The ‘facts’ on fracking are all greenwashing by Joanne Banks, August 22, 2014, Campbell River Courier-Islander
Campbell River – Re: “Fracking has never contaminated drinking water”
The manager of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) was quick to answer the letter by Rich Hagensen titled, “Start asking the right questions about LNG”.
CAPP is simply greenwashing when they say ‘fracking has never contaminated drinking water’.
For example, British Columbia’s Oil and Gas commission is currently investigating Calgary-based Talisman for a serious case of groundwater and soil contamination involving hydraulic fracturing waste water in the Farrell Creek area just east of Ft. St. John.
Jessica Ernst, an oil patch scientist, had her well water contaminated after an oil and gas company fractured the aquifer that supplies her rural Alberta community (Rosebud) with drinking water. Seven years ago, she sued Alberta Environment, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Encana, one of Canada’s largest shale gas drillers, over the contamination of her well water and the failure of government authorities to properly investigate the contamination.
An Alberta government lawyer argued in court that Ernst’s lawsuit on hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination should be struck down on the grounds that it would open a floodgate of litigation against the province. “There could be millions or billions of dollars worth of damages,” argued Crown counsel Neil Boyle.
So Mr. Geoff Morrison, I would dispute your ‘facts’ as greenwashing.
We have all seen your splashy ads on prime time TV. These deceptive greenwashing ads cost a fortune. They even pop up when you go to download music! But then money is no object for oil companies as they rake in obscene profit, get government subsidies and avoid paying taxes like the rest of us have to. [The tragedy is, in 2010, the western premiers agreed with the Alberta regulator and CAPP, to make Canadian taxpayers pay for ads lying to us about fracing, trying to make us believe it’s green, clean and safe. The exciting thing is, more and more Canadians see right through CAPP and Canadian communities not yet invaded by fracing, are loudly saying “NO!”]
Fracking impact on water by A. R Shaw M.A. (Retired Professional Member: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining), August 19, 2014, Campbell River Mirror
Re: Fracking has never contaminated drinking water letter by CAPP [refer below]
To produce gas from shale by hydraulic fracturing chemicals required to treat the fracturing fluids are known as viscosifiers, surficants and biocides. What these compounds are and why they are required and how much is being used as a percentage of water used in a single frack one can search the web for a description, and fracking groundwater contamination has been reported in America.
Mr. Geoff Morrison’s letter to the local press that the American Head of Environmental Protection is not aware of any groundwater contamination is confusing and could well sow mistrust in the eyes of the public. Mr. Morrison speaks for B.C. that drinking water has not been contaminated or is it groundwater is somewhat different? He also places great emphasis on regulation, however, accidents can happen and do happen especially when chemicals are pumped into the ground and Mr. Morrison seems to display a degree of sensitivity as a member of the general resource industry that is currently under a degree of stress. This is understandable when one views the populations disquiet over the number of resource industry mishaps that have occurred in the last few years and continue to occur including mine explosions and collapses. Our politicians understand public concern over the number of resource industry mishaps covered quite well by the media and tread a fine line between the needs of the resource industry and what appears in the public eye, the degradation of the environment.
A. R Shaw M.A. (Retired Professional Member: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining)
P.S. Other fracking agencies as well as scientists have concerns over the way that chemicals are being used in the fracking industry however I might have more to say about this later after more research. Reports of groundwater contamination discovered in Alberta and four States in America have materialized.
In my day as an engineer extracting methane was known as methane drainage piped to the surface and used in industry and homes. [Emphasis added]
The degradation of the environment by A. R Shaw M.A. (Retired Professional Member: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining), August 20, 2014, Campbell River Courier Islander
Re: Fracking has never contaminated drinking water
Fracking has never contaminated drinking water by Geoff Morrison Manager, British Columbia Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Victoria
August 25, 2014, Campbell River Courier Islander
Re.: “Start asking the right questions on LNG ideas” Aug. 13, by Richard Hagensen.
Claims that hydraulic fracturing has contaminated drinking water are not supported by the facts. In truth, provincial [deregulation] and [VOLUNTARY] industry operating practices [do not] work to protect drinking water aquifers and surface water.
Data collected by the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the provincial regulator, shows none of the approximately 9,000 wells hydraulically fractured in the province to date have resulted in drinking water contamination. Over the past 60 years, industry has hydraulically fractured more than 175,000 wells in B.C. and Alberta without impacting drinking water, according to provincial [de-regulators and contamination enablers].
In the United States, Lisa Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said she is “not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” Also, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.” [Refer to links below for ample evidence; if one doesn’t look, one doesn’t “see”]
The Canadian safety record is the result of effective regulations and industry best operating practices, such as CAPP’s operating practices [VOLUNTARY, NOT INSPECTED, UNENFORCEABLE, AND EASILY, LEGALLY IGNORED BY ANY MEMBER COMPANY] for hydraulic fracturing.
Regulations also apply to surface water industry is allowed to use.
Approved short-term water use is less than one per cent of mean annual runoff of any individual river basin in B.C. Industry’s actual water use in 2012 was less than 0.075 per cent, according to the BCOGC.
If water levels drop during droughts, the BCOGC will suspend water use as a precaution to ensure ample water flows. [Allowing companies to sue Ottawa under NAFTA for a regulator interfering with future profits?]
For example, the BCOGC recently suspended short-term water withdrawals in a number of areas in northeastern B.C. due to seasonal drought conditions. [Emphasis added]
Source: BC Tap Water Alliance
[Refer also to: