May 2016 News: New Brunswick and Newfoundland extend Fracking bans

New Brunswick’s Minister of  Energy announced an indefinite extension of the province’s fracking ban on May 27, based on the February  report  of its Hydraulic Fracturing Commission,  according to a CBC report  . Similarly, the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel released its final Report  at the end of May, with a  recommendation that the “pause” on fracking in Western Newfoundland continue.  See the Panel website,   which includes Submissions and Documents , as  well as technical reports as appendices,  which include research into the economic and jobs impacts of fracking, as well as impacts on human health and water resources.

New Brunswick has also released a discussion guide , Building a Stronger New Brunswick Response to Climate Change , in order to to stimulate public input for the Select Committee on Climate Change, constituted in April 2016.  There is no target date yet for its report.

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF B.C. LNG DEVELOPMENT

A May 2015 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives considers six possible scenarios for liquefied natural gas export development in B.C., ranging in the number of export terminals from zero to five (the current government estimate). A Clear Look at BC LNG: Energy Security, Environmental Implications and Economic Potential  states that government claims of available gas supplies for export are greatly exaggerated, and that production would involved massive disruption, given that most wells would be fracked wells. Further, author David Hughes argues that is unlikely that anything close to the revenue projected by the BC government will ever be realized. And beyond the environmental dangers to the citizens of B.C., LNG will not reduce global GHG emissions: “From wellhead to final combustion, there are substantial leakages of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Given this, liquefied fracked gas from BC actually has GHG emission rates similar to coal.”   Researchers who wish to pursue these concerns will welcome a new interactive planning tool, called the B.C. Shale Scenario Tool , available online at the Pembina Institute website. It allows users “ to quantify the potential impacts of shale gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in northeast B.C. in terms of carbon pollution, land disturbance, water use and wastewater.”

Employment Estimates for Fracking Shale Gas in Quebec

A new study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute in Calgary provides an overview of shale gas locations and geology across Canada, describes the fracking process, and focuses on the current state of the Utica Shale Gas field in Quebec, using economic analysis to estimate GDP, employment, tax and royalty revenue. The report estimates Canadian employment gains in direct, indirect and induced job to range from 293,000 in the base case and 880,000 person-years in the maximum production case. Approximately 69% of jobs are estimated to occur in Québec, 23% in Alberta, and the remaining 8% across Canada. The Quebec government has put a moratorium on shale gas development to allow for public consultation about oil and gas regulations; the government is currently awaiting the completion of a Strategic Environmental Assessment, expected in late 2013.

LINK   Potential Economic Impacts of Developing Quebec’s Shale Gas, (March 2013) is available at the Canadian Energy Research Institute website at:http://www.ceri.ca/images/stories/2013-03-08_CERI_Study_132_-_Quebec_Shale.pdf