Exxon CEO Tillerson is the ultimate NIMBY

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson Sues To Block Water Tower That Might Supply Fracking Operations

The Huffington Post  | by  James Gerken
Posted: 02/21/2014 5:12 pm EST Updated: 02/21/2014 5:59 pm EST

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Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., is a big fan of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas, unless it’s potentially undermining the property value of his Texas ranch.

Tillerson and some of his neighbors — including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) — filed a lawsuit last year against a suburban Dallas water utility to stop construction of a 160-foot water tower, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The partially built “monstrosity,” as the lawsuit calls it, is adjacent to both Tillerson’s Bar RR Ranch and Armey’s property. The suit alleges that the water tower is diminishing neighbors’ property values and “causing unreasonable discomfort and annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities.”

Tucked into the complaint are also concerns that the Bartonville Water Supply Corp. will sell some of the stored water to energy companies for hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — and hauling the water away will create a “noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

A lawyer representing the ExxonMobil CEO told the Journal that Tillerson himself hasn’t shared any explicit worries about traffic from fracking companies, but is more concerned about property values.

Fracking is a technique for extracting oil and natural gas from shale formations.Large quantities of water, along with sand and chemical blends, are pumped underground to fracture rock formations and stimulate the release of hydrocarbons. A 2012 University of Texas study estimated that shale gas production around Dallas represents about 9 percent of the city’s annual water use. Another recent UT study found that Texas actually saves water by extracting natural gas and using it for power generation instead of coal.

The state, which experienced its worst single-year drought ever in 2011, is expected to face even greater water stress in future decades thanks to climate change and a growing population.

SA shale gas delay allows the truth out

Much to the chagrin of Royal Dutch Shell, other applicants for shale exploration licences and their friends in government and industry in SA, the ongoing delay in settling the question of shale gas extraction in SA is working to the benefit of the nation.


Simply because the lack of information, transparency, effective public information and consultation in SA, has created a situation in which licences would have been issued in a virtual vacuum of information. This is not to say that the government is necessarily uninformed, but rather that certain pro-gas players in the government were and are prepared to overlook the global issues connected with shale gas mining. It is not in the interests of the nation to be committed to a decision of this magnitude simply on the basis of the marketing hype of the oil and gas industry.

What does a delay in the issuing of licences mean?

It is providing a real opportunity for important facts about shale gas  mining in other countries to reach South Africans. On a daily basis the media and various organisations are publishing reports in connection with shale gas, and the news is overwhelmingly negative. The Oil and Gas industry is spending significant amounts of cash on lobbying governments and industry but appear to be failing in their bid to counter negative information about the controversial practice of shale gas mining.

What is a topical example of the ‘negative reports’ referred to?

Here are three:

1. At least 210 bans, moratoria or restrictions on the holistic shale gas mining process or on sections of it are recorded as being in place and enforced in various countries, regions, states, cities and towns around the world. These are increasing, as many legislative anti-fracking measures are still under consideration at the request of local communities.

2. A recent report (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcam4aBmPs4) published by Associated Press has alleged contamination of water in four US States. This report is being widely redistributed via global media.

3. By way of example of the volume of media reports on shale gas mining, I have recorded via a media monitoring service 9447 consolidated reports mentioning fracking. A rough average of the number of media articles per report is around four. That is somewhere in the order of         40 000 articles on fracking in an eleven month period from February 20 2013. I am not forwarding this as a claim that there are 40 000 negative articles about shale gas mining, merely making the point that this is indicative of the volume of information and perhaps disinformation connected to the technology. It establishes in my view, a clear requirement for the commencement of a planned Strategic Environmental Assessment of the technology in South Africa.

The government and the applicants are well aware that to give effect to the perhaps ill-timed promises of various Ministers and officials ‘to push ahead with shale gas’ without taking heed of international developments will expose them to significant risk of lawsuits.

It really is time for the SA Government to step up to the plate and stop being led around by the nose by Shell.

