“Frack Clark’s House” says Anti-Fracking Activists in British Columbia

This morning, Rising Tide-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories and the Council of Canadians set up a 15-foot fracking rig on Premier Christy Clark’s lawn, announcing that “Because the Premier loves fracking, we figured we would bring it right to her!” says Jacquelyn Fraser, an activist with the group.

“We are just so worried about all the water that is being used and polluted in northeastern B.C. for fracking. We are sure Premier Clark is too and we’re sure she can share some of her own supply so that she can see the boom in the industry she keeps promoting,” says Fraser as ‘construction workers’ set up the rig behind her. “She may not end up with a lot of fresh water at the end, but at least she has some we could use right now.”

The group is referring to the impacts on the environment caused by hydraulic fracturing, a process through which water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the ground to fracture rock and release unconventional natural gas. Fracking is using up exorbitant amounts of water in northeastern B.C. and residents near fracking projects are increasingly concerned about the impacts it has on their water. As tons of freshwater are taken out of the water system, the process itself has been known to fail and contaminate drinking water.

Expansion of fracking has also been silently happening in the province, and groups like the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have even noted that provincial legislation is failing to protect all the water on which communities rely.  When the group was asked about why they decided to set up the rig on her property, one activist responded: “Well maybe you should speak to the people of Fort Chip and ask about how they feel about their land being messed up with tar sands,” alluding to the ongoing takeover of Indigenous lands by industry and government. “They have a pattern of not caring at all what people are actually saying,” she continued.

The premier has been championing Liquiefied Natural Gas on a recent North American tour to promote the industry. Soon after Christy Clark was re-elected in the Spring, Keith Shaeffer of The Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin claimed that “This was the single most important election to the energy landscape in all of North America in several years,” and noting that there were no less than ten proposals for Liquified Natural Gas terminals on the Pacific Coast which would be crucial for exporting the fracked gas. Promoting this fracking industry boom is alarming for local residents, such as David Diwell near Dawson Creek, who stated that the quality of his family’s water changed “overnight.”

There are over 23,419 operating fracking wells and another 4,000 which are abandoned in northeastern B.C., the region which is projected to produce about 22% of the continents gas by 2020. Studies from Cornell University have also been showing that fracking can be as dirty as coal, given the life cycle of carbon emissions and pollution. This means that B.C. would be unable to meet any previous greenhouse gas reduction targets if it fails to put a ban on new fracking proposals.

Christy Clark has been strongly encouraging the province’s future in the fossil fuel industry, and will be meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford on Tuesday to discuss the infamous Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal. The Northern Gateway Pipeline would follow much of the same route as the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP), a fracking pipeline which is being opposed by Indigenous communities living along the route. Construction of the PTP would blaze a trail for Northern Gateway and other proposed pipelines, essentially making the region an “Energy Corridor.” Industry’s plans of an “Energy Corridor” have been opposed by all the hereditary leadership of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and particularly be members of the Unist’ot’en who have built log cabins, traditional pit houses, and permaculture gardens along the route of the pipe.

As Christy Clark continues to promote oil, gas, and even numerous coal mine proposals in northern B.C., it is crucial that organizers on the ground show that there is visible opposition to these projects and that they are calling on industry and politicians respect communities when they say “No” to having these projects on their land.

2 Responses to ““Frack Clark’s House” says Anti-Fracking Activists in British Columbia”

  1. 1 John Woo Nov 8th, 2013 at 2:02 am

    they are still addicted to fossil fuel…

  2. 2 Margaret Dec 7th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    I seldom comment, however i did a few searching and wound
    up here Frack Clarks House says Anti-Fracking Activists in British Columbia It’s Getting Hot In Here.
    And I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Could it
    be just me or does it seem like a few of these remarks look
    as if they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And,
    if you are writing on additional online sites,
    I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.
    Would you list of every one of your community sites like your Facebook page,
    twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Comments are currently closed.

About maryam

maryam is an organizer, writer, and friend based in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territories. She likes bikes, exploring by kayak, and capoeira. You may have seen some of her writing in Canadian Dimensions, Briarpatch Magazine, The Dominion, or this online blog. You can follow her on twitter @maryamaquarium

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