World-Recognized Speakers on Fracking in NS for public event; conference

Media Release
December 1, 2011

Halifax – Two fracking experts are coming to NB and NS this week to speak and share their expertise on hydraulic fracturing. Both provinces are feeling pressure from a groundswell of residents and groups that are concerned with this controversial technique of shale gas extraction.

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University will share his concerns about fracking and shale gas, based on a vast amount of research and work.  “Citizens from all over the world need to have an intelligent conversation about our energy needs, and we must not allow one industry to dominate this most crucial and important dialogue,” says Dr. Ingraffea.

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 with drinking water.  “I know that fracking is very risky, no matter how careful they are, and that companies will do anything to get control of a community.  I’m really thrilled to see that Nova Scotia communities are working together and supporting each other to fight back.  That is the only way to succeed against them. ” says Ms. Ernst.

Both will be speaking in Halifax on Friday evening and then again at a conference on Saturday in Truro. The conference will feature these world leaders and will include community workshops for citizens and groups from New Brunswick where opposition is already strong and organized, and from Nova Scotia and PEI, where opposition is growing quickly. Knowing how shale gas developments can split communities apart, people are coming together to learn how to keep their communities strong and prosperous while they fight this industry.

“People call my office and they are scared of the shale gas industry coming to Nova Scotia. They are worried that they will lose their water, their farms, the enjoyment of their property and community,” says Jennifer West, chair of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition which is organizing this conference. 

Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians and one of the lead organizers of the conference, says, “The timing for this conference just seemed perfect. People are right to be looking for help to make their community more aware about the issue.  I’m so happy to be part of this conference, which will empower people to protect their community.”

Details on the conference and more information can be found on the NO FRAC website at www.nofrac.com. The coalition has member groups including the Council of Canadians, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ecology Action Centre, the Nova Scotia Environment Network, and the Sierra Club Atlantic chapter.

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More information on our expert speakers:

  • Dr. Anthony Ingraffea is one of the world’s experts on shale gas and fracking, is a Cornell University professor of engineering with a specialty in rock fracture mechanics, and has twice won awards from the National Research Council for his research. He ran research and development programs with the oil and gas industry for 25 years, specializing in hydraulic fracture simulation and pipeline safety.
  • Jessica Ernst from Rosebud, Alberta, is an oil and gas industry consultant with thirty years experience and has a personal story about rural well water contamination after fracking for coal-bed methane in her community, and how government regulatory agencies failed to provide protection. She was recently honored by the UN group UNANIMA International with their annual Woman of Courage award.