A promising opportunity for Atlantic Canada:
On-shore gas can unlock much needed prosperity
Halifax – 10 January 2018: Reports surfaced this week that the Province of Nova Scotia’s internal estimates value its on-shore natural gas deposits to be worth as much as 60-billion dollars. In a province struggling economically with high debt, out-migration, and stagnation of rural areas, this is an opportunity that is too promising to give up.
“While there are no silver bullet solutions to what plagues the Nova Scotia economy, this resource holds the promise of the enormous potential to brighten the future of Nova Scotia for many years ahead, especially for rural areas,” said AIMS president Marco Navarro-Génie.
Our 2016 AIMS study “Gas Opportunities for Atlantic Canada” found that “restricting the expansion of natural gas in Atlantic Canada could make electricity more expensive, less clean and increasingly subject to decisions and events outside the region.” Those factors have only increased since the report.
On the supply side, many homes, businesses and industry rely on natural gas in our urban centers. However, without a local natural gas supply for Atlantic Canada, aside from the waning Sable Island project, all consumers face rising, volatile prices, and an unstable supply. A local supply means more jobs here, greater technological expertise, less risk of interruptions, and less expensive rider costs.
On the production side, natural gas exploration provides well-paying jobs in rural areas, and the prospect of bringing new development, industry, services and businesses to the region. Local production would increase our energy security, and provide significant new revenue to the provincial government. The estimated volume of these deposits would enable significant exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
While the environment must be properly protected, many other jurisdictions have surmounted safety challenges and made this move successfully. Banning the practice entirely holds Nova Scotia and future generations back at a time when other areas of our country and the world are moving forward.
The resource opportunity is “a ramp to a better future that needs to be built,” says Navarro-Génie. “The naysayers will tell us it cannot be done; that it’s either jobs or the environment. But Nova Scotians are growing tired of this false choice and tired of being underestimated. The environmental challenges of safe resource development are not beyond the ability of Nova Scotians to resolve.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Alex Whalen, Operations Manager
T: 902-429-1143 x231
AIMS is a Canadian non-profit, non-partisan think tank that provides a distinctive Atlantic Canadian perspective on economic, political, and social issues. The Institute sets the benchmark on public policy by drawing together the most innovative thinking available from some of the world’s foremost experts and applying that thinking to the challenges facing Canadians. AIMS was incorporated as a non-profit corporations under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act and was granted charitable registration by Revenue Canada as of 3 October 1994. It received US charitable recognition under 501(c)(3), effective the same date.