Friday, January 20, 2012

Documents Reveal Industry and Gov't Collude on Shale Gas

"After researchers at Duke University in North Caroline found high levels of contamination in groundwater within a kilometre of fracked shale gas wells in New York and Pennsylvania, Alberta's Tories uniformly dismissed the science last spring.

"The experience we have with drilling in Alberta would preclude those kinds of results," said Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner. (Alberta has been ruled by one party for 40 years and gets 30 per cent of its revenue from hydrocarbons.)

The deal also reveals that shale gas will create "a new large water use category" for which best practices and regulations don't really exist. The agreement's three primary goals are to boost public confidence, "address industry's need for water" and achieve vague "regulatory outcomes."

It also accuses "environmental non-government organizations" of "supporting an ill-informed campaign on hydraulic fracturing and water related issues in British Columbia." The only non-government stakeholder listed on the agreement is the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

According to the plan, the three western provinces will shortly unveil "consistent communication documents and key messages about shale as development" as well as baseline water evaluations within the next couple of months."

The same industry "speak" we are hearing in the United States is being used by industry in Canada.  Look for the well-crafted wording that industry is crafting here, Canada and abroad, to tell the public how safe hydraulic fracturing is, and that their work will give them employment and riches. AND, in the same breath, steal their clean drinking water and air.  If ever there was an emperor's new clothes, this is it!

By Andrew Nikiforuk

Alberta's New Democrats have called for a special provincial investigation of controversial shale gas drilling following the release of two leaked government documents showing strong collusion between industry and government on resource development in three western provinces.

A government of Alberta cabinet briefing note dated Aug. 3, 2011 says, "Shale gas environmental concerns in the media and in the public in other jurisdictions are potentially problematic for energy development and environmental management in Alberta."..continued...