13 Dec 2011

Public Opinion in New Brunswick Divided on Shale Gas Exploration

MONCTON: New Brunswickers are divided with respect to shale gas exploration in the Province, with equal percentages supporting and opposing the idea in principle, according to a recent poll by Corporate Research Associates Inc.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed support shale gas development in principle, while an equal percentage oppose the idea. There is a somewhat greater intensity of feeling on the ‘no’ side – approximately twice as many ‘completely oppose’ shale gas development (19%) as ‘completely support’ it (11%). The percentage of those who are undecided stands at ten percent, indicating the vast majority of New Brunswickers have formed an opinion on this issue.

Over ninety percent of those surveyed agree that New Brunswick needs new industries in order to grow and prosper (92%). Two-thirds feel that shale gas development will lead to long term benefits for New Brunswick (64%) and six in ten residents feel that it can be done safely if regulations are in place (59%). At the same time, over eighty percent of people worry about shale development even with regulations in place (83%), and six in ten believe that the environmental impacts outweigh the economic benefits (58%).

“This is clearly a highly divisive issue for New Brunswickers” according to Don Mills, President and CEO of CRA. “What is clear is that environmental concerns outweigh the perceived economic benefits of shale gas development and will require strict regulations before New Brunswickers will be assured on the safety of such exploration in the Province.”

These results are from CRA’s Atlantic Quarterly® survey, an independent survey of New Brunswickers based on a sample of 400 adults across the Province. The survey was conducted between November 16 and November 28, 2011, with overall results accurate to within +4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.  
For more information, please contact: Don Mills, President and CEO at (902) 493-3838.

Ce communiqué de presse est également offert en français.

View full media release here.

Amanda Bates