Report: Impacts of fracking on rural communities severe and costly | Ecology Action Centre

Report: Impacts of fracking on rural communities severe and costly

Report: Impacts of fracking on rural communities severe and costly

New findings on fracking impacts in Nova Scotia point to higher costs than benefits

Primary contact:  Jennifer West, (902) 442-5046, groundwater@ecologyaction.ca

Jipugtug (Halifax, NS) – The Ecology Action Centre released their comprehensive report on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing as part of their submission to the provincial review of fracking.  The 42-page report finds that economic benefits in other jurisdictions have been short-term and weak while the community and environmental costs will be long-term.

“Fracking is such a new technology, with horizontal drilling and slickwater mixtures being developed only in the past decade.  We are just starting to see some of the impacts in other areas and it is not looking good” stated Jennifer West, Geoscience Coordinator.  “This report is the first comprehensive look at the potential impacts of fracking on Nova Scotia and makes a strong case that fracking will not promote economic development as promised or help us meet our energy and greenhouse gas targets.”

The report’s five authors focussed on different aspects of hydraulic fracturing, including energy and economics, groundwater, transportation, wilderness and food.  Each section documents the most recent findings from areas where fracking is active, and applies that experience to the Nova Scotia context.

“This report explains how the energy industry has exaggerated their claims of the size of the resource.  Resources of shale have recently been downgraded by 85% in the US and by 80% in Poland,” stated Energy Coordinator Catherine Abreu.  “New estimates suggest there might only be 6 years of gas in the US at our current rates of consumption.  And we want to use this technology here to get at the very last oil and gas resources in Nova Scotia?  It’s not the way forward, it’s the way backward” she added.

The Ecology Action Centre finds the impacts associated with fracking are widespread, ranging from adding to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, to contamination of air and drinking water and damages to rural roads from industrial trucking.  They contend that these far outweigh the very few benefits, which include an uncertain number of short term jobs.

“The fracking fluid that is injected into the shale might reach surface water in less than 10 years” said Jennifer West.  “Where groundwater has been contaminated by the oil and gas industry in the US, some regions have been too expensive to clean up and remain unusable.  We know that natural gas can be found in drinking water near well sites, and we know that we don’t have a good understanding of our drinking water in Nova Scotia”

The EAC is submitting their report to the provincial review panel on hydraulic fracturing.  The panel is accepting reports and letters from the public until April 30th.  

Contacts:

Jennifer West, editor and Groundwater author       (902) 442-5046                   groundwater@ecologyaction.ca

Catherine Abreu, Energy and Economics author     (902) 442-0199                   energy@ecologyaction.ca

Stuart Campana, Transportation author                 (289) 244-2733                   stu.campana@gmail.com

Katherine Perfitt, Wilderness author                      (902) 478-9948                   kperf095@gmail.com

Catherine Hart, Food author                                 (902) 809-9947                   cathart28@gmail.com

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