Jessica Ernst rejects violence, threats as solution

Jessica Ernst rejects violence, threats as solution by John Gleeson, March 20, 2012, Mountain View Gazette
An internationally recognized anti-fracking activist who spoke at Eagle Hill last week rejected “violence or threats” as an appropriate response to public concerns. “It’s a very emotional thing, injecting toxic chemicals into our drinking water, to have our lives invaded,” Rosebud resident Jessica Ernst told a crowd of about 130 people at Eagle Hill Community Hall at the start of her presentation Thursday night. “But once we do violence, once we threaten, we lose everything,” Ernst said. Instead, she said, the cause should be fought with “integrity and truth and people power.”…Her presentation, called Truth and Consequences of Fracking, blended her general analysis of the industry’s impact with her own experience in Rosebud, rejecting many of the arguments given by the industry and government regulators. “The casing protects us, they say, but they’re blasting lots of holes in the casing and cement,” she said. While officials say there has never been a documented case of groundwater contamination due to fracking in Alberta, Ernst said there are “hundreds of other cases sealed by confidentiality agreements” that disprove that claim….Ernst said the government created Synergy Alberta in 2006, “right in the heat of all the frac action and all the contamination cases going public,” and warned that synergy groups – one spectator pointed out that Sundre Petroleum Operators Group [SPOG] was the local entity – are funded by industry and designed to produce manufactured or implied consent. “You need to have the ability to say no to being synergized – stand up on your farm and say no,” Ernst urged the audience.

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