Because many are arguing that the UK frac ban is not a ban, only a moratorium, I added the definition of “ban” and snap below from Cambridge Dictionary:
“to say officially that something is not allowed, or that someone is not allowed to do something”
And both have ramifications for the governments of British Columbia and Alberta, which actively subsidize the uneconomic industry with tax breaks, royalty credits, free water and taxpayer-funded seismic research and monitoring.
The first typhoon is the industry’s failing business model.
The fracking of shale formations in Canada and the United States has largely generated more negative cash flows than revenue, due to high capital, water and energy costs combined with rapid depletion rates and low commodity prices.
Canadian firms such as Ranch Energy Corp. and Trident Exploration, which based their business models on fracking, recently went bankrupt, leaving massive liabilities for the public to clean up.
The highly indebted Encana Corp., a champion of the so-called “shale gale,” banked its future on fracking and lost.
In recent years it was forced to sell off many of its holdings, lost 90 per cent of its share value and let go of thousands of employees. Just this month it changed its name and left Alberta for the oil-rich Permian Basin in Texas where companies are also losing money and going bankrupt.
Investors have become so skeptical about the industry’s ability to generate profits that they’re either openly shunning the sector or refusing to loan it money.
In recent months, the business press, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Financial Times have highlighted the sector’s uneconomic performance in markets already clobbered by low prices.
According to one Wall Street Journal analysis, 40 of the largest independent oil and gas producers collectively spent $200 billion more than they earned in revenue from fracking over the last decade.
At a petrochemicals conference in Pittsburgh last spring, the former executive of EQT, the largest methane extractor and fracker in the U.S., admitted the high-cost technology had boosted production, increased costs and slaughtered gas prices.
“The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” said Steve Schlotterbeck.
“In fact, I’m not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.”
But this financial gale has been accompanied by a second major storm, or what is really a massive geological liability with no definite solution.
The injection of fluids a mile or two into the ground to fracture open shale-rock formations containing methane or oil can trigger unpredictable earthquakes.
Due to their shallowness, these man-made quakes can cause more severe ground motions than natural tremors.
These tremors, in turn, can damage homes and other critical infrastructure including roads, dams and gas storage operations.
Industry-triggered shaking has already lowered property values by as much as nine per cent from the more severe shakes in Oklahoma.
Jurisdictions that have allowed intense fracking or wastewater injection (both inject fluids into the ground) have now recorded thousands of seismic events (along with a posse of earthquake studies) in British Columbia, Alberta, Ohio, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, China and England.
The British government tellingly announced its historic fracking ban after the U.K. Oil and Gas Authority concluded last week that it wasn’t possible to predict the timing or severity of tremors caused by the industry.
(An independent report for B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission on a magnitude 4.5 tremor caused by fracking made a similar admission, as The Tyee reported last month.)
But the U.K. regulator went much further and warned in its summary report that fracking can cause uncontrollable tremors in frequency and magnitude, and “the possibility of larger events could not be excluded and these could cause damage and disturbance unacceptable [to British guidelines]” for the industry.
Moreover, it found, “The methods for predicting event maximum and magnitude need further testing and cannot be viewed as reliable.”
In other words, the British regulator can’t guarantee public safety in regions made seismically active by the industry.
Hence the ban on the technology by a Conservative government that previously championed and subsidized the industry with a decade-old promise that it would provide jobs and improve energy security.
To date, fracking has done neither. But Conservative advocacy for the disruptive technology has turned thousands of conservative rural British voters into anti-fracking activists.
The U.K. regulator based its headline-making conclusions on four separate reports that it requested after just one company, Caudrilla Resources, set off a swarm of earthquakes in 2018 at Preston New Road in the Bowland Shale in northern England.
Over a two-month period, the fracking operation authored a total of 57 seismic events.
Six tremors exceeded the maximum “red light” threshold of magnitude 0.5 in the U.K., a system that suspends activity in an effort to prevent larger quakes. (The thresholds in Canada are a much more liberal magnitude three or four.)
As a result of the earthquake swarm, the regulator ordered an investigation in February.
Since then, Caudrilla submitted another fracking plan to authorities, and this time it generated a magnitude 2.9 quake that was widely felt by rural homeowners last August.
