Re Terry Stanton’s letter – Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

The following is an article from The Tyee 29 April 2011, it makes very interesting reading when compared to the letter in your November 2015 edition from Lawrie Ayres concerning CSG in Alberta Canada. Whilst I don’t claim to be any sort of an expert on the matter, this article does seem to be somewhat at odds to the claims Mr. Ayres makes.

John Knight

Rosebud Alberta Canada.

Beginning nearly a decade ago, the natural gas industry carpet-bombed some of the Alberta’s best agricultural land with 10,000 shallow CBM wells. It also fracked everything underneath. No company disclosed what toxic chemicals they actually deployed to break open these shallow coal seams. And no regulator recorded the original state of the groundwater either.

And then along came Ernst, a 54-year-old scientist and oil patch consultant. Before the boom she lived on top of an unfractured coal seam on a quiet piece of fescue (a type of grass – Ed) just north of Calgary in a town called Rosebud. Clean and non-flammable water flowed through coal formations that fed her water well and that of her neighbours. Historical water records confirm it.

But during the boom things changed. The region’s geological formations got blasted so many times by highly pressurised injections of nitrogen, water, sand and toxic chemicals that methane started to seep up all over the place. Even Ernst’s dogs stopped drinking the water. Today the landowner can now set her tap water on fire. In fact, she now trucks in fresh water to avoid inconvenient kitchen explosions while making dinner. Nor is she alone.

Being stubborn and somewhat testy about justice and the fate of public resources such as groundwater, Ernst decided to sue. She just doesn’t think energy security should trump water security.

Her $30-million lawsuit penned by well-known Toronto lawyers (and that means Ernst is damn serious) is an eye popper as well as reality check on the costs of pursuing extreme sources of energy.

In fact, her well-documented case is considered by some to be so credible that Ernst has been invited “to present her story and make recommendations to governments at the 19th session.

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