19 Jun 2013
NB Residents Concerned With Shale Gas Safety, Economic Advantages Unclear
HALIFAX: New Brunswick residents are concerned about the safety of shale gas exploration and are split on whether the process is important to the economic future of the province, according to the most recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc.
One-half (48%) of residents believe shale gas to be critically important or important but not critical to New Brunswick’s economic future, while a similar number (44%) believe it to be not very important or not at all important to the economy of the province. Residents in Northern New Brunswick are less likely than others in the region to believe shale gas is important to the province’s economy, with four in ten (40%) assigning importance compared with 53 percent of Southern NB residents and 49 percent of Moncton area residents.
When asked opinions on safety of shale gas exploration, on a scale of ‘1’ to ‘10’ where ‘1’ is not safe at all and ’10’ is extremely safe, the average rating was 3.9 indicating many residents perceive shale gas exploration to be unsafe. Those in the Northern Region (3.3) and Moncton area (3.5) are more likely to consider the exploration of shale gas unsafe compared with those in the Southern region (4.6).
“Given the high concerns over the safety of shale gas and the mixed opinions regarding the importance of shale gas to the economic future of New Brunswick,” according to Don Mills, Chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates, “it is clear that there will be significant and continuing challenges to government and industry in the development of shale gas resources in the province of New Brunswick.”
These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a telephone sample of 400 adult New Brunswick residents, conducted from May 14 to May 30, 2013, with overall results accurate to within ± 4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.