In Alberta and other parts of Canada, the oil and gas industry can frac us, install noisy compressors and other polluting infrastructure and dump its toxic waste within 100 m (328 ft) of our homes, schools, care facilities, hospitals, playgrounds, community centre, churches, etc.
In the early frac years in my community, Encana sprayed it’s waste on cropland bordering my property upwind of my home, on a very windy day. No one warned me. I was in the barn when a nasty noise and stench filled the air, burning my nostrils, mouth and eyes. I ran up to find out what the noise was (it was an Encana waste dumper). It was a lovely day, so I had the windows open in my house. I ran to close them all, but was too late, my home reeked of chemicals (the wind blew waste spray into it).
Our regulators also let oil and gas companies break the law and help them cover-up their crimes and harms to families, our environment, communities and drinking water. Alberta Environment and AER let Encana/Ovintiv illegally frac directly into my community’s drinking water aquifers and divert fresh water from them, without the mandatory permit under The Water Act. AER regulated and punished me (violated my Charter rights) instead, without any evidence of me committing a crime.
Nearly 400 state and local officials call for ban on new fracking permits by Zack Budryk, 04/13/21, The Hill
Nearly 400 state and local elected officials from across the country signed a letter calling for an outright ban on new federal permits for fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure after the Biden administration imposed a temporary moratorium on such permitting on federal lands.
The letter, signed by more than 375 officials and released Tuesday, also called on the federal government to end fossil fuel industrial subsidies, revoke oil and gas permits for sites within 2,500 feet of homes or schools and “support a just transition to clean energy for workers and communities impacted by fossil fuels.”
“Local elected officials have their fingers on the pulse of their communities, and can speak better than anyone about what kind of future everyday Americans are demanding. Their collective statement today is clear: It’s time for our leaders in Washington to tackle the climate crisis now, not later. This means halting fracking and fossil fuel projects, period,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.
“We can ban fracking in the City of Denver, but if we don’t do this at a national and international scale, we will continue to destroy our habitability on our planet,” Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds, one of the signers, said in a statement. “We’re trying to do our part here in Denver, but we need members of Congress and President Biden to do their part too.”
The letter comes the week before the president is set to outline the U.S.’s new nationally determined contribution to greenhouse gas emissions at a White House-hosted summit of world leaders on April 22. The administration has not yet announced an end date for the permitting moratorium.
Hundreds of Elected Officials Call for Fracking Ban, Halt to Fossil Fuel Projects, More than 375 local and state elected officials from across the country called on national leaders to take bold, specific actions to curb fracking and its disastrous effects by Food and Water Watch, Apr 13, 2021
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. — In a letter sent to President Biden and Congress today, more than 375 local and state elected officials from across the country called on national leaders to: halt permitting for new fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure projects; revoke existing permits for oil and gas extraction within 2,500 feet of homes and schools; end subsidies for the fossil fuel industry; and support a just transition to clean energy for workers and communities impacted by fossil fuels. The letter was facilitated by the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, the first national organization in the country to call for a ban on fracking everywhere.
The letter delivery comes in advance of an expected announcement from Biden on April 22, Earth Day, regarding his administration’s plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement. The latest science indicates that even modest emissions targets will be impossible to achieve without an immediate curtailing of new oil and gas development.
Meanwhile, in spite of Biden’s unambiguous campaign pledge to halt fracking on federal lands, new permitting for the highly dangerous and polluting extraction method continues.
“Local elected officials have their fingers on the pulse of their communities, and can speak better than anyone about what kind of future everyday Americans are demanding. Their collective statement today is clear: It’s time for our leaders in Washington to tackle the climate crisis now, not later. This means halting fracking and fossil fuel projects, period,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.
Daniel Lee, Vice Mayor of Culver City, CA: “Stopping fracking infrastructure is important to protect the health and safety of our residents. Living near fracking puts you at risk of really serious health problems. From a broader perspective, our residents also really care about taking substantive action to address the climate crisis. The more we invest in dirty fuels, the more health problems and climate disasters we’re locking ourselves into.”
