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.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

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


Lab rats and the corruption of how we count

The numbers that come our way are calculated and disseminated by people who …

Citizens Can Sue Fracking Companies for Earthquake Damage, Says Oklahoma Supreme Court

Oklahoma almost never used to have earthquakes. But in the last six years …

Peak Oil Notes - July 2

 A midweek update. Despite a rally on Tuesday, New York oil …

Asia depends on Middle East for 66 % of its oil imports

Of Asia’s total incremental oil imports since 2001, 4.5 mb/d (47%) …

Rural Colorado Leads the Charge for Energy Freedom

Last week the Western Slope Colorado witnessed a huge victory for energy …

“We are in danger of winning. But….”  

First in-depth radio interview on The Winning of the Carbon War, on Radio …

Renewable Energy Redoubles its Global Reach

A significant threshold has been crossed by renewable energy as analysts …