Setting the record straight on the economics of banning fracking

October 27, 2014

 HALIFAX – A member of the Nova Scotia Hydraulic Facturing (Fracking) Review Panel clarifies the economics of adopting a serious ban on exploration and exploitation of shale gas reserves in a new commentary released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS).

The commentary, Fracking—Dollars and Sense, is authored by Michael Bradfield, fracking review panel member, retired Professor of Economics at Dalhousie University, and Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia.

Bradfield feels the review panel report conflates economic impact with economic benefit. Bradfield notes that the figures in the report are industry estimates, and that numbers for economic growth and job creation are highly speculative. For Bradfield, the fact that recent studies questioning industry-funded research were not cited in the report is troubling.

“We must be mindful of where these data come from,” said Bradfield. “Industries of all kinds are notorious for inflating the jobs they will create and the oil and gas industry is no exception.”

Bradfield also plays down the importance of anticipated royalties. At peak production, 40 years after initial production starts, royalties would only amount to a change of ¼ of 1% in the provincial sales tax rate. Further, Bradfield notes that for most wells, 85% of production occurs within the first year, before provincial royalty payments begin. “Will industry outsmart government through buying its leases strategically?”asks Bradfield.

“Michael Bradfield is a leading expert on regional development,” said Christine Saulnier, Director of the CCPA-NS. “This is a crucial contribution to the discussion around our regional economy. Bradfield’s analysis confirms the need for a serious conversation around resource development in Nova Scotia and more broadly, federalism in Canada.”


For Media Interviews, Dr. Michael Bradfield, 902 423-7706