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Council of Canadians organizes against fracking in Alberta

ABFRACThe Council of Canadians helped to establish the Alberta Fracking Resource & Action Coalition, a network of organizations and individuals concerned about fracking in their province. The coalition met in Calgary last week, with our Edmonton-based organizers Chris Gallaway and Aleah Loney in attendance, along with our Ottawa-based water campaigner Emma Lui.

The Alberta Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,291 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 500 trillion cubic feet of coalbed methane in the province. As a result, there has been a massive increase fracking in Alberta over the past two years. Provincial government statistics show that 1,516 licenses for fracking were issued in 2013, up from 203 in 2012.

An estimated 17 million cubic metres of water were used for fracking in 2013.

Lui has commented, “There are a growing number of stories from landowners of the impacts fracking is having on drinking water as well as their dairy and cattle farms. The Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties passed Resolution 2-13S in the spring of 2013 citing concerns about the impact fracking has on drinking water, changes in land formations, and increased seismic activity.”

Now a recently published study in the Journal of Geophysical Research adds to those concerns about that increased seismic activity.

CBC reports, “The study concludes that waste-water injection into the ground is highly correlated with spikes in earthquake activity in the area.”

And University of Alberta seismologist Jeff Gu, one of the authors of this study, believes that a recent 3.0 magnitude earthquake northeast of Peace River, Alberta could be related to fracking. He says, “The conclusion was that the industrial activities could, in some cases, potentially trigger or facilitate earthquake occurrences.” While acknowledging this area of research is still “a work in progress”, he notes, “There has been more and more evidence, increasing evidence, in the last few years in particular — in Arkansas, in Texas and actually more recently here.”

If you live in Alberta and want to join forces with the Alberta Fracking Resource & Action Coalition, please Like their Facebook page and/or contact our Edmonton office.

To see videos of residents explaining how they were directly impacted by fracking, visit the Alberta Voices website.