With Nova Scotia fracking ban, is Canada’s energy superpower fantasy doomed? – by Terence Corcoran (National Post – September 5, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

So much for the Council of the Federation’s commitment to what was wishfully described by B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s as an opportunity to turn Canada into an energy superpower. “Canada,” trumpeted the premiers last week, “is a global leader in providing a secure, sustainable and reliable supply of energy” and therefore in need of a Canadian Energy Strategy.

Well, scratch Nova Scotia off the superpower leadership list. Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced Wednesday that the province plans to “prohibit” the use of fracking to stimulate onshore shale projects. “Our petroleum resources belong to Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Younger, thereby burying the province’s $40-billion onshore shale oil and gas potential under a tombstone that says: “RIP: Nova Scotia’s unrealized wealth.”

In sharp contrast, Alberta has just released a blockbuster report that outlines potential Arctic shipping alternatives to getting its oil to markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas with less pipeline fuss and at lower cost. The report, An Arctic Energy Gateway for Alberta, proposes networks of pipelines, rail routes and icebreaker-driven expansion of Arctic shipping lanes to move oil via Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories, Churchill in Manitoba, and other Arctic and sub-Arctic ports.

The Arctic Gateway report, prepared for the Alberta government by ice-transport consultants at Canatec Associates International, brims with can-do optimism. Vast opportunities could open up if oil were to be moved north out of the province through year-round shipping through the Arctic. Canatec sees the Arctic Gateway option as an alternative to the east-west pipeline plans that face “growing, intractable, opposition.” Going north to access marine tanker routes would circle around the “jurisdictions where opponents can stop, delay, or render [projects] uneconomic.”

If only Nova Scotia had such up-beat material to work with before it reached its decision on Wednesday to ban fracking. Instead, the province was saddled with a precautionary principle-bound bureaucratic nightmare known as the Report of the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing. Once the government got into the report’s 350-plus pages, prepared by a panel headed David Wheeler, President of Cape Breton University, there was no way out.

After endless reviews of the Aboriginal, environmental, social, political, community, precautionary, externality, health, lifecycle, community, occupational, climate, noise, traffic, pollution, infrastructure, socioeconomic, regulatory, drinking water, wastewater, design, construction, decommissioning, methane, ecozone, social responsibility, risks management and countless other issues, the nearly endless Wheeler report wheezed to a non-conclusive conclusion that called for a non-moratorium moratorium:

For the rest of this article, click here: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/09/04/terence-corcoran-with-nova-scotia-fracking-ban-is-canadas-energy-superpower-fantasy-doomed/