I have placed two question marks in the title of this blog but in reality I have many questions in regards to the topic of shale gas exploration and development. Many of the questions I have sought out answers for from industry. Even the best salesman from the industry left me feeling uneasy and still uncertain about the validity of their claims of how safe the process is. The local environment, specifically air and water quality, but also quality of life, health care, and tourism is much to valuable to our long term sustainability to risk for a short term gain. With so many questions around the shale gas industry, the risk is easily understood.
So why I have waited so long to make my opinion on this topic heard? This is one question I know the answer too. I have been trying to be diplomatic and work quietly at making changes when I could. I felt that government would work diligently towards making smart and safe decisions based on the public's best interest and the best thing I could do was aid in that effort when afforded the opportunity. Now I hear that Windsor Energy has taken actions of disregard and disrespect against, not one, but two municipalities, in which I often work with. I can no longer sit quietly.
I have heard that the Provincial government is working towards creating a "Gas Action Plan." I think with the latest actions by Windsor the government now has to step up and halt any further gas development until such time that the "Action Plan" is completed and loop holes such as the one being exploited by Windsor are closed. Strong regulations that are easily and economically enforceable by the Province, upon wealthy gas companies, should be in place, not to simply protect people now but many years from now.
As much as I want to blame the gas companies, they are not all to blame on these issues. I think we need to hold the government accountable as well. The people of NB have been boisterous on this issue and yet the government seems a bit slow in reacting and when they do react, I am not convinced it is in the best interest of the Province.
I don't claim to be informed about all the issues on this topic but I have an opinion. Now you know my thoughts, take them for what they're worth...which likely isn't as much as gas.