Canada’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls For Fracking Moratorium

“Global anti-fracking protests grow while SA pro-frackers just frack onward”

Unifor, Canada’s largest energy union, calls for Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking; the ignorant keep blindly pushing forward, harming families, communities, environment, infrastructure and existing businesses

Posted on November 16, 2013 by admin

Canada’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls For Fracking Moratorium, Unifor worried about ‘frightening’ pollution, worker safety, First Nations rights by Andrew Nikiforuk, November 16, 2013, TheTyee.ca
Canada’s largest private sector union has called for a national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a brute force technology that has opened up shale formations for mining across North America and the world. Unifor, which has 300,000 members in the country, said the technology has raised substantive environmental and economic concerns across the country and needs greater scrutiny. … Unifor came into existence earliest this year after the merger of two of Canada’s most powerful and largest unions: the Canadian Auto Workers Union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. In a Nov. 14 press release, the union cited concerns about “frightening” groundwater pollution, methane leaks, “unpredictable impacts” on rock formations, “destruction of surface land” as well as safety issues for workers “toiling under haphazard, gold-rush-like conditions.” The union was also disturbed by the fracking industry’s impact on First Nations and unresolved treaty claims, a major issue in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. “First Nations activists in New Brunswick and elsewhere are highlighting, with determination and passion, their insistence that no resource exploration or extraction can occur on their lands without full informed consent and a generous sharing of the economic benefits.” A national moratorium should remain in place “until such time as the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking have been adequately addressed, and until First Nations communities have given full informed consent for fracking activity on their traditional lands.”

More than 100 U.S. municipalities have now passed laws banning hydraulic fracturing in their jurisdiction because of concerns about water usage, groundwater contamination, air pollution and the industrialization of farmland. In early November, voters in three major cities in Colorado, an oil and gas state, approved bans on fracking. Voters in Boulder, Fort Collins and Lafayette all approved moratoriums by a wide margin. The government of British Columbia has banked its economic future on the development shale gas in Peace River region. These deposits, among the costliest and most water intensive in the world, would require the drilling of more than 50,000 wells. By some rough estimates, this level of shale gas drilling could use as much water as annual water requirements for bitumen mining in Alberta or enough water to support a city of two million people a year. To date, the government has performed no cumulative impact assessment on the industry’s heavy footprint on water and land, nor a financial risk analysis. … Environment Canada and Health Canada told the Auditor General in 2012 that they did not have a good understanding of the 800 chemicals and substances used for hydraulic fracturing fluid. Nor had they investigated the risks associated with the hydraulic fracturing process. [Emphasis added]

Unifor Calls for National Moratorium on Fracking Press Release by UNIFOR, November 14, 2013
Unifor, Canada’s largest energy union, is calling for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking. Already the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have introduced moratoriums on fracking. Nova Scotia has banned fracking while undertaking a review. Unifor is now pushing for a national moratorium. Unifor is raising concerns about the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking as well as the lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands. In the statement unanimously passed by the 25-person Unifor National Executive Board, the union expressed support for the non-violent protest efforts by First Nations to resist fracking activity on their lands. The Unifor National Executive Board is made up of elected representatives from across the country and a variety of economic sectors, including energy.

“Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Just because we can carry out this activity does not mean we should. We must enact a national moratorium on fracking activity.” Dias also noted that it would be folly for Canada to reorient our entire energy infrastructure around a short-term surge in an unsustainable energy supply.

From the statement:

“Any resource extraction industry in Canada must confront the problem of unresolved aboriginal land claims, and the inadequate economic benefits (including employment opportunities) which have been offered to First Nations communities from resource developments. This problem is especially acute with fracking because of the widespread land which would be affected by the activity, and the heated, profit-hungry rush which the industry is set to quickly unleash. Many Canadians share these concerns with the potential economic, social, and environmental damage of an unregulated fracking industry. Instead of being guided by short-term swings in prices and profits for private energy producers, Canada’s federal and provincial governments must develop and implement (in cooperation with other stakeholders) a national plan for a stable, sustainable energy industry that respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here.”

The full statement: Unifor National Executive Board Resolution on Fracking November 12, 2013
The advent of new hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) technologies has dramatically altered the economic and environmental effects of the petroleum industry in recent years – around the world, but especially in North America.

Fracking technology relies on the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water and chemicals into numerous drilled wells, in order to fracture geological formations and allow the release of larger quantities of both crude oil and natural gas. This allows the profitable production of petroleum reserves located in “tight” rock formations (including shale) which were formerly unfeasible. The dramatic expansion of fracking in certain regions of the U.S. (including North Dakota, Texas, and elsewhere) over the last decade has had enormous implications for energy markets, and the environment. Profit-hungry companies are now eyeing other potential fracking regions for similar expansion – including many parts of Canada.

