Much money has been made and a great deal of environmental damage has been done through the practice of ‘Fracking’ or Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing.
Canadians have had a heads up following horror stories in the US but never mind there is money to be made. The politicians of all stripes are as weak as water when it comes to regulating, reporting and permitting of these fracking operations.
BC and Alberta’s energy resources used to make the provinces hum, but today the difficulties are becoming harder to sweep under the carpet.
Check out this report from Fracking Canada and then question the industry spin coming from our BC Liberal Government and even the opposition NDP. Fracking is high risk and a somewhat unknown frontier that has our politicians mesmerized.
Now the large energy players are moving closer to urban areas and the residents’ concerns are justifiably mounting. They not only have to fight against the energy industry but face a compliant, understaffed and unwilling response from so called government regulators.
In Alberta, when your water well … pfffft … becomes an energy well, you’re on your own. Horrific, don’t you think? We face the same risks in BC.
Another kick in the ass is that the BC and Alberta governments are both in serious deficit situations while being seduced by the free riders in the energy game. Forbes magazine reports that ‘Industry insiders call fracking for Shale Gas an Enron like ponzi scheme being played out but the best days are behind us. There is an incredible natural gas glut world wide now. Politicians in the North-Eastern US and in Quebec and the Maritimes seem to get it but in the West gullible politicians are rolling over happy to be part of the game.
Imagine the devastation and pollution from the Tar Sands, the tax breaks, gifts and incentives given to some of the most powerful corporations on earth, and then look to the Conservative Alison Redford Premier struggling to meet their obligations and maintain services while their province is being plundered and yet the big boys are riders, not providers. It is a criminal disgrace.
Look westward where Christy Clark and her BC Liberal coalition of convenience struggle with deficits after a decade plus of their reckless tax policies and free spending ways and you will see the same devil may care attitude towards our environment and coastline.
Premier Christy Clark and Rich Coleman, BC Liberal Energy Minister have had an easy time of it when they should have had a rough ride commensurate with their absolute and dedicated cheer-leading for the fracking game and their thinly veiled flip-flopping over the unthinkable Enbridge Pipeline proposal.
Let’s face it the BC Liberal’s want the Enbridge proposal and the BC NDP have stood clearly in opposition from the start.
When it comes to the other pipeline proposals it is a safe bet that both the Liberals and the NDP are on side with them until and unless we hear something different very soon.
If voters are looking to environmental protection and have concerns over ‘fracking’ then they are in tough.
The BC NDP offerings to placate opponents of the dangerous fracking game are only of a general nature and as yet they have not advanced any substantive policies or proposed regulations that actually address the understandable concerns. Industry talking points dilute any sense of real concern from either party.
It is beyond debate that our water is at risk from fracking practices. Water in the end is far more important to all life forms than fracked gas.
Unlike Quebec and Nova Scotia, our BC politicians cannot, it seems, bring themselves to say the ‘M’ word.
In New Brunswick a call for a moratorium was rejected after a predictable so called study. It wreaks of industry buzzwords and ignores the notion of the ‘Precautionary Principle.’
You can bet that the most if not all studies forced on governments are very similar in their approach and conclusions recommending that fracking be continued.
Earlier former NB Green Party candidate, Bethany Thorne-Dykstra, President of The Citizens for Responsible Resource Development sold out and appeared with the Conservatives backing off calls for a moratorium.
And if that does not trouble you, ask yourself why other jurisdictions recognizing the risks have declared moratoriums. Our BC politicians have failed us totally in that regard.
Voters must press both the BC Liberals and BC NDP to decalre a ‘MORATORIUM’ on Fracking until full and proper studies can be undertaken and a full and open public processes are held in an accountable and transparent manner.
BC voters deserve nothing less and even if that is achieved then the make-up of those particpating in any study must include meaningful representation from opponents and the otion of a total ban must be one of the options to be considered in any study or review.
The BC Greens and the feckless BC Conservatives might determine outcomes through vote splitting but in the end in our ananchronistic first past the post system we will elect the NDP or the Liberals.
Voter turnout has been falling in recent elections and the most often heard complaint is that all the parties and their talking point drenched politicians all sound the same and lack relevancy needed to connect with those alienated and many are refusing to participate. Our democracy is sick and showing few signs of recovery as it stands today. It does not have to be this way.
Let’s face it. BC needs the NDP to stand up and vigorously protect the environment. Supporters had better let them know that soon, very soon.
The NDP has to speak up. They have not won the election yet and they have lost many elections since their last Glen Clark victory in 1996.
The clock is ticking.