Provincial review: press pause on fracking in Nova Scotia

Published on August 28, 2014

These signs of protest were on display at the July public information session on fracking in Windsor.

©Ashley Thompson

Hold off on fracking, says a provincial report released today.

The Wheeler report on hydraulic fracturing says more research and discussion is needed before the natural gas resource extraction method is employed in the province.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger received, and publicly released the independent review of hydraulic fracturing today Aug. 28, a year after the review started.

“Based on the analysis described in this report a significant period of learning and dialogue is now required at both provincial and community levels, and thus hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of unconventional gas and oil development should not proceed at the present time in Nova Scotia,” the report’s summary states.

David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University, was commissioned to review the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, and make recommendations about its current and future role in Nova Scotia's onshore petroleum industry in August 2013.

"We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Wheeler and his panel to help inform government's decision on whether or not hydraulic fracturing should be a part of Nova Scotia's onshore oil and gas development," said Younger in a media release. "It will be considered along with other sources of work and input to reach our conclusion."

The review started in August 2013. All submissions, presentations and documents for the hydraulic fracturing review are available online

Read the full report here.

The Ecology Action Centre was quick to respond to the report.

 “We’re so happy to see the Wheeler panel make such a strong recommendation against fracking, and we implore Energy Minister Andrew Younger to take it seriously,” said the centre’s geoscience co-ordinator Jennifer West said in a media release.

“We want to see a 10 year legislated moratorium on fracking. We know enough to know that it’s not safe for our water, land, or climate, and we shouldn’t be doing it,” added West.