Various types of fracturing technology have been used in the petroleum industry for decades. The new generations of the technology, however, have raised substantial environmental concerns, including:

 Frightening pollution of water sources (as fracking chemicals and released methane seep into ground and underground water sources).
 Large emissions of greenhouse gases (including wasted flared gas, and large emissions
of released methane – which is 25 times more powerful in raising global temperatures
than carbon dioxide).
 Unpredictable impacts of pressure injection on the stability of rock formations and land surfaces (causing earthquakes and other damage in many locations).
 Destruction of surface land through intensive drilling, road construction, and
infrastructure (since wells in fracked petroleum fields must be much closer together
than in conventional fields).

The fracking boom in places like North Dakota has led to a rapid expansion of U.S. oil and gas production. However, evidence is mounting that this new production will be short-lived:
fracked wells tend to deplete much more quickly than conventional wells.

Safety issues related to fracking are also troubling, including questionable health and safety
conditions for workers toiling under haphazard, gold-rush-like conditions.Investigators now believe that the unique explosive properties of fracked oil played a role in the horrible Lac Mégantic tragedy in Québec this summer (the train was carrying fracked crude oil from North Dakota).

The expansion of fracking has also had dramatic and damaging economic consequences, too. The sudden surge of new U.S. supplies into the market has driven continental natural gas prices to historic lows. It has also displaced normal flows of energy. For example, Canada now imports significant quantities of fracked gas from the U.S., disrupting traditional gas flows from Western Canada and undermining the economics of our major east-west gas pipeline system. This surge of fracked oil and gas supplies is not likely to last; it would be folly for Canada to reorient our entire energy infrastructure around a short-term surge in a clearly unsustainable energy supply.

Another very troubling dimension of the fracking industry, in Canada and elsewhere, is its impact on relations with First Nations peoples. Of course, any resource extraction industry in Canada must confront the problem of unresolved aboriginal land claims, and the inadequate economic benefits (including employment opportunities) which have been offered to First Nations communities from resource developments. This problem is especially acute with fracking because of the widespread land which would be affected by the activity, and the heated, profit-hungry rush which the industry is set to quickly unleash. First Nations activists in
New Brunswick and elsewhere are highlighting, with determination and passion, their
insistence that no resource exploration or extraction can occur on their lands without full 
informed consent and a generous sharing of the economic benefits.

Many Canadians share these concerns with the potential economic, social, and environmental damage of an unregulated fracking industry. Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have both imposed a moratorium on new fracking exploration. Other provinces and regions are also now investigating the risks and effects of fracking.

For all these reasons, the National Executive Board of Unifor supports a Canada-wide
moratorium on unconventional fracking activity. This moratorium should stay in place until
such time as the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking have been adequately addressed, and until First Nations communities have given full informed consent for fracking activity on their traditional lands. We express our solidarity with non-violent efforts by First Nations communities to assert their title and resist new fracking activity in their lands. And we renew our call for a national energy and environmental strategy, that would utilize Canada’s extensive resources of conventional petroleum and natural gas to meet our energy needs and support value-added industries in Canada. Instead of being guided by short-term swings in prices and profits for private energy producers, Canada’s federal and provincial governments must develop and implement (in cooperation with other stakeholders) a national plan for a stable, sustainable energy industry that respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here. As one of its first priorities, Unifor’s new Energy Council will work to develop and communicate Unifor’s vision for such a national energy and environmental strategy. [Emphasis added]

New Brunswick’s Energy Minister hopes protests against shale gas development don’t stop SWN Resources from proceeding by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press, November 14, 2013, The Globe and Mail
Craig Leonard’s comments came Thursday after the RCMP blocked Highway 11 in northeastern New Brunswick for a few hours because of a demonstration intended to stop the energy company from conducting seismic testing. “We hope protests remain peaceful and lawful and hopefully SWN will be able to get their work done in the allotted time that they’re looking at,” Leonard said. “Then we can determine if there actually is a resource there.” RCMP Constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh said several pieces of equipment and a truck belonging to a private company working in the area of the protest near Laketon, N.B., about 30 kilometres south of Miramichi, were damaged. She declined to say what company owned the truck. A 46-year-old woman was also arrested at the protest site for mischief, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, and traffic on the highway was rerouted for several hours due to safety concerns, she said. The road was reopened by late afternoon. Protesters have gathered in the area for the past few days in anticipation of a resumption of shale gas exploration by SWN Resources, which had placed equipment along the highway to conduct seismic testing. A spokesman for the company declined comment.

