About 65 protesters, including women and children, seized the truck at a gas station and surrounded the vehicle so that it couldn’t be removed from the parking lot. Levi says that SWN Resources Canada, a subsidiary of Southwestern Energy Company, broke the law when they first started fracking “in our traditional hunting grounds, medicine grounds, contaminating our waters.” The protesters claim that Hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydro-fracking, could have a negative effect on local water supplies.
Fracking has led to friction within the federal government. The Opposition Liberals claim that there is too much secrecy in the oil and gas industry regarding fracking and shale gas development in the province, and that the public should know what chemicals are used by shale gas companies. Currently, sections of the Oil and Gas Act are off-limits from the Right to Information law, but the Canadian government said on May 16 that all companies must publicly disclose a list of such chemicals used in the fracking process.
Meanwhile, Levi says the [SWN] should pack up their gear and go. And the rest of Canada is watching New Brunswick. Two years ago, environmental advocates pressured the City of New Brunswick to ban all fracking, and a recent petition with 16,000 names was presented in the New Brunswick legislature, calling on the Premier to abandon plans for development of the shale gas industry, which typically requires large quantities of water and horizontal drilling.
In February 2013, the New Brunswick government announced dozens of new regulations governing shale gas exploration with the hope of creating jobs in a province with a high unemployment rate. But environmentalists don’t buy into fracking and job creation. The journal Ecological Economics (7, 1243-1249) stated that “Several reports sponsored by the gas industry have estimated the economic effects of the shale gas extraction on incomes, employment, and tax revenues. None of these reports has been published in an economics journal and therefore have not been subjected to the peer review process…. Due to questionable assumptions, the economic impacts estimated in these reports are very likely overstated.”