From the Timestranscript
24 AUGUST 2010
Specific rules needed to address risks of natural gas exploration: party
BY GREG WESTON
FREDERICTON - If elected in the upcoming election, the Green Party of New Brunswick has promised to put a stop to natural gas exploration until safeguards and regulations are strengthened.
Leader Jack MacDougall made the pledge yesterday, saying it was important to ensure the long-term protection of the environment and health of New Brunswickers.
"All that stands between permanently ruining a community's groundwater and the fracking fluids is a thin sheath consisting of layers of metal pipe and cement that are used to line the well bore where it passes through the water table," he said.
"Fracking is the suspected cause of over 1,000 cases of groundwater contamination across the United States and western Canada."
Chemicals are used in the fracturing process, known as fracking, that's involved in exploring possible shale gas reserves. They're mixed with sand and large amounts of water to breach the shale reserves and then keep the fracture open so the gas can be extracted.
Natural gas has become an increasingly popular source of alternative energy in North America in recent years, as both Canada and the United States look for a cleaner and domestically produced replacement for oil.
New Brunswick - especially the area between Moncton and Sussex - has been the target of significant shale gas exploration, but contamination that occurred due to exploration in the United States raised concerns about the safety of the practice.
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