Mungall’s all in on fracking review, but not moratorium by Vaughn Palmer, November 22, 2017, Vancouver Sun
VICTORIA — During a break from answering questions in the legislature about Site C this week, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall faced down a call for a full blown public inquiry and possible moratorium on fracking in the natural gas sector.
The call for the inquiry came from a coalition of environmental, community and First Nations organizations, concerned about the impact of fracking on water quality, public health and safety. In the past, there have been calls for a moratorium on the practice as well.
Mungall reiterated the NDP’s intention, set out in the party election platform, to conduct a more modest scientific review of the process of hydraulic fracturing, whereby the natural gas resource is extracted from shale rock via injections of water.
But she ruled out a moratorium on the practice in no uncertain terms, saying it would mean a complete shutdown of the natural gas sector [Embellish much Ms. Frac Harm Enabler Minister?] and could lead to the defeat of the NDP in the next election.
The full exchange unfolded during debate Monday afternoon on the budget for Mungall’s ministry. It started with B.C. Liberal MLA Mike Bernier asking about allegations of well water contamination through fracking.
“Over (all) the years, then, that we’ve been doing hydraulic fracturing in B.C., with the thousands and thousands of wells that have been drilled, can the minister tell me how many times there’s been a water aquifer contaminated by hydraulic fracturing?”
“A very short answer to the member’s question is zero, and we want to keep it that way,” replied Mungall. [Wow! In power a short few months, and the lies and bullshit flies, thicker and more corrupt than even Alberta’s NDP]
“Do we want to keep it at zero? Absolutely,” returned Bernier. “But the whole point is making sure that we get that message out there. People out there are saying that hydraulic fracturing is bad, that it’s contaminating water, when actually, because of our strict regulations that we’ve had, it has never happened. I’m glad the minister acknowledged this.”
Nevertheless Mungall will proceed with the scientific review panel promised in the platform. [As expected, and as crooked as Dr John Cherry and his fraudulent Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Frac Panel (that lied in their final report) and the lying AB and BC NDP, Ben Parfitt, Council of Canadians, Caleb Behn and their groups are playing AER and CAPP’s Synergy Alberta game perfectly. A vile betrayal by self serving NGO’s of the public interest and Canadians harmed by frac’ing]
“Now, I know that there is a lot of conversation, especially on the internet, about hydraulic fracturing,” she quickly added. “We want to weed out some of the misinformation [That tell us everything we need to know about Parfitt and Synergy Alberta’s “review” for the BC NDP] that might be out there and we want to get down to the brass tacks, to the facts of what’s going on.” [Facts? Like her Big Lie above – identical to BC Liberal Rich Coleman’s – that frac’ing has never contaminated groundwater?]
End Frac Groundwater Contamination Reality Check]
On that basis, she believes the industry would welcome the review.
[Precisely! That’s why they call it Synergy! Call for a phony review and regulations to give industry the social licence it’s lacking. Companies get what they want – more and more deregulation – every time. The harmed, water, environment, infrastructure, taxpayer funds, lose – every time. Thanks to Ben Parfitt, Caleb Behn, Council of Canadians, and the Centre Policy Alternatives, etc]
“They see this as a learning opportunity on how they can improve their operations to ensure that we have good water quantity.” [She doesn’t give a damn about drinking water quality? Nope, just quantity, to make sure the frac’ers can keep frac’ing til it’s all too corrosive to use or inaccessible to humans]
The panel would also be looking at ways to reduce “induced seismicity,” meaning the earthquakes associated with fracking.
“I’ve got to hand it to the industry,” the minister continued. “I spoke with, met with — oh, goodness — about seven or nine different companies who are currently active in the Montney region in northeast B.C. Every single one of them recycles their water that they use for hydraulic fracturing. [Another lie!]
“They recycle 90 per cent of it, and they’re using it hundreds and hundreds of times, right? So they’re already doing a lot of work to reduce their impact on the water table.” [The biggest liar about frac’ing in Canadian politics yet?]
Still she believes there is room for improvement.
“We’re just putting the panel (together) now. We’re talking to potential panel members about their availability, and we anticipate to get the panel started in early 2018. Our hope is that we would have their work completed by late fall, maybe early winter, in the same calendar year.”
As to possible outcomes, that brought a pointed question from B.C. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, himself a strong defender of the development of an industry based on the export of natural gas in liquefied form.
