Radio Ecoshock interviews Canadian investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk on the shadows of fracking by Alex Smith reporting for Radio Ecoshack, November 12, 2015.
Let’s reach out to the best reporter on the case.
Complete program, Nikiforuk interview starts at 24:25 and goes to 47:10 Min.
Download or listen to just the interview with Andrew Nikiforuk:
The Keystone Pipeline decision is another nail in the collapsing Tar Sands projects. But fracking in Western Canada continues at a mad rate, causing Earthquakes, and widespread pollution of water resources. Let’s reach out to the best reporter on the case.
Calgary Alberta is the headquarters of Canada’s boom and bust oil and gas industry, including the infamous Tar Sands and fracking. It takes guts to live there doing exposes on the damage done. That’s what investigative journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk did for the past 25 years, and he’s still at it. His latest book is “Slick Water, Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry“.
… The frackers were after “coal seam methane”. There are various types of rocks that can hold bubbles of methane (known as “natural gas”). The coal seams are very fragile rock, and tend to be closer to the surface. That makes them difficult and dangerous to frack – but profitable too. Jessica was getting all kinds of complaints from ranchers that their water was now laced with methane. Her own well was polluted.
The fracking companies, and then the Province of Alberta, tried to claim methane in their water was always there. Except she had solid proof it wasn’t. Using her skills, Jessica thought the Province would act to protect drinking water. In fact, the government just did a phony “investigation” and white-washed the whole thing. So she sued the government and the fracking companies.
The government’s defence was that they are not responsible for protecting drinking water – even though they issue the permits to polluters!
Usually, where there is solid proof of groundwater pollution by fracking, the companies want to settle with a cheque. That stops the lawsuit, and includes a confidentiality agreement that hides all the facts. The victims are not allowed to talk about the settlement or the pollution. A lot of damage from fracking has been hidden from the public records in this way.
But not Jessica. She’s continue[s] a ten year suit against the companies, mostly paid for out of the last of her savings [She still has assets to sell, including her home, and is busy figuring out what to sell next]. She is determined to get this fracking pollution into the court records, and keep it all public.
That’s very brave. Other local farmers wanted her to settle because they got money for the use of their property. At one point, secret police – from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police terrorism squad, arrived at Jessica’s house. They were told she was a terrorist. They demanded the names of all the ranchers who had complained. Of course she refused, and hosted the plain clothes cops on her porch, in metal chairs, in the Alberta winter. They went away empty handed, after apologizing. So who sent them? [Harper? Encana? The “Best in the World” AER?]
I think that anyone faced with fracking, anywhere in the world, should check out this case and Andrew’s book. He’s a great writer, with super investigative skills. The facts apply in Australia, the United States, Europe – wherever there is fracking. I’m glad to help Andrew and Jessica get this on the record on Radio Ecoshock.
I’ve followed Andrew Nikiforuk’s writing on the energy industry for years. You can find his other great stuff on his web site here. For example, his previous book is intriguing: “The Energy of Slaves, Oil and the New Servitude.” His articles are published by mainstream Canadian media, but also by most of the alternative press.
As always, you can download or forward these interviews, as separate mp3 files, using links in this show blog. [Emphasis added]