NL: Memorial University to host public forum on fracking by The Western Star, TC Media, January 28, 2014
The forum will focus on how fracking works and its effects, the risks and mitigating factors that might make it safer for humans and the environment.
[CORNER BROOK, NL] – People in the Corner Brook area will have the chance to learn “The Facts About Fracking: An Engineering Perspective” Thursday evening. Memorial University is presenting the forum, which will also be webcast live, at the Greenwood Inn starting at 7 p.m. It is a presentation from the Harris Centre in conjunction with the Environmental Policy Institute of Grenfell.
Maurice Dusseault, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Waterloo, and Leslie Anne James, Chevron chair in Petroleum Engineering at Memorial’s faculty of engineering and applied science, are leading the session. … The forum will focus on how fracking works and its effects, the risks and mitigating factors that might make it safer for humans and the environment. Also to be discussed is the role of government. There will be a question period. For more information, or to watch the webcast live, visit www.mun.ca/harriscentre. [Emphasis added]
Professors to talk fracking “facts” by TCMedia, January 28, 2014, The Western Star
People in the Corner Brook area will have the chance to learn “The Facts About Fracking: An Engineering Perspective” Thursday evening.
The Facts About Fracking: An Engineering Perspective “Memorial Presents” Public Forum January 30, 2014, 7:00pm NST
Greenwood Inn, Corner Brook, NL
Newly-discovered shale oil and shale gas deposits are lessening the developed world’s dependence on petroleum from volatile geopolitical regions. [Ethical fracking?]
The technology of releasing oil and gas from shale deposits is known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. While the economic benefits of fracking are well known, there exists much controversy over its social and environmental costs. Fracking has been blamed for poisoning the groundwater, polluting the surface water and the air around wells, siphoning scarce drinking water during the drilling process, and even causing earthquakes.
What are the facts about fracking? How does it work and what are the impacts on the earth’s crust and on groundwater? What are the risks to surface water and the ambient air? Are the risks different between shale oil and shale gas? Are there mitigating factors that might make fracking safer for humans and the environment? What is the role of government in regulating fracking?
These questions and more will be addressed at a public forum featuring expert guest speakers.
Dr. Maurice Dusseault, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Waterloo. Maurice started teaching in Alberta in 1977 and came to Waterloo in 1982 as Professor of Geological Engineering, teaching rock mechanics, fossil fuel production methods, and related areas. He carries out research in geomechanics, oil production, and deep waste disposal. Current interests include sequestration, hydraulic fracturing, leaky wellbores, and THMC coupling issues. He publishes widely (500 full text articles) and works with industry as a professional instructor. Maurice serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the New Brunswick Energy Institute, as science advisor to the Government of Alberta, and on the Shale Gas Environmental Impacts Panel of the Council of Canadian Academies [Refer below]
Dr. Lesley Anne James, Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering at Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. James has completed a bachelor of applied science in chemical engineering and a diploma in technology management and entrepreneurship (1997) from the University of New Brunswick and a master’s (2003) and PhD (2009) in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Between degrees, Dr. James worked as a management consultant with Accenture for more than four years with work assignments in Canada, the United States and Europe. Dr. James’s research interests focus on sustainable oil production by increasing oil recovery rates through enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Currently, her focus is on maximizing recovery from offshore Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas fields through understanding the fluid-fluid and rock-fluid interactions and particularly examining miscible/near-miscible fluid injection and optimal EOR strategies for offshore production. [Emphasis added]
Fracking through the back door? by Michael Hackett, Port au Port East, Newfoundland, October 08, 2013, The Telegram
This letter is regarding a recent media release by Tom Hedderson, Environment minister for N.L., stating that Investcan has submitted an environment preview report (EPR) for Flat Bay to drill oil wells and build an access road to the site. Hedderson will approve the acceptability of the EPR in a decision to be made by Oct. 12, 2013. In a brochure given to attendees at meetings in Flat Bay and Jeffrey’s this past spring, Investcan states that these wells will not be fracked, per se, but Investcan will be using liquids to break up limestone. What are these “liquids” to be used at 3000 PSI or even higher?
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines the word per se as “by or in itself” or “intrinsically.” Intrinsic means belonging naturally, inherent, essential.
Does this mean that fracking will occur, per se? A rose by another name is still a rose.
Per se is a Trojan horse.
