New Brunswick: Craig Leonard defends shale gas advisory board appointment, Maurice Dusseault holds patents on fracking, raising questions of potential bias

Craig Leonard defends shale gas advisory board appointment, Maurice Dusseault holds patents on fracking, raising questions of potential bias by CBC News, July 30, 2014
Energy Minister Craig Leonard says Maurice Dusseault’s knowledge of hydraulic fracturing will help the provincial government write tougher regulations. Energy Minister Craig Leonard is defending an appointment to the province’s scientific advisory board on energy issues. He contends Maurice Dusseault, a professor at the University of Waterloo, is ideal for the New Brunswick Energy Institute, which is looking at the possible development of a shale gas industry in the province. Some people have criticized Dusseault’s appointment to the seven-member board, citing potential bias because he holds patents on certain methods of hydraulic fracturing — the process used to extract natural gas.

But Leonard said Dusseault also has years of crucial experience in the field, which will help the provincial government come up with stringent regulations for hydraulic fracturing​, also known as hydro-fracking. “That’s a key part of where their expertise comes from, they have been in the field, they understand what is taking place and so I think it’s critical to have that expertise there and that’s why he is on the advisory committee,” Leonard said.

[For frac regulation, Dr. Dusseault’s recommends the Alberta model, which is 100% funded and controlled by industry, has been steadily deregulating the last decade to enable unaccountable fracing, and owe’s “no duty of care” to water or anyone with water contaminated by the oil and gas industry]

“It’s one thing to have theories about things and read studies about it, but to get out on the ground, to actually see the operations, to be involved in the operations, that’s expertise that you just can’t pick up anywhere else. It’s what experience is all about,” he said. [Dr. Dusseault never contacted Ernst or any of the other Albertans with contaminated water in frac field to set up a visit to see the explosive water first hand]

If the institute studies issues related to one of Dusseault’s patents, he will be expected to declare a conflict of interest, Leonard added. Dusseault conducts research in petroleum geomechanics, new heavy oil production methods, mining, storage and deep waste disposal, according to the institute’s website. His research comprises carbon dioxide sequestration, shale gas geomechanics, leaking of old wells and hydraulic fracturing, it states.

The energy institute was created as an independent [Is it “independent” with Dr. Dusseault on it?] body by the provincial government with a mandate to examine the science surrounding emerging energy possibilities. It is studying the potential impact of the shale gas industry on groundwater. … David Besner, a professional chemical engineer and a former assistant deputy minister in the provincial government, was appointed the chair of the institute in April. Besner had been acting as the interim chair since last October, when Louis LaPierre resigned after his academic credentials were called into question. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

July 23, 2014: Why are Nova Scotians not demanding that frac patent holder Dr. Maurice Dusseault be removed from the frac panel, his paper where he pushes the Alberta Regulator as model be struck, and a formal apology issued to the public?

July 18, 2014: Un bizarre et dangereux monsieur: Dr. Maurice Dusseault, Public Advisor on Fracing, filed Fracing Patent

July 17, 2014: Dr. Maurice Dusseault, Public Advisor on Council Canadian Academies Frac Panel, Nova Scotia Frac Panel, New Brunswick Energy Institute (that promotes fracing) Filed Frac Patent in 2011

July 2, 2014: Nikiforuk: What’s Missing from Canada’s Academic Fracking Debate? “The Gritty Truth.” Qu’est-ce qui manque dans le débat sur la fracturation hydraulique au Canada?

2013: Head of NB Energy Institute and promoter of frac’ing, Dr. Louis LaPierre, lied about Ph.D and M.Sc.

2012: Contaminated Inquiry How a University of Texas Fracking Study Led by a Gas Industry Insider (Dr. Chip Groat) Spun the Facts and Misled the Public ]

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