That tremor forced the suspension of activity at the well site, and Caudrilla has now abandoned the operation.
In any case the U.K. authority tabled the results of its investigation nine months later.
(In contrast, neither B.C. nor Alberta regulators have tabled reports on two respective magnitude 4.5 and 4.2 tremors that shook hundreds of residents last November and March near Fort St. John, B.C. and Red Deer, Alta.)
The four critical U.K. studies offer a number of conclusions and observations that Canadian politicians, regulators, researchers and landowners need to seriously ponder.
One of the more salient findings is this: “It is thus clear that induced seismicity can give rise to significant events in the range of [magnitude 4.0 to 6.0], indicating that, at least in the case of shale gas and Enhanced Geothermal System activities, more energy can be released than has been introduced by the injected fluids.”
A technical study examining the cause of the quakes at Preston New Road highlighted that fracking provoked chaotic and unpredictable seismic responses in the ground just as The Tyee has consistently reported for years.
“For starters many events occur at large distances from the well for stages with only small injection volumes and that events occur near-instantaneously across a range of distances,” said the report.
Another study that looked at the impact of industry-triggered seismicity on people and buildings, something neither B.C. nor Alberta regulators have publicly done.
It confirmed that the hazards were daunting.
A magnitude 3.5 earthquake would mean “perhaps one per cent of all buildings in the study area would sustain cracked plasterwork, and 0.2 per cent would sustain slight structural damage or moderate non-structural damage, with 0.1 per cent of buildings possibly sustaining chimney failure.”
A magnitude 4.5, which both B.C. and Alberta have experienced in rural areas, would result in “widespread building damage in the study area, with cracked plasterwork affecting approximately 10 per cent of buildings, more serious structural damage (of varying degrees) affecting 5.4 per cent of buildings, and 5.4 per cent also likely to suffer chimney failure. Some damage would be caused to buildings outside of the study area.”
The hazard risk report added that “Experience from Preston New Road shows that there is very limited tolerance to seismic events that are felt, and that even very few events are likely to be considered a public nuisance.”
A third study found that industry forecasting abilities were largely deficient.
It reported that four models were tested “against the observed seismicity using the injection volume and seismicity for each fracturing stage separately, [but] they were not very successful in forecasting maximum magnitude.”
In addition, “the forecasts lose their sensitivity to the cumulative injection volume.”
A fourth report looked at the situation in Canada and other jurisdictions and once again pointed out the failings of “traffic light systems,” or the idea that industry can prevent big quakes by shutting down operations when they make smaller quakes.
However, the U.K. regulator noted Canada’s traffic light systems weren’t very restrictive. The traffic light thresholds in Canada “have typically been set quite high even at the ‘amber’ level with ‘red’ thresholds close to the maximum size of event subsequently observed.”
In B.C. for example, the oil and gas industry has to report magnitude 1.5 quakes around Fort St. John and the Site C dam, but doesn’t have to shut down operations until it has triggered a magnitude 3.0 tremor.
In addition, “mitigation protocols do not appear to take into account the real-time development of the frequency or location of potential precursors to larger events.”
In jurisdictions where industry has set off magnitude 4.0 quakes such as China and Canada, “either no [traffic light system] was in place, the system was not followed or the thresholds were so large as to be ineffective.”
Last but not least, it was noted that the U.K. had the most restrictive traffic light system in the world. Operators must shut down once they have caused a magnitude 0.5 quake to minimize the probability of greater quakes.
Unlike other jurisdictions, U.K. authorities have collected more scientific information on industry quakes, including event data, pumping data, a summary of produced water, screen shots of the hydraulic fracturing operations, and a seismic event video. (Corporate confidentiality has prevented such data sharing in Canada.)
Yet even with more scientific data and tighter rules, U.K. authorities admit they have not been able to prevent tremors that posed a hazard to the public.
Both the seismic science and shaky economics probably helped to convince the Conservative government to temporarily ban fracking. (If the science changes, Tory ministers have said they might change their minds.)
But politics and an upcoming election played a major role too. Rural Conservative MPs, many who openly characterize fracking as “downright bonkers,” have warned about its political liabilities for years.
