11,000 City of Lethbridge signatures opposing drilling delivered to legislature; Consider long-term health effects & Bravo to Lethbridge realtors

11,000 anti-drill signatures delivered to legislature by Nick Kuhl, March 18, 2014, Lethbridge Herald
The signatures of more than 11,000 Lethbridge residents against drilling within city limits were delivered to Edmonton on Monday morning. Sheila Rogers of the group No Drilling Lethbridge dropped off a box of petitions, calling for the Alberta government to introduce legislation prohibiting oil and gas drilling development within the city of Lethbridge, to Lethbridge West MLA Greg Weadick’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Weadick wasn’t in but a representative told Rogers they would be processed. “This is the culmination of the door-to-door campaign on the westside, and all the other signatures we collected,” Rogers said. “We want to have the petition tabled in the Legislature before Goldenkey’s mineral lease expires. It is important that the government know the level of opposition in Lethbridge to this proposed project.”

Goldenkey Oil, which announced last year plans to drill three exploratory wells in west Lethbridge, has not yet applied for a licence to drill. However, their petroleum and natural gas licence for mineral rights to 23 square kilometres is up for renewal on March 24. Under Section 8.1 of the Mines and Minerals Act, Alberta’s Minister of Energy, Diana McQueen, may cancel a licence if it is deemed not in the public interest.

The No Drilling Lethbridge petition is anticipated to be tabled in the Legislature later this week. “We don’t know, at this point, exactly when the petition will be tabled; we’re hoping for Thursday,” Rogers said. Weadick has gone on record against drilling within city limits, and for new legislation to be introduced, including during a public discussion at SACPA last month. On March 5, Weadick also tabled to the Legislature the 176 anti-drilling letters he had received.

In addition to the No Drilling Lethbridge petition, Lethbridge city council, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, the Lethbridge School District No. 51 Board of Trustees, the Holy Spirit Catholic School Board, and the Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors, have all publicly expressed their opposition. [Emphasis added]

No Drilling Lethbridge Delivers Petitions Against Urban Oil & Gas Drilling by Pat Siedlecki, March 17, 2014, CJOCFM
A local group against urban oil and gas exploration has presented a box full of petitions to Lethbridge West MLA Greg Weadick. Sheila Rogers with “No Drilling Lethbridge” says the group had a massive response to its petition. She presented Weadick’s office in Edmonton with a box full of more than 11,000 signatures from all across Lethbridge from people opposed to oil and gas drilling here. GoldenKey Oil has yet to apply for a licence to drill, but the company’s mineral rights lease is set to expire and is up for renewal on March 24th. The petition calls on the province to introduce legislation that would prohibit oil and gas drilling within the City of Lethbridge. [Emphasis added]

Petitions calls for ban on oil, gas drilling in southern Alberta city by The Canadian Press, March 17, 2014, 660News
A group has delivered to the Alberta legislature petitions with more than 11,00 signatures from residents who are opposed to oil and gas exploration in their city. Sheila Rogers with “No Drilling Lethbridge” gave the petitions to the city’s MLA, Greg Weadick, on Monday. Rogers said the group had a massive response to its petition, which calls on the province to prohibit oil and gas drilling within the city. GoldenKey Oil has secured mineral rights from Alberta Energy in an undeveloped area of southwest Lethbridge but has yet to apply to the Alberta Energy Regulator to drill three oil wells on privately owned land within city limits. The proposed wells are classified as sour wells, as they would be drilled through a sour geological formation, but would produce from a non-sour zone. Rogers says the company’s mineral rights lease is set to expire and is up for renewal on March 24. [Emphasis added]

Consider long-term health effects of drilling by Robert Campbell, March 18, 2014, Lethbridge Herald
Re: Proposed drilling within city limits.
Currently, there has been little or no serious discussion about the long-term health consequences, human or otherwise, from the proposed Goldenkey drilling and fracking activities within city limits. There needs to be more consideration of this issue. Industry maintains they have been doing it for many years without incident. This may be true, but these activities are now being carried out in formations that are much more complex and harder to get at. Corporations traditionally deny or underestimate potential health risks of their activities. The recently released study by the University of Toronto’s environmental chemistry research group, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on health risks related to the Athabasca oilsands is a case in point. Health risks to humans and wildlife have been underestimated.

Injecting large amounts of water and sand combined with toxic chemicals into the ground at high pressure to fracture rock formations to release harder-to-reach oil and gas somehow doesn’t seem conducive for promoting a healthy environment. Unintended consequences do happen; the Primrose oil project leak near Cold Lake, Alta., is one current example.Lethbridge city council is right in asking for a moratorium on urban drilling. They are in good company. The City of Los Angeles and the state of Vermont have banned fracking and several other jurisdictions are in the process. Kudos to city council. [Emphasis added]

Bravo to realtors for opposing urban drilling by Cecily Smith, March 18, 2014, Lethbridge Herald
The Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors has announced their support of city council, the public school board, the Holy Spirit Catholic School board and the over [11,000] citizens who have signed the petition opposing drilling in Lethbridge. The realtors are to be congratulated for showing responsible leadership in protecting our children, grandchildren and our community. Bravo!

I hope that more Lethbridge business and health organizations will soon follow your good example. I invite everyone to get involved with the petition or a “No Drilling” sign. Visit nodrillinglethbridge.ca or call 587-425-1789. [Emphasis added]

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