Murphy waiting for fracking panel details

NDP Environment & Conservation Critic George Murphy

NDP Environment critic George Murphy (MHA, St. John’s East) says while he’s glad government has finally committed to a panel to review the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), he wants to see details.

“Naturally, I’m glad to see the government commit to the review panel we’ve been asking for, just as I was last November to see them bring in the moratorium we lobbied for with the people of the province,” said Murphy.

“But that announcement late yesterday afternoon amounts to little more than another election promise at this stage. There is no hint as to who will sit on the panel, and no clue as to what their terms of reference will be.”

Murphy has been prominent in the local movement advocating a cautious approach to fracking, which people in many parts of the world point to as causing earthquakes and contamination of drinking water. Activists and environmentalists from the Bay St. George area collected thousands of signatures on his petition calling for a moratorium, and he presented the petition in the House of Assembly.

Government announced the moratorium last November, and Murphy started asking for “a full independent external and scientific review that includes public consultation,” as he called it on March 18 in the House of Assembly.

“And that review is still what I, and people concerned about the environment on the west coast of the island, still want to see,” he said.

“I’m hoping that the review government announced yesterday will turn out to be what is needed, but I am not relaxing yet. We have to see who is on this panel and what their terms of reference are.”

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