Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Review of Ben Parfitt’s Fracture Lines (report)

A Canadian study of shale gas fracking and its impact on water quality was released earlier this month. Entitled Fracture Lines: Will Canada’s Water be Protected in the Rush to Develop Shale Gas?, the study was conducted by Ben Parfitt for the Program on Water Issues, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Parfitt’s analysis is thoroughly sourced, with his fifty-page text being supplemented by another eight pages of detailed endnotes.

He begins by summarizing the shale gas boom in the USA and the growing concerns there over water issues, and warns that Canadian regulators need to be proactive:

“Unlike the United States where the US Congress and state regulators are fully engaged in public policy debates, neither the National Energy Board nor Environment Canada have yet raised any substantive questions about‘the shale gale’ or its impact on water resources” (p. 2).

He argues that when the low net energy/EROEI from shale gas is coupled with environmental concerns such as carbon emissions and water problems, shale gas looks less and less like the sure-fire“bridge to a cleaner energy future” claimed by its proponents.

Parfitt concludes by noting that “In Canada, government has notably embraced the benefits of shale production while studiously avoiding any serious discussion of its considerable environmental costs. The silence from the National Energy Board, Environment Canada and provincial energy regulators is troubling” (p. 42).

He offers thirteen recommendations for regulators, including the blunt observation that “Water is more vital than natural gas” (p. 47), a view which is no doubt shared (belatedly) by residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Parfitt’s timely study is available here

Editorial Notes: From the report: About the Author Ben Parfitt is a Victoria resident, author and award-winning magazine journalist, noted for his coverage of environmental and natural resource issues. He currently divides his time between work as a resource policy analyst with the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and various freelance assignments. Rick Munroe is a frequent contributor to Energy Bulletin on energy issues. -KS

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Note on Comments
This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


Peak Oil Notes - Feb 26

A mid-week update. Oil prices fell on Monday and Tuesday this week on …

Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand?

The evidence suggests the United States is playing energy poker with a pair …

Are We In The Midst Of An Epic Battle Between Interest Rates And The Oil Price?

What follows are the continuance of my research, discussions, observations …

Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Agency Finds

A report from the Dutch Safety Board has accused the oil and gas industry …

Peak Oil Review - Feb 23

A weekly review including Oil and the Global Economy, The Middle East & …

What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?

It is popular these days to speculate about why Saudi Arabia cajoled its …

Energy Crunch: a rare moment of unity

In a rare moment of unity, the leaders of the UK’s three major parties …