These liabilities include the industrialization of farmlands, damaged roads, depleted aquifers, methane leaks, eroded house prices, a wounded tourism industry and alienated voters.
A decade ago government fracking advocates also claimed that fracking would provide the U.K. with methane for 50 years. Those claims proved bogus.
It is now calculated that the industry can produce fewer than 10 years of methane demand, along with pricey earthquakes, rural industrialization and widespread property damage.
In a recent Guardian interview, Jon Gluyas, director of the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University, noted that the disruptive industry has wasted time and taxpayer resources.
“The government ban on fracking is a neat way of ignoring the now inescapable truth that the projected shale gas potential for the U.K. is tiny at best,” said Gluyas. “We have, though, as a nation wasted a decade hoping for more gas to heat our homes rather than installing ultra-low carbon geothermal heating like that used in much of Europe.”
But with its historic fracking ban, the U.K. government has now admitted that fracking can be as disruptive to the geology and politics of a nation as the divisive technology of Facebook has been to Britain’s social media.
A spectacular comment by annie_fiftyseven in response to regulator “Ryan”
If fracking is so unprofitable, why does the government need to step in and shut it down? Why not let the market forces eliminate fracking? Unless it actually is profitable and delivers safe, secure, reliable energy to meet our demands.
annie_fiftyseven to Ryan
Spoken like someone who didn’t bother to read the article, or couldn’t comprehend it. Good job.
Ryan to annie_fiftyseven
I studied the mitigation of induced seismicity during my Master’s and now work for one of the provincial regulators, but yes, definitely couldn’t comprehend this article *rolls eyes*
What all the privileged commenters here dont realize is that by being a new exporter of energy resources we are providing the developing world with safe, affordable energy so that they can improve their quality of life. We could definitely build enough renewables to sustain Canada, but that doesnt do anything for the rest of the world.
No amount of arguing on the internet will change the fact that Canada has the highest environmental and social standards for energy development. If we dont produce it, somewhere else with lower standards will. Get off your high horses.
annie_fiftyseven to Ryan
“I studied the mitigation of induced seismicity during my Master’s and now work for one of the provincial regulators”
Thanks “Ryan,” so you’re like the “Madonna” of Man-made Earthquake Whisperers. Perfect.
A few months ago we received our home policy renewal containing “important changes,” one of them being this:
“The earthquake exclusion has been updated to exclude both natural and man-made earthquakes and earth movement.”
“Man-made” was the new addition to the exclusion, so would you mind contacting the insurance industry and assuring them there’s no need to mention “man-made earthquakes and earth movement,” since we have industry-funded Man-made Earthquake Whisperers “mitigating” such things. Might be a good idea to also mention there’s no need for them to promote man-made earthquake insurance after a big damaging industry man-made frac-quake, since again, we have industry-funded Man-Made Earthquake Whisperers to “mitigate” such things.
March 18, 2019 – “At the same [time] as a Magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook Central Alberta two weeks ago, Rimbey-area landowner Stan Pederson lost most of his electricity.
Somehow, the underground line was damaged and still needs to be repaired. A few days later, he noticed a long crack across the gravel road in front of his rural property about eight km southeast of Rimbey.
Pederson is skeptical. He suspects the quake is to blame and wonders if there is other undiscovered damage, such as cracked water wells, in central Alberta.
‘It could be affecting other people. They just don’t know it now.’
Pederson reported his power line issue and the road damage to Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and to Vesta Energy, the Calgary-based company that was fracking in the Sylvan Lake area when the quake hit just before 6 a.m. on March 4.
… After being contacted by Pederson, Vesta sent an employee out to look at the road crack on Monday morning. The Vesta worker put the narrow fissure down to a frost heave.
… Pederson is getting power from a jury-rigged above-ground line for now that a friend who has an electrical business was able to get in place the evening of the earthquake. A permanent fix to the underground line will cost $2,500 — a bill Pederson does not believe he should have to pay.
There is no proof that the quake caused any of the damage he’s seen. But considering he knows of people who felt the quake as far as Parkland Beach and Birch Bay, more than 50 km from the quake’s origin, he is not ruling out that it was capable of doing more damage than initially thought.
Asked to comment, a Vesta spokesman said the company is not commenting on discussions with individual landowners.
‘Those will remain private. The company is committed to safety and being a good neighbour.'”
March 6, 2019 – “The Central Alberta earthquake has been making a grand appearance on social media for the last few days.
Canada Natural Resources confirmed that a magnitude 4.6 earthquake occurred at 5:56 am approximately 4km south, south-west of Red Deer Monday morning.
Although there were no known reported injuries or damages caused from this event so far, it is still possible that it could happen again and what might shock some is that it is not under regular home insurance packages.
‘It’s a separate endorsement to the policy that they would need to buy,’ says Darren Kings with Sims & Associates Insurance Services, ‘the homeowner would be responsible for the repairs themselves.’
But he believes there would have to be some help from the government in a case where an earthquake provided significant damage but says that would completely depend on the situation.
Kings explains that having the extra coverage could be costly but of course, would be worth it in the event of a disaster.
‘It doesn’t happen often, and if it were to occur it would wipe out a lot of houses so companies will put a higher deductible on it.’
If possible earthquakes are something that keeps you up at night, adding the insurance for it might be worth looking into.”
*The article stated on March 6: “there were no known reported injuries or damages caused from this event so far.”
But in fact, NRCan received:
15 reports of “moderate shaking” and “very light damage”
3 reports of “strong shaking” and “light damage.”
1 report of “very strong shaking” and “moderate damage.”
“What all the privileged commenters here dont realize is that by being a new exporter of energy resources we are providing the developing world with safe, affordable energy so that they can improve their quality of life. We could definitely build enough renewables to sustain Canada, but that doesnt do anything for the rest of the world.”
Oh I see, so we’re on a goodwill mission now, promoted by an industry-funded “no duty of care” regulator. Got it.
“No amount of arguing on the internet will change the fact that Canada has the highest environmental and social standards for energy development. If we dont produce it, somewhere else with lower standards will.”
Actually Ryan, we excel in the lower standards department, but I love your response – the way you mimic industry’s hollow bullshit – it’s just so typical, and disconnected. So why don’t you step off your useless “no duty of care” industry-funded pedestal, and take a moment to share with everyone on this forum how you’d personally respond to the following ongoing low standard abusive “no duty of care” Canadian energy development realities, like they’re being perpetrated on you and your family instead.
1.) Your family’s being poisoned, they kick your poisoned ass to the curb, and the doctor seeing to your poisoned wife has to confer with a politician “colleague,” before they can attend to your wife.
“For many months, Mike Labrecque did not connect his headaches, dizziness and weight loss with fumes from the oilsands operations. That April 2012 day he drove to the Baytex field office on his land and said he felt too ill to take his tractor to a well pad to pull out a truck. ‘I told them I can’t do it, I was afraid of losing consciousness’ and if that happened while he was driving, the tractor might run into the bitumen storage tanks. In the field office ‘I said: Is there anything you can do? And the field officer said, “I will call the supervisor.”
‘A short time later he said “hand in your time sheets, you’re done.” That’s how it ended.’
… Labrecque thought for a long time he had a flu he could never shake. He lost 40 lbs. He noticed his symptoms began to clear up when he moved away. Karla and Alain Labrecque were the first to leave. Karla, who was home with the kids in the fumes all day had constant headaches, fell down the stairs, and watched her two-year-old daughter lose her balance too often.
… Karla Labrecque said one doctor she saw in the area told her to move after she said she thought her symptoms were caused by emissions from bitumen tanks near the farm. The doctor also told her about Dr. John Connor whose licence was threatened after he raised concerns about cancer rates among First Nations north of Fort McMurray.
In a visit to a second doctor, Karla said she was taken aback when the doctor refused to do a blood test until he had called the local MLA. She did not ask the name of the MLA.
‘He said “I just got off the phone with the MLA and he says it’s OK to take a blood test and fill out a form.”
‘It’s not very good when you go to the doctor to get help and he has to call an MLA.’”
2.) An aggressive Canadian civil servant is among the first visitors to show up at your hospital bedside, after you’ve been blown-up in a spectacular industry shit-storm explosion. Holding safe water and an investigation over your burned and bloodied head, in exchange for your silence.
“Now it appeared that one of the province’s highest-paid civil servants wanted Jessica Ernst to stop talking about fracking altogether. In his message, Peter Watson—who is now the chair and CEO of Canada’s National Energy Board—said that his staff had caught Ernst making critical comments about Alberta’s government at public meetings. ‘I’m very concerned about what you are saying,’ said Watson in a loud, angry voice. He then hung up.
… Ever since industry had drilled and fracked a dozen oil wells within about half a mile of his farm in Happy Valley, Jack had had problems with methane and ethane in his well. So much gas was pouring up the well that it had punched out the walls of the pump house, Jack told Ernst, and one day an explosion had scorched the inside of the shack.
The oil company had reluctantly hired a water supply company to professionally install a venting system, yet a spurt of methane-frothing water still pissed out of a pipe.
Neither regulator wanted to get involved, explained Jack. The EUB said it was Alberta Environment’s responsibility, and Alberta Environment bounced everything back to the EUB. When Jack objected to more drilling near his farm, because his water was already fouled, the EUB told him that ‘contaminated groundwater was not a ground for objection.’
Fed up, Jack wanted to go public. ‘Will you help me?’ Ernst said yes. She drafted a news release, but it never got sent.
Days later, two gas-in-water experts hired by industry showed up to test Jack’s water. Just as Jack entered the pump house, an explosion blew it to pieces. The next thing Jack remembered was standing seventy-five feet from the building, tearing flaming clothes off this body. All three men ended up in hospital.
Jack, who suffered third-degree burns to his face, back, and arms, spent a month there. Peter Watson, deputy minister of environment, promised Jack water delivery and an investigation if he promised to remain silent. Jack’s family reluctantly agreed. To this day, no regulatory record of the event exists in the public domain.”
3.) After a company fracs and contaminates your community water supply the government finds hexavalent chromium in it, and doesn’t bother to tell the community.
“Through expensive Freedom of Information requests, Ernst obtained post-fracking water well monitoring data that showed the Alberta Environment people had found hexavalent chromium in Rosebud’s well water. ‘The government hasn’t told this to people’ in the hamlet, says Ernst.
Hexavalent chromium, otherwise known as chromium-6, is the extremely toxic substance Brockovich found in the drinking water in Hinkley, California, which led to a major class action lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric, which finally paid the plaintiffs more than $200 million in 2006.
Ernst, who knows the industry well, says chromium-6 ‘is used in fracking and drilling.'”
4.) After a company fracs and contaminates your community water supply, a government agency plugs their ears, covers their eyes, and chants lalala.
“Some of the same toxic contaminants found in sampling by the EPA at Pavilion were found by Alberta Environment in groundwater at Rosebud, and were dismissed, ignored or reported incorrectly by the Alberta Research Council. The wholly owned government agency was notified of the errors and omissions, but did not correct them as is required to maintain laboratory accreditation in Canada.
The contaminants include: diesel range organics, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, phthalates, and tert-butyl alcohol which is used in hydraulic fracturing and not expected to occur naturally in groundwater; tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) is a known breakdown product of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE, a fuel additive), also used in hydraulic fracturing and not expected to occur naturally in fresh groundwater.”
5.) After a company fracs and contaminates your community water supply, “independent review” takes on a whole new edited meaning.
“Justice Wittman also questioned Ernst’s lawyer Murray Klippenstein about the government’s filing of a report by the Alberta Research Council that dismissed Ernst’s water well case as insignificant.
The government claimed the report was an independent review that proved there was no merit in the Ernst case.
Klippenstein argued that such a filing of evidence was inappropriate at this time.
He also submitted a collection of Alberta Environment emails obtained through freedom of information legislation that he argued show the Alberta Research Council report was edited by Alberta Environment and not an independent review.”
6.) After your family’s water is contaminated and industry admits they “blew the cap rock to hell,” your “no duty of care” regulator buddies slam the door on your family, while continuing to allow industry to frac you more more more.
“Ronalie Campbell comment: ‘At a hearing with a local oil company and government official present, the oil rep blurted out “it wasn’t us, it was Encana, CNRL, and all those others before us that blew the cap rock to hell.”‘”
“‘Oil wells on the Campbell property have caused gas from 1,757 metres to enter their aquifer,’ said Muehlenbachs, a world expert on the fingerprinting of stray oilfield gases.
A separate 2011 study by J.D. Mollard and Associates concluded that bedrock fractures or natural faults might have created ‘enhanced permeability pathways’ for hydrocarbons to move into local aquifers.
If the regulator permitted hydraulic fracturing in an area already made insecure by natural fractures, ‘then they are in fact negligent’ and would be liable for water contamination, added Muehlenbachs.
… When the Campbells went public with their concerns about the impact of drilling on groundwater quality in 2008, they say they got a phone call from an industry worker involved in the vertical hydraulic fracturing of wells in the area during the 1980s.
‘He was scared to death,’ said Ronalie Campbell. In several late midnight calls the worker told the couple that industry ‘fractured your area and that this is what caused the water contamination.'”
“After investigating only 9 out of more than 50 energy wells (over a period of 8 years) within about a mile of the Campbell’s contaminated water well – the ERCB reached a ‘conclusion:’
‘In conclusion, the results of the 2013 and past exhaustive and extensive testing conducted on behalf of the ERCB in connection with the investigation have consistently shown no evidence of a link between the gas [butane, ethane, methane, propane, H2S] present in your water well and oil and gas activities in the area.
As such, the ERCB’s investigation has been concluded and we are now proceeding to close our file in this matter.’
… ‘Case closed with no concern for the landowners or the community’s water. We still have to live with it.’
7.) Your family’s hit with structural damage, contaminated water, burning skin and poisoning, while the government and your “no duty of care” regulator buddies ensure business-as-usual.
“For two years now Craft has been involved in a fight with the Alberta government over the structural damage to her property along with the appearance of strange substances on her land and dug-out along with changes to her well water due to oil and gas activity.
In addition, a private water hauler delivered a batch of toxic water to her cistern instead of potable water. Craft then bathed in it.
… Representatives from Alberta Environment and Quicksilver Resources finally visited Craft’s property on March 21 to check things out and deal with her complaint. Craft let them know that she was concerned about long term structural damage to her buildings.
After Craft showed them the split beams and damaged buildings along with photographs, the representatives looked at the woman.
‘Well, it was probably an earthquake or an anomaly,’ offered the Alberta Environment official.
The government representative said she would check the records. She later phoned Craft and said all the local oil and gas activity checked out just fine. She added that she lived in rural Alberta and that wood splits in the country.
The representative then told Craft that ‘It’s human nature to make things up.’
… In May 2013 Craft’s son Brent, an overseas oil and gas driller, dropped by the farm to help out. After he took two showers, he says that his skin was on fire. ‘I work with bad water all the time and this water was unclean.’ He told his mother to stop using it.
The next day they installed a plastic 1,750-gallon tank in the shop to bypass the water well. A truck delivered clean water. For the next month Craft says that she and her animals started to feel better.
But on June 27, 2013, Doug’s Tank Truck Service of Stettler Alberta delivered what industry calls ‘produced water’ or dirty waste from oil and gas activity. In this case the contaminated water included a flush from a sour crude pipeline.
(For every barrel of oil that industry extracts, it also pumps up about three barrels of ‘produced water’ or highly toxic wastewater that is mostly injected back into the ground.)
Even by industry standards produced water makes a nasty brew: it typically contains salts, heavy metals, radioactive particles, oil, hydrocarbons, dissolved gases, H2S, biocides, corrosion inhibitors and emulsion breakers.
Before Doug’s Tank Truck Service recognized the mistake, Craft showered, washed her face, shaved her legs and brushed her teeth in what Material Data Safety Sheets later described as sour crude oil containing carcinogens as well as a corrosion inhibitor that released ammonia when heated. All ‘may cause central nervous system effects’ and skin irritation.
Almost immediately her face started to burn. Red blotches appeared on her head and legs. ‘It was embarrassing. I never had skin problems.’ Days later, new symptoms appeared and her left eye swelled up. Pictures show that Craft looked like she was wearing some kind of monster Halloween mask.
After the delivery of the sour crude to her water tank, several of her horses and donkey’s lost their hair. Her biggest dog, Hank, developed a calcified nose that looks to this day badly burned.
Craft now frankly calls the whole affair ‘a shit show.’
According to a July 10, 2014 letter later written by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Medical Officer of Health for central Alberta, Craft ended up in the hospital weeks later with severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. She was almost in a convulsive state.
Since then she has made more than 30 trips to the doctor or the hospital over continued ill health. All health providers familiar with her case admit that her symptoms are consistent with repeated exposure to hydrocarbons.
After the toxic water delivery, Craft moved out of her contaminated house due to the sour smell and lived in a rig shack as interim housing.
As she battled with insurers and the government, one thought overwhelmed her: ‘How does one deliver sour crude produced water to a home and not know it?’ (Another landowner also received a toxic water delivery but was notified of the mistake before he used it.)
‘They are lucky I didn’t die.’
She later discovered that the truck hauler did not even have a food permit for delivering fresh water. There was no fine because as Mel Cherlenko, an environmental health officer with Alberta Health, explained to Craft in an email, ‘the company immediately ceased delivery of potable water to the public.’
In a matter of days the company reapplied and got a permit to deliver potable water.”
8.) After industry fracs and contaminates your community’s water supply, and the community water tower blows up injuring a county worker, your “no duty of care” regulator buddies label you a “criminal threat” then decide to change it to “eco-terrorist,” because they don’t like what you have to say, and they want you to go away.
“June 8, 2006: Regulator lawyer Rick McKee questions Ernst in a recorded conversation with a witness. McKee admits that the regulator never saw her as ‘a criminal threat,’ but as an unwelcome critic. He also asks Ernst what it will take to get her to leave Alberta. Ernst replies she will gladly leave Alberta as soon as the regulator starts to do its job.
… December 2012: In its legal brief filed with the court, the energy regulator changes its 2005 accusation that Ernst posed a ‘criminal threat’ and described her as being an ‘eco-terrorist.’
… Sept. 19, 2013: Justice Wittmann, despite not having presided over the original hearing, rules Ernst has a valid Charter of Rights and Freedoms claim but that the regulator is protected by legislation giving it immunity from civil litigation. He dismisses the regulator’s claim that Ernst is an ‘eco-terrorist’ due to ‘the total absence of evidence.'”
9.) After you file your industry water contamination lawsuit, the government’s anti-terrorist squad pays you a visit.
“The Intimidation of Ernst: Members of Harper Government’s Anti-terrorist Squad Intimidate and Harass Ernst after her Legal Papers were Served on Encana, the EUB (now AER) and Alberta Environment”
Video at link: https://www.ernstversusenca…
10.) After industry contaminates and destroys your family’s water supply – they say they’ll bring you some “forever” water – so long as “you shut up” so they “get to do it again” to your family, friends, and neighbours “down the street.”
“Okay, we damaged your water well. We’ll just set you up with potable water through a tank system forever, because, you know, we just spent a million dollars drilling this well that we made a hundred million on. And it’s costing us an extra three hundred thousand. We’re okay.
You know, we don’t need to litigate with you, we don’t even need to know that it was our fault. We’re just happy to pay you. And by the way by doing that you shut up, the regulators stay off our back, we get to do it again down the street. And so that’s the oil company approach on these (things).”
Should you decide to let the industry gag your family in exchange for “forever” water, here’s hoping the polluting company doesn’t go bankrupt, and those water deliveries aren’t made up of the same toxic, carcinogenic industry shit that was delivered to Ann Craft and her family.
So there’s some authentic Canadian energy development culture for you to immerse yourself and walk a mile in, “Ryan.” Not only do we have shamefully low environmental standards where the industry is concerned, but we can’t get much lower with the rampant abuse, lying, bullying, silencing, corruption, fraud and cover-ups, in attempting to prop-up and protect such a destructive industry – at all costs.
I couldn’t be happier for the UK in banning this industry onslaught, they’ve now joined a long list of countries and communities around the world who are shunning the industry frac-frenzy, and the rampant contamination, corruption and cover-ups that follow – and I have no doubt that any continued antics by corrupt governments and disconnected “no duty of care” regulators, will only ensure that list continues to grow.
No industry sucked-up moats and flattened castles for UK citizens. Such amazing news, I am so happy for them!
Excellent article, thank you Andrew.