“What I want to know,” he challenged, “is will a moratorium on fracking be a valid option when it comes to the end of your scientific review?”
“A moratorium?” returned Mungall. “Let’s think about what the consequences for that would be.”
For starters, “hydraulic fracturing has been going on in British Columbia since 1950. Today, very, very close to 100 per cent of all natural gas is derived from what’s called unconventional wells — which is hydraulic fracturing.”
Thus a moratorium would mean shutting down the entire industry. Plus there would be the impact on natural gas consumers here in B.C.
“My home is heated by natural gas,” said Mungall. “I would be surprised if the home of the member opposite wasn’t heated by natural gas. Most of our homes are heated by natural gas in B.C.
“That natural gas comes from the northeast, for the most part, and it is pulled up from the ground using hydraulic fracturing,” she continued, addressing critics of fracking outside the house as much as the MLAs within.
“The idea that suddenly in B.C. we would turn off the switch to the way in which we heat our homes …. Who would do that, right? Who would do that?”
Then, answering her own question: “No government that wants to get re-elected [Sickening selfish greed] would ever do that.
“No government that believes in being responsible and being representative of the public would do that,” she emphasized, continuing her journey from activist and opposition critic to cabinet minister fully seized by the reality of governing.
So, to recap what the NDP energy minister assured the legislature this week, the scientific review of fracking is being undertaken “so that we can learn best [VOLUNTARY] practices [THAT INDUSTRY ALWAYS IGNORES, SITTING ON BOOK SHELVES, COLLECTING DUST IN HUGE BINDERS THAT NO ONE OPENS], so that we’re protecting the environment.”
But a moratorium? Not on this government’s watch. [Predetermined outcome before the Council of Canadians/Parfitt/NDP’s Synergy Frac Panel has even been selected?
What if the pollution to air and water, and the health impacts to humans and wildlife are too severe? The economics too dire? What if the panel concludes that the only way to protect the public interest is a ban, like the Republic of Ireland’s and Prince Edward Island’s experts determined? Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2017 11 07: Synergy Alberta Strikes BC! 17 groups, including BC Tap Water Alliance, join call for frac regulations! Calling for regulations gives industry social licence to frac. Has Synergy finally conquered Will Koop?
2017 11 01: “Frack Well Bashing” is going to get expensive! Frack Hit Demolition Derby Down Below: Drill, inject, bump ‘n crack, hit ‘n smash, bash ‘n dash, while Encana lies ‘n says, “We don’t frac. We stimulate.” 2 wells, 1 patch of dirt. Who gets the oil? The biggest bully. “Fracks hitting wells several miles away.”
2017 09 22: As expected, Alberta Oil & Gas Industry Corruption & Synergy Enacts its Evil into Quebec: Couillard Govt quietly releases 4 bills, Enables drilling & fracking in water ways and lakes, within 150 m of homes, 60 m of parks
2017 08 08: Alberta issues 40 water shortage advisories while continuing to let frackers inject hundreds of millions of gallons fresh water losing much of it from hydrogeological cycle forever. Worse, Notley Govt is subsidizing frac industry’s water abuses while making frac contaminated families live without safe water
2017 06 29: Gaspé, Québec: Plusieurs puits abandonnées fuient encore; Several abandoned energy wells still leaking; Natural Resources Ministry handing out permits for more drilling instead of fixing the life threatening problems
2017 04 12: After decades of lies to landowners and the public by CAPP, industry & energy regulators, University of Guelph Study Proves Potentially Explosive Methane Leaks from Energy Wells Affects Groundwater, Travels Great Distances, Poses Safety Risks. Will the lies stop now? Not Likely. Will groundwater monitoring begin now? Not Likely.
2016 12 19: Excellent Article by Andrew Nikiforuk on Yet Another Study and the EPA’s Final Frac Report, Both Highlighting Fracking’s Harms to Groundwater. The Big Lie by industry, regulators, politicians unravels
2016 12 13: US EPA Releases Final Frac Report: Rosebud Alberta drinking water aquifers frac’d, water wells contaminated with gas. EPA’s late edits to 2015 draft frac report downplayed the risks, contradicted the evidence, called “bizarre” & “irresponsible.” Like Alberta regulator official, Steve Wallace, secretly editing “independent” drinking water contamination reports to protect illegal aquifer frac’er Encana?
2016 11 29: After years of delays & after reporting 1.5 years ago that industry (Encana) frac’d drinking water aquifers in Pavillion Wyoming & Rosebud Alberta & contaminated water wells with natural gas, etc, & reporting numerous other water supplies contaminated by frac’ing, US EPA’s Final Frac Report expected “soon.”
… During the 2011 Atgas blowout investigation in Bradford County, Chesapeake Energy was allowed to dismiss their own pre-drill water test results to avoid liability for contaminating a water supply. This simple act by DEP ended up changing the background water quality data for the area, creating an artificial history of drinking water quality that could be used to dismiss other complaint cases.
In the recent report published at Public Herald, we uncovered a total of nine ways that officials at the DEP kept drinking water contamination across Pennsylvania, like the Atgas blowout case, “off the books.”
In Delmar Township, Tioga County, we found a single inspector cooked nine of 27 cases, a likely 33% increase in the total number of polluted water supplies. Some of these cases were cooked when the inspector ignored clean pre-drill test results to rule that oil and gas operations were not responsible for water damage.
Or, the inspector would use a contaminated post-drill test provided by industry as if it was a pre-drill test.
2015 06 04: The Most Over-the-Top-Biased Frac Panel Yet? QUÉBEC Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources sold itself to the Devil. Check out this list! Check it twice! [It appears the BC NDP’s will beat out even Quebec’s corrupt, oil patch controlled frac review panel!]
2015 02 19: British Columbia’s Ministry Health withholding data, report of scientific research on how oil and gas operations are affecting human health in northeast communities; Refusing to release even under FOIP: “could be harmful to the financial interest of a public body”
2014 09 13: Heavily frac’d Hudson’s Hope, BC, issues water advisory: “A resident…observed a substance surfacing into the Brenot Creek.” Do not “use the water from Lynx Creek and Brenot Creek” for drinking water, livestock watering, irrigation … “At this time we cannot comment on the water quality of water wells that are within the proximity of the contaminated site.”
Yet CAPP’s Alex Ferguson says many worries about water quality are based on past operations involving coal-bed methane — shallow deposits in closer proximity to groundwater. These did occasionally contaminate water resources, he says. In some of the more infamous instances, affected landowners could light their well water on fire.
How many water wells at Hudson’s Hope, BC, were contaminated by Quicksilver’s (MGV’s) frac’ing (industry depth ethane with methane has been bubbling up in Hudsons Hope)? How many contaminated by Encana in BC, Saskatchewan and Alberta? Is Ferguson admitting that Campbells, Zimmermans, Lauridsens, Signers and Ernst’s water wells were all contaminated by frac’ing?
Will he be on the BC NDP’s frac review panel?
Alex Ferguson was appointed Commissioner and CEO of the BC Regulator, the Oil and Gas Commission from 2007-2011!
2014 02 05: The Big Lie Continues, former US Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar says: “We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone”
2013 11 18: Talisman frackwater pit in NE BC leaked for months and contaminated groundwater, kept from public; Are Talisman, the energy regulator and BC government lying when they claim groundwater never contaminated by fracking in BC?
2012 12 27: Hydraulic fracturing with gelled propane by Gasfrac/Crew Energy Inc./Caltex Energy Inc. contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB Investigative Report and groundwater monitoring by Alberta Environment Proven contaminated by AER and Alberta Environment!
New shale gas wells leaking, contaminating groundwater and air in Quebec. Leaks ordered repaired by the regulator. Companies tried and failed, were not able to stop the leaks on even one gas well. Slide from Ernst presentations
2004: Encana intentionally injected 18 million litres frac fluid directly into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, contaminating them and forcing methane and ethane to release into the water.
Data below from what Encana filed and admitted (that the company intentionally perforated drinking water aquifers that would be later fractured) at Alberta’s Groundwater Centre (shared database with Alberta’s water regulator, Alberta Environment):
Encana’s hydrogeological report admitting the law violations and problems created by frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, sent to the regulators. Did the “regulators” or Encana notify the families using the contaminated water? No.
Encana’s data on file with AER for the 5-14-27-22-W4M gas well intentionally fractured directly into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, and illegally diverted fresh water without a permit required under Alberta’s Water Act. Of course, the regulators and Encana kept this secret from the community, not even warning the pregnant women and children not to bathe in the water, or breath the fumes venting from household water taps.
Encana tried to fix the problem they created, and failed miserably, making the life threatening drinking water pollution much worse ]