Fracking awareness group welcomes Wheeler Report

Frank Gale fgale@thewesternstar.com
Published on September 2, 2014
Anti-fracking advocate Graham Oliver is seen in this recent file photo.
File photo

Graham Oliver said it will be difficult for the Nova Scotia government or the Newfoundland and Labrador government to proceed with fracking after reading the Wheeler Report.

In August 2013, the government of Nova Scotia commissioned an independent review of the effects of hydraulic fracturing, led by David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University.

The Nova Scotia government released the final report on Thursday and will now consider the report as part of its decision on the role of hydraulic fracturing in the development of onshore oil and gas resources.

Oliver said the Port au Port-Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group was pleased to see in the report that more study is needed, that Nova Scotia should design and recognize a test for “community permission” with regards to hydraulic fracturing and that hydraulic fracturing should not proceed at the present time in Nova Scotia.

He hopes Derrick Dalley, minister of Natural Resources, will consider the Wheeler Report when compiling its study for this province.

The provincial government already conducted an internal review on hydraulic fracturing and has called for an independent review with public consultations.

Oliver said the local fracking awareness group will be keeping an eye on the report in this province and what government’s reaction will be to the Wheeler Report in Nova Scotia.

Oliver said the Wheeler Report is quite a comprehensive document with over 370 pages and from an initial read he agrees with where it is going. He said following interviews, all chiefs of Indian bands in Nova Scotia are against fracking and would have to be consulted before any such activity takes place. Oliver believes that will put pressure on companies looking to use fracking.

“To me the report gives oil companies a sense of what they are up against if they want to use the practice of hydraulic fracturing,” Oliver said.

Oliver pointed out the report did say there was a potential for significant job creation. However, he said it is also worthy to note there has not been a significant oil/gas discovery on land in Nova Scotia. Wheeler did say there would have to be more modelling to come up with more data, Oliver said.