Dear Editor: I was pleased to read that Resource Minister Tom Marshall is taking it upon himself to become informed about fracking and is visiting several provinces to investigate their experiences.
It is important to collect as much information as possible. Saskatchewan’s experiences while interesting do not totally relate to this type of environment, but it is a good start.
I hope that he will also visit places, if he can find them, that do the deep drilling and ocean drilling that is being proposed here. It would also make sense to me to visit areas where there are problems and try to understand what they are and how they could have been prevented.
I suggest he consider visiting Pennsylvania and talk to the people whose water supply is not only contaminated, but flammable, and also talk to the wardens of the national forest where the wildlife has decreased due to environmental impact.
I also suggest he visit Wisconsin and Oklahoma where they have had earthquakes that have been tied to fracking and also the seismology lab that has tied faultlines created by fracking to earthquakes that were then triggered remotely. This report has tied the Chilean earthquake to the one that caused the highway collapse in Oklahoma.
I have been told that the type of drilling (depth and near the ocean) that will occur here has not been done anywhere else.
I hope he investigates that as well and understands by places that have had problems what can go wrong and apply those learnings, as well as considering why successful fracking operations are successful. This is a standard practice recommended by various quality organizations throughout the world. In addition, I suggest he meet with experts on both sides of the fracking debate and understand the “facts” that support their positions.
Minister Marshall has taken a wise course of action. He is correct that the concerned citizens of the west coast need to be informed, but truthfully it is very difficult weeding out the noise and then sorting through all the information and applying it.
If he makes the commitment to be thorough in his collection of information and using unbiased resources to translate what he may not understand will definitely create a win-win situation for Newfoundland.
If the process is not complete, it is not a good use of time or taxpayer money. Again I commend Minister Marshall for the time he is taking to understand this issue.
Kathleen Lepold-Madigan, Woody Point