On Thursday, Unifor, a union that represents some workers in the energy sector, called for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking.In a statement, the union said it is raising concerns about the safety and environmental risks associated with fracking as well as the lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking activities on traditional lands. “Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy,” said Unifor president Jerry Dias. But Leonard said New Brunswick is forging ahead with the shale-gas industry. [Emphasis added]


Top climate scientists call for CA governor to ban fracking

Top climate scientists call for fracking ban in letter to Gov. Jerry Brown

(Meanwhile quasi-intellectual pro-frackers in South Africa, who don’t even live in the Karoo, say that all of the anti-fracking lobby’s major claims have fallen apart)

By Paul Rogers


POSTED:   11/12/2013 04:07:39 PM PST | UPDATED:   A DAY AGO

Twenty of the nation’s top climate scientists have sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, telling him that his plans supporting increased use of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” will increase pollution and run counter to his efforts to cut California’s global warming emissions.

The letter is the latest example of the increased pressure that environmentalists and others concerned about climate change have been putting on Brown in recent months. Their argument: The governor can’t say he wants to reduce global warming while expanding fossil fuel development in California.

Large hoses go from one hydraulic fracturing drill site to another as horses graze in the field Sept. 24, 2013, in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) ( Pat Sullivan )

“If what we’re trying to do is stop using the sky as a waste dump for our carbon pollution, and if we’re trying to transform our energy system, the way to do that is not by expanding our fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.

Caldeira signed the letter along with other prominent climate scientists, including James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Richard Houghton, acting president of Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts; and physicist Michael Mann, a professor of meteorology at Penn State University.

The letter called for Brown to place a moratorium on fracking, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done.

“Shale gas and tight oil development is likely to worsen climate disruption, which would harm California’s efforts to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” it notes.

Last month, in response to a question from this newspaper, Brown said: “As you know, I signed legislation that will create the most comprehensive environmental analysis of fracking to date. It will take a year, year and a half, maybe a little longer. And I hope that all the people, critics and supporters alike, will participate and offer their best thoughts.”

On Tuesday, the Brown Administration responded to the scientists’ letter in a statement:

“As the scientists note, California has among the strongest set of policies to combat climate change in the nation. These efforts are driven by sound science and so too will the new hydraulic fracturing regulations. … We look forward to continuing to work with the scientific community.”

The oil industry criticized the scientists’ letter.

“The authors of this letter, while clearly very respected in their fields, do not present an accurate or realistic picture of our energy needs and our energy future,” said Tupper Hull, a spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento.

“California is going to need petroleum-based energy for a long time, even as it transitions to a lower carbon future.”

Brown has generally won high marks from environmental groups over his 40-year political career. He signed legislation requiring California utilities to generate 33 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable resources by 2020, for example. Last month, he appeared at an event in San Francisco to announce a pact with the governors of Washington state, Oregon and the premier of British Columbia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But he has come under increasing criticism — and public protests — this fall from opponents of fracking, the practice in which oil and gas companies inject water, sand and chemicals into the ground to fracture underground rock formations and release huge amounts of fossil fuels.

In September, Brown signed SB4, a bill by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, that requires companies that conduct fracking operations in California to notify all nearby property owners, obtain a permit from the state, conduct groundwater testing and disclose the chemicals they are using. The law takes effect in 2015. Opponents say that water pollution and increased air and climate emissions from fracking require a moratorium, particularly in the Monterey Shale, an area that stretches from Bakersfield to Monterey and holds billions of dollars of shale oil that could be recovered from increased fracking.

