Natural gas a big opportunity for N.S., says think tank (Chronicle-Herald)

In From Other Parts by Michael Rae

From the Halifax Chronicle Herald:
A new report released today by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) is calling on Nova Scotia to capitalize on the opportunity to develop natural gas in the region.
“It is vitally important that Atlantic Canada gets the infrastructure and regulatory settings correct to support an evolving energy mix,” said Andrew Pickford, author of the report. “Doing so will help the region put downward pressure on electricity prices, lower carbon emissions and ensure decisions on the future energy mix are made locally.”
The report, Gas Opportunities for Atlantic Canada, examines the overall regulatory framework, planned infrastructure projects, and emerging natural gas opportunities and technologies. Restrictions on the expansion of natural gas in Atlantic Canada could make electricity more expensive, less clean, and result in people outside the region influencing local energy choices, the report argues.
“By deciding to place a moratorium on a particular form of natural gas extraction, the province misses out on investment, jobs as well as royalties and taxes for governments,” said Pickford. “The opportunity for greater levels of natural gas extraction and production is available. Many other jurisdictions, including some in Canada, have chosen to pursue and actively seek investment in this industry. Those decisions are paying economic dividends.”
Nova Scotia has a moratorium on shale gas development.
“It reduces investment in the energy sector and it changes the energy mix that would evolve under normal conditions if the ban was not in place,” said Pickford.
“The moratorium also sends a broader signal to investors that governments