Police in Canada visited Pennsylvania to learn more about how to deal with public resistance to shale gas development.
According to reports, the Halifax Media Co-op obtained a partial travel itinerary as well as approved budgetary expense which showed $12,082 was spent on the four day-trip.
The travel event was titled “Shale Gas – Police Opportunities” and took place between June 2 and June 5 last year.
Last May, shortly before the trip took place, a short memo on the planned trip said: “New Brunswick is at the exploratory stages of a shale gas industry and there has been considerable
protests and criminality with a great deal of rhetoric and misinformation from many sources.
“This visit will give us an opportunity to meet with a police department that has been dealing with issues associated to shale gas development since 2008.
“Initial teleconference have been held and the value to be gained from a face to face meeting is significant.”
Last year a protest against exploratory seismic testing in Rexton, New Brunswick, had turned violent.
The incident prompted police in the region to make the trip to Pennsylvania in a bid to find out how to manage resistance towards the shale gas.
In other parts of the US there are similar intelligence sharing partnerships between police and oil and gas drillers.
Pennsylvania has had experience with activists with some recently being arrested for chaining themselves to roads near gas well sites as well as trespassing to block pipeline construction.