As usual when I write anything about shale I’ll get a few emails/Tweets that are quite harsh. In my opinion, it doesn’t add much to any debate to hurl insults.
But I will respond to the person suggesting I rewatch Gasland.
I saw Gasland but I don’t see much value in rewatching it.
Watching Gasland, at best, is like watching a hockey highlight reel where they only show the hits that led to concussions over the course of a year. And they play those hits over and over.
No spectacular goals, no amazing saves, no tense moments when the fans are frenzied – just a serious of head shots and concussions.
I refuse to demonize natural gas. It is a very valuable fuel. Over 10,000 New Brunswick homes and businesses use it as their main source of heat. It’s an excellent cooking fuel, too. A number of our large industries are more competitive because of it and likely able to keep New Brunswickers employed. Much of the electricity production in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is now gas-fired – reducing our dependency on dirtier oil and coal.
If we see an exploration and production industry emerge in New Brunswick, natural gas will also start to become a significant direct economic driver.
The highlight reel for natural gas would include a few concussion hits but it also would include many spectacular advantages. It might even show the hospital beds and doctors that exist in this country because of the revenue generated by the gas industry.
Unfortunately, the public doesn’t see my highlight reel. They see opposition politicians serving up the concussions. They search for ‘fracking’ on Youtube and see the concussion hits. When they accidentally stumble upon an industry-sponsored natural gas highlight reel they are suspicious because they have been told be suspicious about anything to do with oil and gas in general.
I hope we avoid a natural gas ‘lockout’ (I know – stretching the hockey metaphor too far).