Chris Hinds, City Council Member in Denver, CO: “We can ban fracking in the City of Denver, but if we don’t do this at a national and international scale, we will continue to destroy our habitability on our planet. We’re trying to do our part here in Denver, but we need members of Congress and President Biden to do their part too.”
Tara Zrinski, Council Member, Northampton County, PA: “We’re facing two new proposed pipeline projects that would use eminent domain to destroy residential and farm land, in addition to existing pipelines in our county. This all stems back to fracking. We can’t address this only at the local or state level. We need a national energy program that is supported by equity, infrastructure, green jobs, and the financial backing that only the federal government can provide.”
An early test of President Biden’s commitment to climate action and environmental justice is the Line 3 pipeline expansion in Minnesota. Indigenous leaders and environmental advocates from across the country have protested the project for years.
Jennifer McEwen, State Senator, MN: “As Minnesotans, we have a unique moral responsibility to reject new fossil fuel infrastructure. If the Line 3 pipeline is built and oil starts flowing through it, it will be game over for the climate. So I am asking the federal government and the Biden administration to lead, to do their jobs, and to lead us forward to a caring economy that will be sustainable and address the global climate crisis.”
Mary Kunesh, State Senator, MN: “Fossil fuels are the main source of climate pollution, and that’s one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. The fact that Line 3 would have the equivalent climate impact of bringing 50 new coal plants online, it just boggles my mind why anyone would support this. I’m very hopeful that President Biden may cancel this and send Enbridge packing home.”
Dominic Frongillo, Executive Director of Elected Officials to Protect America and formerly a Town Council Member in Caroline, NY said: “EOPA welcomes the Administration’s focus on directing 40 percent of the benefits from investments in climate and clean energy infrastructure to disadvantaged communities. Prioritizing environmental justice is a major step towards a clean energy economy. Phasing out permits for drilling, especially for those most harmful to frontline and fence line communities, would be an important next step that needs to happen. Too many people suffer chronic illnesses and premature deaths from the toxic pollution fossil fuel extraction and production causes.”
Russell Greene, Senior Strategic Advisor, Climate. Progressive Democrats of America said,“The closer you live to the point of fossil fuel extraction and production, the closer your life is to the suffering it unleashes each day. The elected city and state officials sending this letter to President Biden and the members of the 117th Congress live closer to the suffering than do the leaders in Washington; and they are sounding out a warning, loud and clear. The climate emergency is not coming. It is here. People are suffering now. Halt. Revoke. End Fossil Fuels everywhere. Now.”
Refer also to a few references collected by 2014, many more since, too numerous to list:
For Occupational Safety and Health Research and Practice in the U.S. Oil and Gas Extraction Industry by NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDA (NORA), October 2011
During 2003-2008, 648 oil and gas extraction workers were fatally injured on the job, resulting in an occupational fatality rate of 29.1 deaths per 100,000 workers – eight times higher than the rate for all U.S. workers.
Man dies after explosion “This is a dangerous business….”
2015: Eight Industry Leaders to Present in Toronto at Catastrophe Response Unit Seminar for “all insurance claims management, adjusters and industry personnel” includes feature presentation: “Fracking Induced Earthquakes”
2015: More peer-reviewed studies indicating health harm from fracing and natural gas production, Dogs “found to be particularly sensitive, suggesting both health concerns for the animals and new ways to track pollution through animals’ exposures” One of my dogs was killed after I began warning people about how harmful frac’ing is; the other two became terribly ill. I will never have another pet or any livestock, as long as I live in a frac field.
Typical authority response: 2015: British Columbia’s answer to escalating Frac Health Harms? More doctors and cut funding to North East Oil and Gas Health Advisory Committee? “The very committee pushing for answers is effectively being forced to fold”