Quoting from Investcan’s brochure, the objective of Thoulet #1 and #2 wells is to explore, evaluate and test the oil prone region of the BSG sub basin. These wells are classified as rank wildcat. I stated at that meeting that my definition is “odorous skunk.” It was further stated in the brochure that in case of success, offset step-out or kickoff wells may also be considered for drilling. To us residents, this sounds like fracking again — and per se is really fracking by another name — Trojan horses.
Investcan is preparing its own environmental assessment on freshwater, groundwater, fish habitant and species, migrant birds, resident breeding. They will utilize a qualified contractor to implement a groundwater monitoring program. Here is an example of the fox investigating the henhouse.
Investcan is a St. John’s-based company and is a wholly owned subsidiary of SCDM Energie, a privately held company headquartered in Paris, France. As an operator, Investcan is currently exploring onshore wells in western N.L. and offshore in Hopedale basin, Labrador shelf, and in Quebec (Quebec Energie). Yet, France has banned fracking.
France’s president said it won’t happen on his watch, but it seems to be OK in N.L. and Quebec. Quebec has a moratorium in place with regard to hydraulic fracturing after 19 out of 31 wells drilled in Quebec have been found to be leaking through cement casings on wells — 6.2 per cent of well casings fail initially, 60 per cent fail over 20 years and all fail over time.
During the power presentation at the beginning of the meetings with Investcan this past spring, some of the names of investors flashed across the screen. One really stuck out in my mind: Nalcor, our power Crown corporation. Of course, this is using our tax dollars and we need to ask: is this a conflict of interest? [Emphasis added]
West coast anti-fracking group renews call for province-wide ban by Justin Brake, January 24, 2014
Events in Stephenville, St. John’s and Moncton, N.B. this weekend renew call for permanent ban on fracking and shift of focus to clean, renewable energy.
Residents on Newfoundland’s west coast breathed a sigh of relief last November when Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley announced a province-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing pending further review. But with no indication the government will seek an independent review, those concerned about the controversial practice creeping into Newfoundland and Labrador are not holding their breath. Some groups, including members the First United Church in Stephenville, are calling for an outright ban, and they will reassert that message this Saturday when they hold a second “People’s Frackdown” town hall event featuring presentations about the dangers of fracking. Dalley has said in the legislature the government will conduct an internal review on fracking and hold public consultations before making any decisions, but First United member and Kippens-based folk musician Joe Wiseman says Newfoundlanders and Labradorians need only look to other communities’ experiences to see fracking poses too much of a risk to the environment and human health to let it into the province. “Anybody that does any amount of research whatsoever – and it doesn’t take very long – you find example after example of horror story after horror story,” he says.
Wiseman says if their efforts don’t lead to a permanent ban on fracking they are confident an independent scientific review “would show that hydraulic fracturing in this area (is not safe).”
Small gatherings of concerned west coast residents quickly grew into a grassroots anti-fracking movement that spurred more and bigger events in several communities from Gros Morne and Corner Brook down to the Port au Port Peninsula and Bay St. George.
“Newfoundland started to fight (fracking) earlier than we did, so that’s fantastic,” she added, saying she hopes efforts to keep fracking out of Newfoundland and Labrador will be successful so tensions don’t escalate to the extent they did in New Brunswick.
Mounting opposition to fracking on the Island and growing concerns over the consequences of the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador, coupled with the recent Island-wide power blackouts earlier this month, are prompting some to start exploring other ways to address the province’s energy insecurity problems.
In another show of solidarity for the west coast anti-fracking movement, a group of St. John’s residents are hosting a “DIY (do-it-yourself) Energy Fair” at Sobeys on Merrymeeting Road in order to collectively “think about alternate sources of energy,” says event organizer Deanna Rouzes, originally from Cape St. George. The information session will feature a few demonstrations of how to build small-scale renewable energy mechanisms to light and heat your home, and to discuss “why we as a province don’t talk about them more, and why we aren’t doing what other countries are doing,” says Rouzes. … “And therefore we wouldn’t need to pursue energy that is polluting groundwater and ruining the land and making people unhealthy.”
