B.C. defends fracking record by Ada Slivinski, August 26, 2014, QMI Agency Vancouver
B.C.’s Ministry of Natural Gas Development is pointing to the safety record of fracking in the province after federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau endorsed calls for a moratorium on shale gas exploration repeatedly made by New Brunswick’s Liberal Leader Brian Gallant.
“B.C. has never had a reported incident of water contamination resulting from the hydraulic fracturing process,” said a statement from the ministry which identifies the province as a “leader in safe, responsible natural gas development.
B.C. requires all natural gas wells to have steel casing and cementing to a depth of 600 metres. This ensures complete isolation of water from a natural gas well.” [Until the well bores leak, which is frequent (according to industry and regulator research and published papers) and or companies perforate the steel and cement where the water is – intentionally like Encana continues to do at Rosebud or by accident]
Gallant has called for hydraulic fracking to stop until further studies into their safety can be done.
When campaigning with him in Moncton, Trudeau said this is “reasonable” and he is “very much in agreement with Mr. Gallant in terms of fracking and shale gas.”
“I look forward to scientific studies that come out from all across the country and all around the world [Endless scientific studies on the endless frac harms and costs are already published and publicly available. They are easy to find and read, if one cares to find them, which so far, all of the Canadian frac panels and “experts” on those panels are not interested in doing or have been instructed to avoid. The damages are significant for families, businesses and communities near fracing; the economics are so bad, companies need and get massive deregulation to escape all accountability, rely on enormous tax incentives and subsidies, and conning investors to keep fracing. Governments decimate citizen rights everywhere fracing is being forced on communities; regulators boast of owing harmed citizens “no duty of care.”] to get a better picture that’s going to allow us to move forward in a responsible way. We need to develop our natural resources, but we cannot put at risk future generations,” said Trudeau.
When asked, Trudeau said he could not think of an instance of proven contamination as result of fracking. “This is why I’m turning to scientists to understand what those consequences are,” he said. [Mr Trudeau has a lot of reading and thinking to do. Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
July 2014: There are proven cases of frac’ing contamination
Re: “Documented cases of fracking contamination are not proven” June 23
There are proven cases documented and industry admits they don’t know what their frac’s do.
1987 Report to Congress: Kaiser frac’d about 4,000 feet deep “allowing migration of fracture fluid from the gas well to Mr. Parson’s water well. This fracture fluid, along with natural gas was present in Mr. Parson’s water rendering it unusable.”
1989 Industry: “hydraulic fracturing stimulation” for light oil, in several wells in Manitoba propagated into a water zone.
2001, 2004 Groundwater Database entries: Gas wells 02-06-04 perforations at 100.5 metres, 05-14-27-22-W4M intentionally fractured Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers.
2005 – Current: “Oil wells on the Campbell property have caused gas from 1,757 metres to enter their aquifer,” said Muehlenbachs
2005/06 Industry: “….industry still has much to learn about hydraulic fractures. Fractures from both horizontal and vertical wells can propagate vertically out of the intended zone, … potentially connecting up with other hydraulic fracturing stages or unwanted water or gas intervals.”
2006 Regulator: “Information provided by industry to date shows that there may not always be a complete understanding of fracture propagation at shallow depths and that programs are not always subject to rigorous engineering design.”
2008 Industry: “We Can Safely Say That We Know Everything There Is To Know About Hydraulically Created Fractures EXCEPT How Deeply They Penetrate; Their Vertical Extents; Their Symmetries About the Wellbore; Whether They Are Planar or Multi-stranded; Their Geometries At The Perimeter; Which Directions They Go; What Their Conductivities Are”
2010 Regulator: “Fracture propagation via large scale hydraulic fracturing operations has proven difficult to predict. Existing planes of weakness in target formations may result in fracture lengths that exceed initial design expectations.”
2012 Regulator: “High-Risk Enforcement Action against Crew Energy Ltd.” for a frac incident that contaminated groundwater. “The concentrations of chloride…remains elevated. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) concentrations remained unchanged….”
Mr. Meikle’s letter: “Again when oil companies are going to hydraulically stimulate wells, they test all surrounding water wells for water quality and production rate.”
In my experience, companies refuse to do this, don’t test for all chemicals used on the few wells they do test and refuse complete chemical disclosure before drilling, preventing appropriate testing. And after a community’s water is contaminated and water tower explodes, Alberta regulators argue in court they owe ‘no duty of care’ to anyone harmed by industry’s contamination.
Mr. Meikle’s letter: “All chemicals used in fracking have to be reported to the AER.”
Not according to the regulator’s General Counsel: “the ERCB does not currently require licensees to provide detailed disclosure of the chemical composition of fracturing fluids.”
I asked what chemicals were injected in my community’s aquifers. Encana and the regulators refuse to cooperate.
Let’s hope more proof doesn’t involve Mr. Meikle’s water or loved ones. Fighting for accountability, justice and safe water, is an expensive, full-time job.