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Three out of three experts agree: a frack pipe is the last thing Toronto needs

Three experts are available for interview on a potential Toronto 'frack pipe' prior to presenting their findings on the Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas proposal to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) next Wednesday.

With the OEB about to make a major decision about piping fracked gas to the Greater Toronto Area for distribution in southwestern Ontario and Quebec, the Council of Canadians commissioned three expert reports from Geoscientist David Hughes, Cornell Engineering Professor Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, and Environmental Consultant Lisa Sumi.

Ingraffea, Hughes, and Sumi will present their reports to the OEB in Toronto on Wednesday, October 9.

The conclusions in the reports call into question the supply and availability of fracked gas from the Marcellus shale and predict rising costs for the controversial gas. If this new infrastructure is approved these higher costs will hurt Ontario and Quebec residents. The approval could also open the door to more fracking of the Marcellus shale posing serious risks to the Great Lakes Basin

Hughes' report demonstrates how supply predictions for U.S shale gas plays are overblown. Sumi's report highlights the serious environmental impacts of fracking and outlines regulatory measures underway in the U.S. Ingraffea's report highlights his research exposing the heavy carbon footprint of fracked gas.

In addition to being a major threat to the water and air of Great Lakes communities and contributing significantly to climate change pollution, this approval would lead to higher heating costs for Ontario and Quebec residents. New research shows the carbon footprint of fracked gas is just as bad, if not worse, than coal.

The Council of Canadians is urging Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to refuse Enbridge and Union Gas' request.

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Dr. Anthony Ingraffea: Dr. Ingraffea's research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics. He has authored with his students over 200 papers in these areas. For his research achievements he has won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics "1994 Significant Paper Award" for one of five most significant papers in the category of Computational/Analytical Applications in the past 20 years, and he has twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991). He was named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005, received the ASTM Irwin Award for meritorious contributions to the practice of fracture mechanics in 2006, and was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture in 2009. In 2011, TIME Magazine named him one of its "People Who Mattered".

David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada's coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada's unconventional natural gas potential. Over the past decade, he has researched, published and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally. He is a board member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas – Canada and is a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. He recently contributed to Carbon Shift, an anthology edited by Thomas Homer-Dixon on the twin issues of peak energy and climate change, and his work has been featured in Canadian Business, Walrus and other magazines, as well as through the popular press, radio, television and the internet. He is currently president of a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.

Lisa Sumi is an environmental consultant who works on the environmental and community health impacts of extractive industries such as hardrock mining, and oil and gas. She has served as Research Director of two non-profit organizations – the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (2004-2007), and the Environmental Mining Council of British Columbia (1998-2002). In both cases, the work included science, technology and policy analysis; and community education and outreach. Lisa Sumi holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Toronto.