Sierra Club of Canada Conservation Chair Fred Winsor will speak at the St. John’s event Saturday afternoon. He says by neglecting to implement feed-in tariff legislation, the province is missing out on an opportunity to become energy self-sufficient in a way that is less damaging to the environment and human health than its current course of developing the fossil fuel industry and large scale hydro. “If we were moving towards a feed-in tariff system where lots of people could, if they meet the basic requirements, produce electricity in their own house and then sell the excess to Nalcor – that would really change the whole situation because you’d have a substantial number of people who would be generating their own electricity with the knowledge that they could sell the excess,” he says. “So all of a sudden it would become profitable for people to get into that, the production of electricity.” [Emphasis added]
People not convinced by argument for fracking: NDP by Frank Gale, January 28, 2014, The Pilot
Jonathan Stewart liked the message MHA George Murphy brought to an anti-fracking event in Stephenville. He especially liked the fact that the NDP environment and conservation critic talked about how Lone Pine Resources Inc., a U.S. fracking company registered in Delaware, which wanted to frack for gas under the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, has threatened to sue Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of Quebec’s moratorium on fracking. He said the company is saying this moratorium is violating the oil company’s right to frack and it’s demanding $250 million in compensation. In October of 2013, groups such as the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club, For Love of Water (FLOW), Eau Secours!, and AmiEs de la Terre were gathering signatures for a letter to Lone Pine urging the company to drop plans to sue Canada. It was at that time the groups discovered that Lone Pine had quietly filed a request for arbitration indicating the company was moving forward with the NAFTA lawsuit.
Mr. Murphy said Saturday the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada would grant energy companies far-reaching rights to challenge bans and regulations of shale gas development, such as fracking. “I think Mr. Murphy is showing great concern about hydraulic fracturing and I’m glad he brought to everyone’s attention these facts about NAFTA and CETA and how, through them, the rights of the corporation are protected rather than the rights of the people who live here,” said Kathy Marche, a resident of Kippens and a member of the Port au Port/Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group.
Mr. Stewart, one of nearly 70 who attended the event, entitled People’s Frackdown 2, said it was nice to see Mr. Murphy explain the issues with NAFTA and CETA because he strongly opposes this proposed hydraulic fracturing process. Mr. Stewart said people in the area should be careful of who they vote for during the next provincial election to deal with this fracking issue. “We need someone who is going to be trustworthy and have our best interest at heart,” he said. “We need less secrecy from our elected officials and a matter as serious as fracking should be able to be voted on by the people.” Mr. Stewart said, as a worker in Alberta who gets out to oil sites, he doesn’t trust a thing that oil companies say. “For them it’s anything for profit with little care about the environment.”
Mr. Murphy, the NDP MHA for St. John’s East, has been active in the political fight that resulted in the province implementing a moratorium on fracking in November. He said his role is to give people a voice in the House of Assembly and make sure they can put a face to the issue. In early November of 2013 Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley declared a moratorium on fracking in the province. He announced government will not approve fracking onshore and onshore-to-offshore hydraulic fracturing pending further review and government would be doing public consultation before it develops any policy for fracking.
Mr. Murphy said even though the moratorium is on, there is a lot of distraction with the Tory leadership, so the NDP hopes to make sure the issue stays at the forefront. “We want to make sure that if government is going to have that review, that it’s going to be an independent review so government can keep their hands off it,” Mr. Murphy said. “Also, to make sure it’s totally scientific,” he added. … “If it’s going to be an unsafe process here, particularly when it comes from a worker’s point of view, along with health and the protection of water, then it can’t be allowed to happen,” he said. Mr. Murphy said if people in the province begin hearing of the quality of water being compromised, it’s certainly a good basis to not do fracking at all. “There are a number of views here, but the biggest view is that (the government) has not convinced us yet of a valid argument for fracking,” he said. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
Gros Morne fracking proponent loses exploration licence, Newfoundland and Labrador Petroleum Regulator Rejects Application by Shoal Point Energy Ltd. to Extend EL 1097R Licence to frac near Gros Morne UNESCO World Heritage Site
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
Paul Precht, Alberta energy economist speaks contrary to the data; Questerre Energy tries to reverse public opinion on hydraulic fracturing in Quebec, CEO Michael Binnion’s work may have only just begun
Let’s make sure ‘frackademia’ has no place in Ireland, We tend to assume that science equals ‘truth’ – but when fracking is the issue this isn’t always the case
Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources A California Perspective:
The most memorable moment was when Dr. John Cherry [Chair of the Shale Gas Environmental Impacts Panel of the Council of Canadian Academies], the renowned hydrogeologist from the University of Guelph, characterized the activities in the U.S. as a grand experiment with no proper scientific research on the effects of hydrofracturing on the environment. He challenged the funding mechanisms for such research in the U.S. because of the ties between universities and industry (or other parties), and indicated that the U.S. would be better off with a funding system similar to that in Canada, where the funding is not similarly tied and thus scientific research can proceed relatively unencumbered. [Emphasis added]
Below, example of some oil and gas industry donations to universities and colleges in one province: