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WIN! Goldenkey abandons plans to drill in Lethbridge

www.nodrillinglethbridge.caCitizens of Lethbridge and members of No Drilling Lethbridge are celebrating this morning the announcement by Goldenkey Oil Inc. that the company “has decided to withdraw from its Penny Project and will not be making application to access its minerals in the Lethbridge area,” saying that “Goldenkey has decided on a project basis that the barriers here did not justify the costs.”

Goldenkey Oil had announced last year plans to drill three exploratory wells in west Lethbridge, but had not yet applied for a licence to drill. The company, it was later revealed, held petroleum and natural gas rights to 23 square kilometres under the city.

The most significant of the “barriers” faced by Goldenkey was the extraordinary months-long campaign by the grassroots group No Drilling Lethbridge, which includes members of the Lethbridge Chapter of the Council of Canadians. The campaign — which featured protests, public education events, door-to-door canvassing and the collection of over 11,000 signatures by Lethbridge residents on the group’s petition — drew national attention to the issue. All of Lethbridge city council, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, the Lethbridge School District No. 51 Board of Trustees, the Holy Spirit Catholic School Board, and the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors all also joined No Drilling Lethbridge in publicly expressing their opposition.

The campaign also sparked a province-wide debate about the issue of urban drilling in Alberta, and brought much-needed attention to the reality of fracking in rural areas of the province.

Congratulations to No Drilling Lethbridge and to the people of Lethbridge for this win!