Fracking resolution a little too early?

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The Municipality of Cumberland has fired what it believes is a pre-emptive strike it hopes will encourage government to put the brakes on future attempts to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to get at shale gas reserves believed to be sitting under the area.

However, as much as the county wants to make its feelings known on the subject it is sort of putting the cart before the horse, considering the province’s review of the practice won’t be completed before mid-2014. By that time there’s a strong possibility the province, and everyone else for that matter, may have forgotten that the county has taken its stance.

We also cannot forget that a county resolution is unlikely to have any influence over how the government decides to proceed, other than to remind it this is how the municipality and its residents feel.

The jury is still out on the use of fracking to access gas trapped in rock deep under the surface. There have been plenty of examples of fracked wells causing all sorts of problems in the United States and anyone who has seen the Gasland documentary is certain to become an immediate opponent of anything to do with pumping large volumes of water and chemicals underground at high pressure to fracture the rock and free trapped gas.

It’s also something the gas industry prefers not to talk about in this country, other than to say fracking is a proven practice that has been safely used for generations in other areas of the country.

However, when you’re talking about the safety of the water supply, the environment and wildlife it’s pretty hard to convince skeptics that fracking is not without risk.

When the government placed a hold on fracking a couple of years ago it said it wanted to take the time to listen to the industry, see what’s taking place in other jurisdictions and hear public concerns.  When it extended that review last year, the province said it wants to take the time to collect as much information on the subject  as it can to make the most informed decision possible.

There are legitimate concerns in Cumberland County regarding fracking and those questions need to be answered before any wells are drilled in the area. However, it’s incumbent upon the county and other stakeholders to provide input and allow the government’s review take its course in hopes that it’s based on facts and science as opposed to rumour and speculation.


Geographic location: United States, Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Jason
    January 17, 2013 - 14:41

    you know what they say...once you start fracking its hard to stop

  • DonfromEFC
    January 16, 2013 - 12:36

    Memo to Sparky and Honker - have you been to Alberta any time during the past 3 years ? If you had you would know about the many areas that have lost the use of ground water due to fracking - usually of horizontal drilled wells - particularly shallow fracking in coal beds . Google " Rosebud , Alberta " and read about it's water reservoir blowing up and the surrounding area losing wells . The Jury isn't out about this very dangerous activity as it has recently been carried out . We all know about the many areas that have lost water completely or had wells contaminated as a result . Those are the present facts - available for anyone that wants to look . Nineteen wells of thirty-one drilled in Quebec leaking methane up alongside the casings . 60 wells lost in Penobsquis , NB .

    • sparky
      January 18, 2013 - 16:28

      Yes Don, but now you are comparing apples to oranges. Coal bed methane is shallow, and close to the water table. Quite honestly it should have never been fracked. What we have here is deep shale gas, at least a 100 meters or more below the water table. If methane is leaking up around the casing, then it is either a bad cement job, a failure in the casing, or something else causing it. Have they had dry conditions in this area of Quebec? Lowering of the water table can cause microboes to die, decaying and creating methane gas. As for penobquis, i'd have to research that before i could provide any type of answer to you. If humans are involved there is always a risk that something can go wrong, but let's not abandon something that has huge potential for our region if done correctly. JMO

  • honker
    January 12, 2013 - 11:58

    The oil and gas industry can bring very much needed financial resources to Cumberland County. I have fracked over 50 wells in AB, BC Sask and Montana without any consequences to ground water. Natural gas is almost ubiquitous and despite all the paranoia and hype generated by local worry warts, the risks are a lot less than crossing the street. New York State is now allowing fracking, the data does not show any of the horiffic speculation being offered by Cumberland County's amateur, social, paranoid gang of misfits.

    • sparky
      January 14, 2013 - 04:02

      I agree honker. I was fracking wells back in 99 in AB with no ill effects. It's funny how they will condone such an economically and better for the environment solution. I guess they like the rolling environmental disasters called heating oil trucks and the electric heat generated by coal.

  • sparky
    January 12, 2013 - 05:12

    Gasland is a movie, not a documentary. It dramatizes and twists events to make fracking look far more dangerous then it actually is. The reason the mopvie was made (with royalties from the gas wells on his own property) was due to a disagreement over the royalty amounts that he was receiving.