a lost opportunity.”  

A two-year moratorium on fracking had originally been put in place by the previous NDP government in 2012 as public protests grew in Nova Scotia and in neighbouring New Brunswick.

Fracking is the practice of sending superpressurized water down wellbores to fracture deep-bed rock formations and release natural gas from previously uneconomic deposits trapped deep underground in isolated pockets within sedimentary rock known as shale. The fracking boom has the potential to increase natural gas supplies and allow increased domestic production of resins such as polyethylene.

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