Paul Rogers covers resources and environmental issues. Contact him at 408-920-5045. Follow him at Twitter.com/PaulRogersSJMN

Coalition of Californians urge Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking – but SA Pro-frackers see only dollar signs

Media Advisory, November 14, 2013

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809, rbraz@biologicaldiversity.org
Peg Mitchell, (760) 224-3252 (onsite cell)

Anti-fracking Activists Confront Gov. Brown at “Elected Official of the Year” Award Event

Coalition Highlights Extreme Oil Production’s Harm to State’s Air, Water, Climate

SAN DIEGO— Sign-carrying activists with San Diego 350, CREDO, the Center for Biological Diversity and Californians Against Fracking will urge Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking at his appearance to receive an “elected official of the year” award in San Diego today. The protest is being organized on the ground by San Diego 350.

Gov. Brown has been dogged by protesters from the 150-member Californians Against Fracking coalition at appearances across the state for his refusal to ban the highly polluting technique, which involves blasting huge volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock formations and release oil and gas.

“Governor Brown needs to realize that water has become a scarce natural resource that must be protected,” said Peg Mitchell of SanDiego350.org. “Fracking consumes huge amounts of fresh water for extracting a product that destroys our climate. Meanwhile our cities are struggling to find new sources of water while our citizens are left with costly energy-intensive alternative solutions for drinking water. This just doesn’t make economic or environmental sense.”

“Gov. Brown needs to realize that climate leaders don’t frack,” said Rose Braz of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The governor’s support for this dangerous form of oil and gas extraction could tarnish the Golden State, not to mention his legacy, forever. Fracking pollution contaminates the air we breathe and the water we drink. It will also blow a huge hole in California’s efforts to fight dangerous climate change.”

What: Protest calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking outside governor’s appearance to receive an award as elected official of the year.
When: Today, Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.
Where:  Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego CA 92122

Despite acknowledging the urgent need to fight climate change, Gov. Brown has refused to halt fracking in California. Fracking is tied to air and water pollution and releases huge volumes of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas.

A study published this year in the Journal of Geophysical Research found that the methane leak rate from Los Angeles-area oil and gas operations was 17 percent, a rate that makes these fuels far worse for the climate than coal. New fracking and acidization technologies are opening up huge new sources of dirty oil in California’s Monterey Shale formation to extraction and combustion, threatening the state’s leadership on climate.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Californians Against Fracking is a coalition of environmental, business, health, agriculture, labor, political, and environmental justice organizations working to win a statewide ban on fracking in California.


Colorado cities’ fracking bans could be canary in a coal mine

Yet SA pro-frackers are like a ‘turkey looking forward to thanksgiving’ in their rush to get gas out of the Karoo

The Colorado vote, happening in a state with a long history of energy development, was a trial of whether the oil and gas industry could overcome passionate opposition to the drilling practice that’s helped create an American energy boom.

Voters in Fort Collins and Boulder banned hydraulic fracturing — fracking — for at least the next five years, while a prohibition on all new oil and gas wells passed in Lafayette. A fracking ban in Broomfield fell just 13 votes short, and a recount is likely. Advocates of banning the drilling process argue it is a threat to air and water.

Natural Resources Defense Council spokeswoman Kate Sinding said she expects local anti-fracking ballot efforts to continue to spread.

“It’s already bubbling up in California,” she said.

California is home to the largely undeveloped Monterey Shale, which is potentially the richest oil shale formation in North America and lies under the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley. Other states with limited fracking experience could also see multiplying wells. New York state is debating whether to start allowing fracking. North Carolina is on course toward dropping its fracking moratorium.

Fracking, in which high-pressure water and chemicals are pumped underground to break shale rock and release the oil and gas trapped inside, has created a drilling boom across the country. Colorado saw its crude oil production spike 64 percent in four years and its natural gas production rise 27 percent.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association spent nearly a million dollars on a campaign against the proposed fracking bans, dwarfing the spending on the anti-fracking side. Tisha Schuller, president of the oil and gas trade association, said such bans are shortsighted and the industry is being wrongly painted as a villain.

“If I thought that something was going to poison my children I would be scared to death, and I’d be at the meeting, too, with a sign,” Schuller said. “In many, many cases they’ve been given misinformation.”

The energy boom is bringing money and jobs to Colorado, and the industry has influential allies. Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and a former Denver mayor, insists that cities don’t have the power to ban fracking. Hickenlooper is suing to overturn the city of Longmont’s fracking ban, which passed with 60 percent voter support a year ago.

