Letters to the Editor

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bethany Thorne-Dykstra's recent email to followers

Good day Citizens For Responsible Resource Development Network;

I hope you have had a great summer. Although the weather has not been too great, it seems like we are getting our summer now that Fall has arrived. Whichever way, I know I am happy to see it.

It is great to see the interest in shale gas exploration and development in our province, as an interesting survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates was just released today.

- Shale gas views divided


These survey results show that New Brunswickers are starting to understand what shale gas is and I believe are asking to know more about what it all means. Not many months ago, when we talked about shale gas the biggest response was "what is it?"

The government has announced that they will be going around the province soon to talk to New Brunswickers about shale gas and to listen to our thoughts and concerns regarding this issue. This is our opportunity to be sure to emphasize the need for proper regulations, monitoring and enforcement of those regulations in the key areas we have been promoting.

*Last Tuesday, September 13, we met with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (representing 90% of all the oil and natural gas companies in Canada) upon their invitation to have a meeting. We were very impressed with this meeting and were happy with the announcement they made in Alberta on September 8 commiting to support a responsible approach to water management, protecting water resources during sourcing, use and handling, supporting increased regulations governing hydraulic fracturing operations, water use and water protection, and have announced a commitment to 5 guiding principles: (See attachments.)

1. To safeguard the quality and quantity of regional surface and groundwater resources, through sound wellbore construction practices, sourcing fresh water alternatives and recycling water for reuse.
2. Measure and disclose their water use with the goal to reduce.
3. Support the development of fracturing fluid additives with the least environmental risks.
4. Support the disclosure of fracturing fluid additives.
5. Continue to advance, collaborate on and communicate technologies and best practices that reduce the potential environmental risks.
We liked the support of and commitment to:
- baseline testing of ground water before any development by government or third-party professionals.
- need for wellbore integrity.
- more openness to the public by providing the water usage results and advocating for the government to collect comprehensive data and report it publically
- use fewer and less hazardous chemicals
- disclose the chemicals in fracturing fluids. It has been voluntary and we are extremely happy to hear industry state, "We also support action by provincial governments to make disclosure mandatory, and to collect and publish fracking fluid contents on websites (like FracFocus.org)."
- and to collaborate on the development and implementation of key technologies focused on reducing the industry's environmental impact.

*With this announcement by the natural gas industry in support of increased government regulations, we believe this is the right next step to keep pressure on the government to deliver on their promise to do so. If we are asking for an increased regulatory framework and the industry is supportive as well, then the government needs to make sure they do it.

*We happened to bump into Mark Weis from the Executive Council, who works on the shale gas regualtions committee from government before we met with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and he said that the government is working on 12 key regulations currently. He stated that he wanted to meet soon so I hope to be able to update everyone before too long on where the government is at in their development of better regulations, monitoring and enforcement.

Anyway, I would love to hear your feedback on this information when you have a minute, as we move forward with all the stakeholders to ensure all New Brunswickers are protected. Also, if you are interested in being part of our Board, we would love to have a couple more.

All the best,

Italics added by The Purple Violet Press - ED.


  1. Impressive.

    The question now becomes how does this group; who was at the table with the oil companies, drives home the message to those who refuse to listen to the facts?

    -Agent Green

  2. Looks like Beth is looking for a couple more people to be on her board, which would bring group membership up to a whopping three!

  3. i will join for 5000.00 per month plus meals and transportation.na make $250000000000.00 per month

    peter pann

  4. That woman represents almost nobody, why does she matter anymore?

    -Agent Blue-ish Green

  5. @Agent Green,

    You're not looking at the email closely enough. It gives the impression the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has input in the new NB shale gas regulations.

    And Thorne-Dykstra saying she bumped into someone from the Natural Gas Group seems implausible.

    If Thorne-Dykstra knows the panel on the Natural Gas Group, why doesn't the public? Shouldn't it be free and transparent with contact numbers so the public and contact them and ask questions. Isn't that one of the mechanisms by which the Alward government said it would educate the public?

    We find the email curious and it poses many questions for our readers.

  6. PVB

    Of course the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers should have input, everyone should.

    The problem with those who yell, bitch, and complain that they're not getting heard, is that they bring nothing of value to the table; that being the outright ban on the industry. We cannot continue acting like rednecks out for their own personal gain. We have to work with the industry to make this safe and effective. Outright banning sends the message that businesses and strong paying jobs; jobs that would help get anyone to a good start if they further their education, are not welcomed or wanted in NB.

    The public does NOT need to know contact numbers of the players; that opens the door to things like hate calls, death threats, etc; nothing of real value to the debate. This is such a polarized issue that it won't take much to cause a riot in the streets or someone (an industry player) to end up dead somewhere.

    There's a right way, the wrong way, and then there's the logical way; which is right and efficient. Alward knows what he's doing, and if the fringe elements of the Anti-Fracking group doesn't like that and continue to vandalize and intimidate, it only hurts the core group; and that group has a responsibility to weed them out and turn them in.

    As for the Agent Blue-ish Green, I'd like to thank you for using part of my name; I'm flattered that you decided to use it. Please continue to use it :)

    -Agent Green