Following Vermont’s ban on hydraulic fracturing last month, the Council of Canadians has written to the premiers of the provinces and territories across Canada asking that they follow suit. “Last month, the state of Vermont took action to protect water sources and to curb demands on fossil fuels. Provincial governments should do the same thing,” said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.
On May 16, 2012, the State of Vermont passed Bill H.464, an Act relating to hydraulic fracturing wells for natural gas and oil production, and became the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing in the United States.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” is a process used to extract natural gas from harder to access unconventional sources trapped in rock formations such as shale gas, coal bed methane and tight gas. Sand, water and chemicals are blasted at high pressure to fracture rock where natural gas is trapped.
Communities across Canada have demanded bans and moratoriums on fracking because of its potential to pollute water, harm human health, produce high carbon emissions and cause earthquakes. A recent Environics Research poll found that 62% of Canadians support “a moratorium on all fracking for natural gas until all the federal environmental reviews are complete.”
As stated in media reports, Governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin has stated that: "Human beings survived for thousands and thousands of years without oil and natural gas,” adding that “we have never known humanity or life on this planet to survive without clean water."
The Council of Canadians' open letters urge each premier to “take leadership in Canada by banning hydraulic fracturing” as well as the treatment, collection and storage of fracking wastewater.