Do you get your climate science from your weatherman? If so, you might be the dupe of an ongoing anti-science campaign, played out by some of national television’s most recognizable TV weathercasters – more than half of whom are climate change deniers.
According to Halliburton, one of North America’s largest hydraulic fracturing operators and suppliers, the “frack of the future” has arrived. Hoping to both increase well production and lower production costs, Halliburton is one among a crowd of energy companies looking to overhaul their fracking operations with new – and more powerful – methods.
Coined by Bloomberg as “super fracking” the gas industry is celebrating this new catalogue of high-intensity fracking technologies, dedicated to creating deeper and longer fissures in underground formations to release ever-greater amounts of the oil and gas trapped there.
As Bloomberg reports, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger are each investing heavily in advanced fracking technologies. Baker Hughes’ “DirectConnect” technology aims at gaining deeper access to underlying oil and gas deposits while Schlumberger’s “HiWay” forces specially developed materials into fractures to create widened pathways for oil and gas flow. Schlumberger now supplies over 20 oil and gas operators with “HiWay” technologies, up from only two a year ago.
Water contamination is at the heart of the fracking debate. Gas companies and their well-funded industry support groups (still) adamantly contend that ‘there are no proven instances of drinking water contamination due to fracking.’ But as Chris Mooney recently wrote about in the Scientific American, and as DeSmogBlog pointed out in our featured report Fracking the Future – this argument is based more on semantics and sly avoidance tactics than scientific evidence, or personal experience for that matter. But in Alberta the oil and gas industry’s ability to deny responsibility for instances of water contamination may be related to an even greater systemic flaw – one which leaves the final verdict in the hands of industry representatives.
AENV responds to complaints in tandem with the province’s oil and gas regulator, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), previously the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB). Upon the event of suspected water contamination, ERCB provides AENV with relevant information about the producing well, including which company it belongs to. AENV then contacts the company who is directed to “conduct an investigation or hydrogeology study, using a qualified professional.”
If British Columbia wants to pursue economic, environmental and human health then the province must slow its furious pace of unconventional gas production, says a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Wilderness Committee. The CAPP report, part of their partner Climate Justice Project with the University of British Columbia, concludes that BC’s natural gas sector is putting the industry’s needs before those of British Columbians, and doing so with the government’s help.
The B.C. Tap Water Alliance (BCTWA) called today for the resignation of British Columbia’s Energy Minister Rich Coleman. The demand comes on the heels of a Global TV program 16:9 which on Saturday evening aired Untested Science, an investigation into the recent surge of fracking across BC and Alberta. During the program Minister Coleman is berated by investigators for failing to keep his promise to implement a public consultation process in BC, a province beset by some of the largest fracking operations in the world.
The Canadian government, on the provincial and federal level, needs to tag team on tar sands public relations, according to an internal Canadian Embassy document reported on by Mike De Souza yesterday in the Financial Post. The newly released document, obtained by Environmental Defense Canada through an access to information request, details the outcome of a 2010 overseas trip taken by Alberta’s former Environment Minister Rob Renner. According to the Embassy staff who prepared the report, international investors and stakeholders feel Canada’s lack of unified tar sands advocacy leaves the world’s dirtiest source of energy vulnerable to attack.
During a week long visit to the United Kingdom, Renner heard the concerns of invested parties who suggested Alberta take the lead in a nationwide and government-directed public relations campaign to “temper negative coverage” of the tar sands.