Certainly, those living in areas targeted for the extraction of fossil fuels should be researching the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on their communities. But, there are also far-reaching impacts that will affect all taxpayers in our province.
As well, there are global implications of climate change while governments continue to push for more aggressive extraction of fossil fuels, drowning out the world’s scientists who say if we wish to avert catastrophic climate change, we must reduce GHG emissions and keep global warming below 1.5C. If we burn the known reserves of fossil fuels, the Earth would be destroyed several times over.
We need to be educated and aware.
The following organizations have reviewed the multitude of studies and brought them all together in one document. These are overviews of Scientific Studies:
- Understanding the Public Health Implications Concerning Shale Gas Production and Hydraulic Fracturing in Canada – National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, January 2016
- The Council of Canadian Academies released a comprehensive Canadian report on the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Development in May 2014.
- The ‘Concerned Health Professionals of New York’ released a fully referenced compilation (regularly updated) of the significant body of scientific, medical and journalistic findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking. Easy to read for public officials, researchers, journalists and the public at large, the document succinctly summarizes key studies and other findings relevant to the ongoing public debate about unconventional methods of oil and gas extraction.
- The Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy compiles a variety of regular reports on the industry. (This one, dated Dec 2014, notes almost 75% of all research on fracking has been compiled since 2013. Toward an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer reviewed scientific literature, 2009-2014)
- New York State Department of Health Public Health Review, which prompted a state-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing in Dec 2014 (annotated version at bottom)
- Crude Power (2018): an unprecedented investigation into the connections between oil, money and influence in Saskatchewan. Crude Power exposes the tight connection between government and the oil industry and investigates the substantial impact on the citizens of the province.
- Ethics of Fracking – This film explores the ethics of fracking though professional, scientific, medical, spiritual and religious backgrounds.
- Jessica Ernst: on Fracking in Alberta
- Bruce Jack of Spirit River, AB: CBC Documentary on his water well explosion:
- Shattered Ground: A Nature of Things Documentary with David Suzuki
- Untested Science – a Global Documentary on Alberta/BC developments
- Unearthed: The Fracking Facade – short form of the award-winning documentary on the impacts of fracking. Part of the research was done in Albert Co. (documentary website: http://www.un-earthed.com/)
- Be…Without Water: The Penobsquis Story (Part I) Learn about why the people in Penobsquis lost their water and what happened next.
- Be…Without Water: The Sequel (Part II)
- Burning Water – 2010 CBC Passionate Eye documentary on water well contamination near Rosebud, AB. One woman’s fight against industry and gov’t. In particular, this shows how the industry splits towns.
- Dr. Anthony Ingraffea: Myths and Realities of Hydraulic Fracking
Online Documents and Studies:
On Economics, Corporate Power, Jobs and Community Impacts:
- Corporate Mapping Project: The Corporate Mapping Project shines a bright light on the fossil fuel industry by investigating the ways corporate power is organized and exercised.
- The Price of Oil series: An unprecedented national collaboration between National Observer, The Toronto Star, Global News, the Michener Awards Foundation, the Corporate Mapping Project and four journalism schools investigating the impacts of the oil and gas industry on Canadian communities.
- How Shale Gas Extraction Affects Drilling Localities: Lessons for Regional and City Policy Makers – this Cornell University study, released in 2012, speaks to the reality of jobs and economies in shale gas development areas.
- Drill Baby Drill – J. David Hughes, a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager researches the promises of the fossil fuel industry.
- Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Recommendations on Shale Gas Development – Dr. Eilish Cleary’s (Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswick’s Public Health) independent study
- Toxic & Dirty Secrets: The Truth about Fracking – A white paper produced by the Centre for Environmental Health, which studies the effects of toxic chemicals that impact health
- Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health – Documentation of cases in six states strongly implicates exposure to gas drilling operations in serious health effects on humans, companion animals, livestock, horses, and wildlife.
- Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania (study by Cornell University, Elaine Hill)
- Increase in Birth Defects in Shale Gas Drilling Areas – Summary of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) study on prevalence of heart defects in babies born in shale gas areas. Actual report here.
- Fracking up our Water: A study of BC’s shale gas developments
- FRACTURE LINES: Will Canada’s Water be Protected in the Rush to Develop Shale Gas? (By Ben Parfitt For the Program on Water Issues Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto)
- Cracks in the Facade – 25 years ago, the EPA linked fracking to water contamination, yet the industry says links have never been proven.(Environmental Working Group)
- Opinion paper from University of New Brunswick professors (This paper specifically addresses some of the geologic concerns in Albert County).
- Fracking Contamination Will Only Get Worse – Karlis Muehlenbachs, Geochemist & Professor, University of Alberta says 8-10% of BC wells leak, 10% have had problems from the start and 60% will leak within 15-20 years. (Responsibility for the Land Q&A with Dr. Muehlenbachs)
- Trouble in the Fields (Alberta Views) – Alberta landowners seek justice
- Shalefield Stories: Real stories from the shale fields
- Methane: Good Gas, Bad Gas: (National Geographic)
- The New Oil Landscape (National Geographic)
- Brief Primer on Hydraulic Fracturing and Unconventional Gas Practices by No Frac Nova Scotia
- Fracking, the Environment and Health – New energy practices may threaten public health. (by Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN; Nina Kaktins, MSN, RN; and Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN; American Nurses Journal, June 2013)
- Fracking, Shale Gas and Children (Cancer Now, Barb Harris)
- A Fracking Disaster in the Making: BC Report – Blasting shale rock with toxic fluid can release riches in natural gas, but threatens critical water supplies in British Columbia.(The Tyee, by Andrew Nikiforuk)
- North Dakota’s Shale Gas Dark Side (Financial Post, Jennifer Oldham)
Activist/Environmentalist Dr. Susan Steingraber wrote a series of articles on shale gas for Orion Magazine:
- The Fracking of Rachel Carson – Fifty years ago a book changed the way we think about nature—or did it? (Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- Sand County, the Sequel – In which the land ethic gets turned on its head.(Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- When Cowboys Cry – The fossil fuel-based economy is breaking hearts all over the fracking place. (Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- Fracking Democracy – In which you get 120 seconds to say why shale gas should be left in the ground. (Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- The Whole Fracking Enchilada – The latest technique for extracting natural gas trumps every other environmental assault. (Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- Shale Game – Four ways of looking at a natural gas deposit.(Orion Magazine, Susan Steingraber)
- New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance – an alliance of grassroots community groups
- http://www.cbc.ca/nb/features/fracturedfuture– easy to understand primer on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in NB
- http://www.nben.ca – New Brunswick Environmental Network
- Post Carbon Institute – The Energy Transition Program builds this fundamental energy literacy and aims to shift the public conversation around energy—from wanting more to needing less, and valuing what we have.