Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) Calls for Fracking Analysis by VOCM Local News Now, May 19 2013
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is calling for a hold on slick-water hydraulic fracturing in the province, especially in and around Gros Morne National Park, until a comprehensive analysis of the long-term impacts of hydraulic fracturing is complete. HNL Chair Darlene Thomas says the tourism industry cannot support an initiative that has the potential to negatively affect a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She says their association is adamant that due diligence is critical in understanding the crossroads the province has reached in either approving or rejecting projects that may damage natural areas. Black Spruce Exploration is proposing to use fracking to extract oil from a number of locations along the west coast of the province on behalf of Shoal Point Energy. The proposal has resulted in widespread opposition from area residents. Government has yet to approve the proposal. [Emphasis added]
Gros Morne fracking issue causing significant reactionby CBC News, May 18, 2013
“There’s been forty years of strategic tourism investment made by the private industry and by private interests to build it up as a sacred place for tourism. We want to make sure that this crossroads [that] we’re on is based on evidence and research —and there’s a comprehensive analysis on what all the positive and negative impacts will be.”
Gilliard said there is still a lot to be determined about how fracking could impact the park, adding a detailed analysis must be done before any decisions are made.
“There are a lot of concerns about air pollution, noise pollution, the traffic volumes, the impact on the brand … and it is really worrisome.”
Meanwhile, residents who live near the park agree that UNESCO’s world heritage designation is key to tourism and hype for the area. Karole Pittman is a member of several anti-fracking groups and spends most of her time researching the side effects of the practice from her home in Rocky Harbour. She’s glad UNESCO finally spoke out. “Hopefully people will come out and find out what’s going on,” Pittman said. … “Right now it’s a quarter of the annual tourism income for the whole province here on the west coast — that’s a lot of money.” Jackie Hunter owns Java Jack’s restaurant in Rocky Harbour, and she also has concerns. “This is my 14th season, and every year is busier,” said Hunter. “I think the long-term economic benefits of having a beautiful, protected area far outweighs what little oil they’re going to find.” [Emphasis added]