Shale gas extraction a big fracking problem

Shale gas extraction a big fracking problem by Vanvouver Courier, May 11, 2012
It’s not looking good for hydraulic fracturing on the PR front. … A recent report in the journal Ground Water concludes that benzene and other toxic chemicals injected into the ground during fracking operations could migrate toward the aquifer level much faster than previously predicted. … So what does that have to do with us in B.C.? Plenty. The northeast corner of our province is home to immense hydraulic fracturing operations, notes Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. At a public meeting two weeks ago at the Vancouver Public Library, Parfitt and other speakers painted a sobering scenario for B.C.’s wilderness, energy independence, and corporate accountability. B.C.’s shale gas production is comparable to Alberta’s tar sands project. Both require immense amounts of water and energy in their operations; hence their tag as “unconventional” fossil fuel extraction. In a November 2011 report for the CCPA, “Fracking Up Our Water, Hydro Power and Climate,” Parfitt notes a recent B.C. Hydro assessment that the projected power needs of the province’s shale gas sector would require to three times the power produced at the proposed Site C dam on the Peace River. “Currently, much of the gas produced in B.C. moves by pipeline to Alberta, where the biggest industrial user of natural gas is the tar sands industry. We are literally exporting the world’s most energy-intensive natural gas to help produce some of our planet’s most energy-intensive oil,” writes Parfitt.

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