A report from Amherst

Two of us from Don’t Frack PEI went to a public presentation and consultation in Amherst yesterday – me (Andrew Lush) and Muriel Siemers. It was one of a number of Q&A sessions being organized by the Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracturing Review panel, more details at http://www.cbu.ca/hfstudy

There was a presentation, interspersed with questions and answers, and there were about 85 people there. The discussion was led by Dr. Wheeler, the chair of the review panel, and I commended him on the work that his panel has done so far – it appears to be well researched, non-political, and with good input from the public.

There was a sharp intake of breath from a number of people when Dr. Wheeler said that fracking in central NS could mean as many as 20,000 wells just in that region. Two other comments of his caught my attention – he was asked why we don’t know more about the risks, and his answer was something along the lines of “because the risks haven’t been studied”. On the positive side, he stated that he will recommend that the government gives control over mineral rights to local communities – which was a brave and necessary step to take.

What a contrast to what’s happening in New Brunswick. Dr. Wheeler said that he thinks the NS government wouldn’t allow fracking without the consent of local people, as the government doesn’t tend to steamroller plans through without consent – that is in sharp contrast to the way that the PEI government does things!

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