Water Issues

Council of Canadian Academies confirms we don’t know enough

Canadians face a Pandora’s box of potential environmental and health risks as the oil industry charges forward with hydraulic fracturing techniques that are needed to unlock vast natural gas and oil deposits across the country, says a new report by the Council of Canadian Academies, for the federal government.


From the Council of Canadian Academies report:

Human Health and Social Impacts

Penobsquis Gas WellThe health and social impacts of shale gas development have not been well studied. While shale gas development will provide varied economic benefits, it may also adversely affect water and air quality and community well-being as a result of the rapid growth of an extraction industry in rural and semi-rural areas. Potential community impacts include health and safety issues related to truck traffic and the sudden influx of a large transient workforce.

Psychosocial impacts on individuals and on the communities have been reported related to physical stressors, such as noise, and perceived lack of trustworthiness of the industry and government. If shale gas development expands, risks to quality of life and well-being in some communities may become significant due to the combination of diverse factors related to land use, water quality, air quality, and loss of rural serenity, among others. These factors are particularly relevant to the ability of Aboriginal peoples to maintain their traditional way of life; several First Nations have expressed concerns about the possible impacts of shale gas development on their quality of life and their rights.

Shalefield Stories

Shalefield Stories thumbnail_4Across the country, fracking is contaminating drinking water, making nearby families sick with air pollution, and turning forest acres into industrial zones. We believe it is vital for the public to hear directly from people living on the frontlines of fracking, and so Environment America Research & Policy Center is supporting the Shalefield Stories project—a booklet designed and published by Friends of the Harmed, group of volunteer citizen-journalists committed to providing support to affected individuals and families living in the shalefields of Western Pa.

Shalefield Stories

Released by: Environment America
Release date: Thursday, January 30, 2014

“Fracking is impacting the lives of families living in its shadow. It’s time for their voices to be heard. That’s why we’re supporting the Shalefield Stories project.”

John Rumpler, Senior Attorney
Environment America

“The industry will tell you that the mile or two between the zone that’s being fracked is not going to let anything come up. But, there are already cases where methane gas has made it up into the aquifers and atmosphere. Sometimes through old well bores, sometimes through natural fissures in the rock. What we don’t know is just how much gas is going to come up over time. It’s a point that most people haven’t gotten. It’s not just what’s happening today. We’re opening up channels for the gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere. And methane is much more potent greenhouse gas in the short term – less than 100 years – than carbon dioxide.” 

Louis W. Allstadt
Former Executive VP Mobil Oil

No Contamination? Ever?

Are you confused by industry claims about the long history of fracking with no contamination?

The article below contains two short videos by experts that explain the confusion – both are under 3 minutes long and were made for the recent moratorium battles in Colorado. These videos feature local and national experts who touch on economics, air pollution, groundwater contamination and renewable energy solutions. The first video features EPA whistleblower Wes Wilson and the second features Cornell scientist Tony Ingraffea.

Check out the entire Colorado article here.

Or, for a more detailed history and explanation of the gas industry’s confusing wordplay: