A fossil fuel by any other name: Corbett says wrong decade for oil and gas developments as Corridor rebrands and doubles down on Sussex-area fracking

Amid news that Corridor Resources rebranded itself and hired a new management team to pursue an exemption under New Brunswick’s fracking moratorium, the Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, says this is simply not the decade for governments to invest in any oil, goal or gas developments.

“We need to develop a plan to shift away from carbon pollution and to help New Brunswickers live more comfortably and create less pollution at every step of that journey,” Corbett told the Kings County Record on Jan. 16.

Corridor, the only shale gas explorer in New Brunswick, announced on Jan. 13 it intends to change its name to Headwater Exploration Inc. It also hired a new management team, led by CEO Neil Roszel, who made his name in the oil and gas industry in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The company currently has 32 producing wells from 11 well pads in the farming community of Penobsquis, outside Sussex. Corridor has said if the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing — enacted in 2016 by the former provincial government following a year of rigorous investigation by an independent commission — was not in place, it would drill roughly a dozen new wells in the area beginning in 2021.

But Corbett says the provincial government has “a lot of heavy lifting to do” before making any changes to the moratorium, noting that she has yet to see evidence that the conditions outlined by the independent commission for lifting the moratorium have been met.

Instead of rolling back a smart public policy decision, Corbett urged the government to be leaders in the fast-growing renewable energy economy.

“If we want to create jobs, the best way is investing in energy efficiency and putting New Brunswick’s carpenters, plumbers and roofers to work right now,” Corbett said.

Meanwhile, our friends at the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance told the Kings County Record that it suspects the shakeup at Corridor is more about moving assets than drilling new wells in New Brunswick.

He said the company has extra cash on the books and suspects Corridor (now Headwater) will use it to help other Alberta-based companies.

As for the company’s pledge to consult First Nations in pursuit of an exemption, NBASGA spokesperson Jim Emberger said, “I can’t think of anything that anyone could say to change the fact that ratcheting up a shale gas industry is the worst thing one could do in terms of dealing with the climate emergency.

“We are becoming used to record floods, tropical storms, ice storms and windstorms. It will be worse for our children.”

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