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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Report about natural gas fracking causes ripples in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON - Opponents of shale gas development in New Brunswick are welcoming a report from a panel of Canadian scientists that urges a go-slow approach to hydraulic natural gas fracking.

The report by the Council of Canadian Academies says little is known about the long-term impacts of extracting gas by fracturing rock beds and more research needs to be done.

Stephanie Merrill of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick says the report highlights a lot of concerns, especially risks to groundwater.

The council, along with the provincial Liberal and Green parties, say there needs to be an immediate moratorium on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

But New Brunswick Energy Minister Craig Leonard says the province is proceeding slowly and continued exploration is required in order to collect the scientific data that's needed.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant says his party wants a moratorium on fracking, not on science and research.

Corridor Resources president Phil Knoll says his company has operated safely in New Brunswick for more than 10 years and encourages responsible resource development.

SWN Resources issued a statement saying it needs more time to study the report before commenting.

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