Organization slams gas fracking by Trevor Terfloth, November 12, 2012, Chatham Daily News
A national citizens organization has raised concerns about shale gas drilling after a recent provincial government report. The Council of Canadians is also calling for a ban on the practice, known as fracking, citing environmental and public health concerns. Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting pressurized water-based fluid into shale formations to allow natural gas to escape. “I urge the Ontario government to follow Quebec’s lead and ban fracking,” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson in a release. “At the very least, we should place a moratorium on fracking until the Ontario government conducts studies on the impacts of fracking on water sources, the surrounding environment and public health.” The Ontario Geological Survey, a branch of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, released a summary report last week on their field work. According to the release, the Council of Canadians is worried about the potential impacts on air quality and climate change, as well as the need for safe disposal.
Andrea Stass, Union Gas’ community and media relations manager, said the company takes all issues seriously. “Industries, regulators, governments and even non-governmental organizations … are working collaboratively to ensure those risks are understood,” she told The Chatham Daily News on Monday. “We have rules and regulations that reflect the balance between what is really a tremendous economic opportunity and the necessity of protecting our natural environment.” Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls couldn’t be reached for immediate comment on Monday. Stass said new technologies are in place to ensure the safe removal of shale gas, which she noted comprises approximately 25% of the natural gas supply. She said the practice creates more sustainability and affordability for customers. “We know that we have supplies from conventional production areas that are declining,” she said. “Having shale gas is critical to maintaining an abundant supply.”