HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government says it will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas.
Energy Minister Andrew Younger says he believes Nova Scotians are not comfortable with fracking.
Younger’s announcement today comes less than a week after a panel of experts released a report saying fracking shouldn’t be allowed until more independent research is done on health, environmental and economic impacts.
The panel also recommended setting up a process to get a community’s permission before a project is allowed to proceed.
A two-year moratorium on fracking was put in place by the previous NDP government in 2012 as public protests grew in Nova Scotia and in neighbouring New Brunswick.
Younger says the Liberal government made its decision following input from the public, including aboriginal leaders in the province.
“Nova Scotians have overwhelmingly expressed concern about allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing to be a part of onshore shale development in this province at this time,” Younger said in a statement.
“Our petroleum resources belong to Nova Scotians, and we must honour the trust people have put in us to understand their concerns.”
Proponents of fracking say the industry could spur Nova Scotia’s stalled economy and reduce its reliance on polluting, coal-fired plants.
Fracking is a process that forces pressurized water and chemicals into layers of rock to release trapped oil and natural gas.