“The state government is hellbent on making Colorado an extraction colony,” said Rod Brueske, who lives near Longmont.

Brueske’s farmhouse is surrounded by golden barley and enjoys a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains, with the iconic Pikes Peak visible on a clear day. It would look like a Coors beer commercial if not for the oil and gas wells.

Brueske said members of his family had uncontrollable nosebleeds, migraine headaches and gastrointestinal problems after wells were drilled near his property. He complained of foul-smelling air to state regulators, who discovered a wellhead leak and an emissions control device not big enough to handle vapors.

Activists now plan to seek a statewide fracking ban in Colorado. The local bans so far have centered along the Front Range, which includes the most populous cities in the state and lies east of the Rocky Mountains.

There tends to be more support for drilling on the less populated western slope, where a fracking ban could be a tough sell.

“It’s a different mentality here than in Aspen or Boulder. This is a working community,” said Howard Orona, an assistant manager at the Clark’s Market Store in Battlement Mesa and a member of the county energy advisory board.

Orona said oil and gas workers make their homes in the area and care about keeping it clean.

But accidents happen. Orona lives along Parachute Creek, contaminated earlier this year with benzene and other cheicals following a natural gas pipeline spill. Sonny Lindauer, who also lives along the creek, said oil and gas companies shouldn’t have the right to affect people’s homes by introducing odor and noise.

“I know they need the natural gas. I wouldn’t object if they were honest and did it right,” said Lindauer’s wife, Ruth. “But a lot of it is sloppiness and a lot of it is lying.”

Schuller of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association said the industry is continuing to improve. Schuller said most Colorado towns live in harmony with oil and gas development, and people need energy.

“We need to take away this good guy/bad guy label and instead engage in ‘I need it, we all want it, we’re going to use it, so where are we going to get it and how are we going to do it well,’ ” Schuller said.

New Foundland and Labrador consider federal ban on fracking

Meanwhile SA Pro-frackers find risks posed by fracking ‘small and easily manageable’

Council-of-Canadians's picture

The Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. We work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.

Pressure is growing for federal fracking freeze in wake of Newfoundland moratorium

| NOVEMBER 11, 2013 

Pressure is growing for federal fracking freeze in wake of Newfoundland moratorium

The Council of Canadians is encouraged by the Newfoundland and Labrador government’s decision to look after the health and future of its citizens by placing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province. Last week, Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley said that the government would not be “accepting applications for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing.”

“We are thrilled about Newfoundland’s moratorium and commend the government’s decision. We urge the government to take its time to investigate all the evidence on all aspects of fracking, and be truly consultative by incorporating community and First Nations input into their final decision,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic regional organizer for the Council of Canadians. “Clearly this is something that the New Brunswick government could learn from given the reopening of the legislature yesterday to a huge rally of opponents of fracking for shale gas. The New Brunswick government should follow suit and place a moratorium on fracking in order to conduct similar reviews and hold genuine public consultation.”

Regional opposition has been growing since last fall when communities learned about Shoal Point Energy’s proposal to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to perform onshore-to-offshore fracking for oil exploration in three sites along the West Coast of Newfoundland. The three sites included Sally’s Cove (an enclave in Gros Morne National Park), Lark Harbour (Bay of Islands) and Shoal Point (Port au Port).

Fracking in Gros Morne National Park received international attention when UNESCO raised concerns about how fracking would affect the park, potentially jeopardizing its World Heritage Site status.

“From coast to coast, communities are calling for a stop to fracking. We’re relieved to see that the Newfoundland government is taking a common sense approach by reviewing regulations, conducting impact studies and engaging the public before moving ahead,” says Emma Lui, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “Now that both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have put moratoriums on fracking, and Nova Scotia effectively has a moratorium while undergoing an independent review, it’s time for other provinces and the federal government to do the same.”

The Council of Canadians is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, a non-partisan network of organizations and individuals who have serious concerns about the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing (used in oil & gas exploration and development in Newfoundland and Labrador).

“We often see economic development being pitted against the environment,” adds Lui. “But with tourism generating over $1 billion in revenue for the province, fracking in Gros Morne National Park shows how a threat to water and the environment is also a threat to Newfoundland’s economy.”