Fracking isn’t worth the risk

Fracking isn't worth the risk CBC Radio's 6 o'clock news on Feb. 3 headlined: "Researchers from University of Toronto are reporting that emissions from the oil sands in Alberta are dangerously underestimated in the soil and water in Alberta. This means t

CBC Radio’s 6 o’clock news on Feb. 3 headlined: “Researchers from University of Toronto are reporting that emissions from the oil sands in Alberta are dangerously underestimated in the soil and water in Alberta. This means the impact of the pollution on human health is under-estimated and under-reported”.

These pollutants, known as PAHs, can be highly carcinogenic (producing cancer). My son asks me if I have ever seen pictures of the deformed fish in Alberta! It was also reported that there is not enough money to monitor emissions.

During a presentation to the Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing, H. Wayne Hamal, CEO of EFLO Energy Inc. came to the Yukon to convince us that his company can frack safely.

It’s almost laughable, but not so much when you think of our government’s focus (obsession) on industrial development, the environment be damned. Oil and gas companies indicate the Yukon has enough gas to last for 25 to 50 years.

So am I correct in thinking that oil and gas industries want to frack environmentally sensitive Yukon land for gas and then in the blink of an eye – 25 to 50 – years, they will abandon the wells, plug them and leave?

They can’t reassure us that these abandoned fracked well sites will never leak. Industry reported data obtained from the Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing found that five per cent of wells fail soon; more wells fail with age and most all wells fail by maturity!

A hydrologist, Mr. Gilles Wendling, presented to the Committee on fracking and stated that little is known about groundwater but what is known is that the high chance of leakage does exist as does the potential to permanently change an area’s watershed.

The hydrologist said more study is needed to determine the full scope of the potential impacts on groundwater, and it should happen before there are 10,000 or more hydraulic fracturing wells in the ground. I was startled to learn that northern B.C. has 31,000 oil and gas wells. Where is the money going to come from to monitor leakage of these wells? In western Canada there are over 500,000 wells!

So Yukon people are we going to believe these rich men from Outside, CEOs of the oil and gas industry, when they tell us that (and I quote) “environmental risk from hydraulic fracturing is almost nil”? Would you want a well drilled in your backyard by EFLO, right next to your own water well? There is nothing more precious than water and our water should not be for sale. Thanks to community members, who our premier would call “environmentalists,” who are parents, grandparents and retirees who volunteer to bring the issue of hydraulic fracking to the public. We need to do our part and not sit back. Please write or call your MLA and Ryan Leef and tell them your concerns about fracking in the Yukon.

Cathy Deacon

Whitehorse