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NL Gov't Announces Moratorium on Fracking

Newfoundland Minister Provides Position on Hydraulic Fracturing
Nov. 4, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to reiterate our government’s vision for economic development, balanced with environmental protection. There has been much discussion surrounding hydraulic fracturing in recent months. I can assure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that our government’s first and main consideration when exploring an economic development opportunity is the health and safety of our people and protection of the environment. These principles guide our decisions and remain our highest priorities.

Today, I am announcing that our government will not be accepting applications for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing. This measure provides an opportunity for government to undertake a balanced review of regulations, rules and guidelines in other jurisdictions; to complete the technical work necessary to fully assess the geological impact in Western Newfoundland; and, following this process, to undertake public engagement to ensure that our residents have an opportunity to comment and are fully informed before any decision is made.

Mr. Speaker, oil and gas exploration and development has played a significant role in the economic growth of this province, transforming the economy and prospects for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Petroleum drilling and production activities throughout our province have proceeded in accordance with stringent regulations and rules. Our sound approach to petroleum industry regulation and environmental protection is guiding the step we are taking today.

Our first consideration is the health and safety of our people. In making this decision, our government is acting responsibly and respecting the balance between economic development and environmental protection.