Unearthed: The Fracking Facade

Afrikaan filmmaker, Jolynn Minnaar’s documentary, Unearthed: The Fracking Facade, started off as her determination to explore the potential for shale gas development in South Africa. She ended up traveling internationally , including the United States and New Brunswick and interviewing over 400 people in her quest for the truth. She visited Moncton last June. The final 5 minutes are particular poignant.

And here is an interview in which she talks about how this independently funded film came about and what she now thinks about the industry.

“This film isn’t about me, about what I think, I’m a filmmaker. I’m 24 years old, I’m not a petrochemical engineer,  I’m not an oil company executive, I don’t have any history in this industry. What I seek to do is go to the various stakeholders, be that the company or someone who has cancer after being exposed to the chemicals used in fracing, and make their voices known because up until now there hasn’t been that exposure so in this debate and in south Africa and internationally, this has failed us. And governments I believe are making poorly informed decisions and a lack of public consultation and it goes down to the basic democratic processes that haven’t been followed. And to me that is completely unacceptable.” Jolynn Minnaar


Dear Premier Alward, please don’t ruin our water…

Quinn knows the value of fresh water. He sees his dad working hard to keep Hillsborough’s two village water wells in good working order and knows bad water makes people sick. He has heard about fracking in the news and at school and knows others in his county are concerned about the gas and oil wells drilled nearby. He told his mom he wanted to do something to help.

Premier Alward, Quinn and his sister Cadence do not stand alone. They speak for all of us.


Image2Image3(used with permission from Quinn and his mom.)

Parents Must be Informed

hillsboroughoverview1We expect drilling in the area surrounding Hillsborough will commence this spring or summer. In particular, parents must become more aware of how this industry may change our community. This is something that could affect every part of our daily lives including heavy equipment traffic, noise, vibration and lights, possible contamination of drinking water, possible decrease in property values and, most importantly,  the safely and well-being of our children.

It’s something we cannot ignore any longer. Please plan to attend one of these informal question and answer sessions to be held on:

Monday, February 11th, at 7pm AND
Monday, February 18th, at 7pm

Royal Canadian Legion, 31 Legion Street, Hillsborough
Join our Facebook Event Page and the “Shale Gas in Albert County” page.

WEPAC has invited a former frack site worker to the meetings so he can answer your questions based on his first-hand experiences.

Please do not depend upon our local media coverage to inform you on what shale gas and oil will mean to our community. You must do your OWN RESEARCH. Start by reading this fact sheet, released by the Council of Canadians regarding the Myths vs. Realities of Fracking. You can find more resources on our About Fracking page.


Guess Who’s Invited to Town?

Get to know the company our government has invited to our fair province.

swn_nbOur government has leased 2.5 million acres of New Brunswick land to SWN Resources Inc.(a subsidiary of Southwestern Energy) for shale gas exploration and development. SWN operates in Arkansas, Texas,
Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Colorado, in addition to New Brunswick. Their NB lease lies largely through central and southern part of the province (see map).

A former oil and gas driller who has worked in fields throughout Canada and the US, has compiled a list of violations, fines, contamination reports, accidents and lawsuits that SWN has been named in – all found online. Yet the company claims they have a safe track record. Can all these incidents be false or coincidence?

Does our government really believe rules and regulations will make a difference here in New Brunswick?

Note:  “SEECO” is SWN’s drilling division, and DeSoto Gathering Company is their pipeline division.

What will Fracking do to our Food?

Here in Albert County, our Foods of the Fundy Valley group has been working hard over the past few years to expand the offering of locally grown food and produce. They have started a successful market, encouraged community share gardens and local meat producers, and taught programs in our schools. Their work has enhanced and built bridges between our communities and improved our lifestyle. They are revitalizing our county.

veggiebasket1On one hand, we have hardworking New Brunswickers putting their heart and soul into building our local economy through healthy, sustainable agriculture. On the other hand, our government is permitting oil and gas companies to poison our land, air and water for the promise of a quick buck. Our province has said it will allow ‘only’ 200-300 wells to be drilled each year, but our area has also been described as having 12x the amount of shale gas reserves as Pennsylvania, which is mentioned in the article below.

Read what the Food & Environmental Reporting Network has to say about Fracking and Food: First In-Depth Report on Potential Impact of Fracking on Food

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying, according to the latest report by Food & Environment Reporting Network. Elizabeth Royte wrote the cover story, “What the Frack Is in our Food?” for the December 17, 2012, issue of The Nation magazine.

The Quick Facts on Fracking

New Brunswick author, Carla Gunn, has compiled an informative list of her own fracking research:

To summarize, she says, concerns with fracking are multiple and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. air pollution from multiple sources
  2. water contamination
  3. noise pollution and the impact on psychological and physical health
  4. the vast amount of water used in fracking and permanently removed from the planet’s water cycle
  5. the question of whether waste water can be safely treated in the quantities required
  6. not all the chemicals/ waste water is recovered (flowback) after the fracking process – where do contaminants eventually end up?
  7. the safe transport of this waste to facilities (i.e, potential for spills)
  8. the industrialization of our rural areas and impact on agriculture
  9. the fact that this quest for shale gas is yet another focus on fossil fuels at a time when we should be desperately trying to develop cleaner sources of energy
  10. the carbon impact of shale gas extraction (bigger carbon footprint than coal)
  11. serious questions about whether the NB government has the resources, personnel, and expertise to monitor all of these activities
  12. the integrity of the well sites; i.e., how secure are they 20, 50,100 years from now?