WERU News Report 6/19/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Our neighbors to the north are engaged in a heated battle against fracking, the highly destructive and controversial process of extracting gas from shale. In New Brunswick, a company called SWN is conducting seismic tests, known as thumping, as a precursor to locating new fracking sites.

According to the website knowshalegasnb.ca/ 9 energy companies own 71 leases or licensing agreeements, covering 1.4 million hectares (about three and a half million acres) of land in New Brunswick, most of which overlap freshwater supply sources. The process of fracking consumes massive quantities of water, which is mixed with a proprietary cocktail of chemicals and blasted into shale to unleash the gas deposits. After being used in the process, the water is dangerously contaminated, and disposal becomes another problem. In addition, there have been spills, drinking water contamination, and earthquakes linked to fracking.

In New Brunswick, some of the new fracking sites that are being explored cross native land, and tribal members say they were not consulted. On Friday of last week several people were arrested engaging in civil disobedience to stop the process, and the tests were halted while negotiations took place. Earlier this afternoon as we spoke with some of the activists involved, they were watching for signs of how the negotiations were going — watching to see if the trucks engaged in the testing would start back up—and vowing to not back down