NEWS: Comox Valley chapter opposes fracking

Gwynn Frayne

Gwyn Frayne

The Comox Valley Echo reports that, "The Council of Canadians Comox Valley Chapter invites the public to a meeting to learn about 'fracking', a word coined to refer to hydraulic fracturing, a relatively new technology being used to extract natural gas by deep well drilling. ...Gwyn Frayne, CoC member, said 'This fracking term is new to many of us, but, because of the devastating effects on our environment, we need to learn about it. The CoC for years has been pressuring the federal government to declare water a human right and not a commodity. Using tons of water for fracking is absolutely wrong.'"

"Linda Safford, representing Comox Valley Water Watch, explains that 'Fracking fluid requires 3 million gallons of water per well, and 80,000 pounds of chemicals are injected into the earth's crust to frack each well. Upwards of 70% of the fracking fluids remain in the ground and is not biodegradable.'"

The article adds, "It is being practised extensively in the southwestern US; the technology is also being employed in Quebec and in northeastern BC." As noted in a campaign blog last October, major fracking activity is planned for the Horn River Formation, which is in north-eastern British Columbia extending to Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. The Tyee.ca reports, “The Horn River play is being heavily developed in concert with incentive programs offered by the province, and with more than 600 trillion cubic feet of gas in place, is considered one of the top gas reserves in North America.” Corporations in the Horn River Basin include Encana, Apache, EOG, Stone Mountain Resources, Exxon, Quicksilver Resources, Nexen and Devon Energy. Six areas in BC also hold coalbed methane natural gas potential: Peace country in the north east, Elk Valley in the southeast, Vancouver Island, the south central interior (around Merritt and Princeton), northwestern BC (around Telkwa and Iskut), and the Queen Charlotte Islands. More at http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4993 and http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4443.

Last September the Canadian Press reported that, “Briefing notes prepared last spring for Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis...warn the process of releasing natural gas from shale — called hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ — could draw heavily on freshwater resources and significantly increase Canada’s overall carbon-dioxide emissions. The documents also say projects in areas without infrastructure may require the construction of roads, drill pads and pipelines, which could create ‘extensive habitat fragmentation’ for wildlife.” In October the Canadian Press reported that, “(environment minister) Jim Prentice says environmental regulations are still a work in progress for Canada’s booming shale gas industry, even though drills have already pierced the ground. …Mr. Prentice says environmental policies are still being drawn up, even though shale gas production is already underway in Western Canada.” Four months later, there has been no additional news from the Harper government about these regulations.

"The film 'Gasland', produced by Josh Fox, will be shown on Thursday, February 24 at 7 P.M. at the BCGEU, 8th & Fitzgerald. Discussion will follow."

The Comox Valley Echo article is at http://www.canada.com/What+fracking+wrong/4328459/story.html. You can read more about the Council of Canadians campaign against fracking at http://www.canadians.org/fracking/.