From the Council of Canadians website, November 3, 2011
Communities across Canada are asking hard questions about a natural gas drilling process called “fracking” and calling for stronger federal and provincial government oversight of this growing industry.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” is a controversial drilling process used to extract natural gas from shale, coal beds and “tight sands” with vertical and horizontal drilling. Sand, water and chemicals are blasted at high pressure to fracture rock where natural gas is trapped.
Communities all over Canada, the U.S. and other countries are fighting against fracking because it pollutes water and harms human health. Fracking is extremely water intensive and requires approximately 2 million to 9 million gallons of water per “fracking” job. This method of natural gas extraction also uses dangerous chemicals. A four billion gallon fracking project requires approximately 80 tonnes (200,000 gallons) of chemicals. Contaminated fracking water, laced with these chemicals, can leach into local water supplies.
While some municipalities are imposing bans or halting fracking projects, Quebec is the only province in Canada that has implemented a limited moratorium.
Council of Canadians chapters and members are active in fights against fracking in local communities. For example, in Nova Scotia the Council’s Inverness County chapter has been challenging PetroWorth Resources Inc.’s plans to drill more than 1,200 metres beneath the ground for oil and gas just 2,000 feet from the shore of Lake Ainslie, the province’s largest freshwater lake. In Alberta, we are supporting members of the Blood Tribe who have been fighting a fracking project on their lands south of Calgary. In British Columbia chapter members are rallying against provincial government approval of a water licence that will allow the annual removal of up to 7.3 billion litres of water from the Williston Reservoir near Hudson’s Hope for fracking.