Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 21, 2014

Fracking committee sets its schedule for hearing witnesses

Next week, the legislature’s Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing will hear from eight groups in an attempt to foster a scientific understanding of fracking.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Next week, the legislature’s Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing will hear from eight groups in an attempt to foster a scientific understanding of fracking.

The proceedings will be presented publicly Jan. 31 and Feb.1 in the legislature.

The first day of the public proceedings will include a presentation by Gilles Wendling, who has a doctorate in hydrology, experience assessing drinking water supplies and protecting groundwater resources.

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, the Pembina Institute, and EFLO Energy Inc. and Northern Cross, which have invested interest in natural gas reserves in the Yukon, will also present.

The Saturday presenters include Bernhard Mayer, a geoscientist at the University of Calgary, Rick Chalaturnyk, a geotechnical engineer from the University of Alberta, the Fort Nelson First Nation, and the National Energy Board.

The proceedings will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

Each presenter will have 50 minutes to present to the fracking committee, followed by a 10-minute break, and 45 minutes for questions from the committee members.

The audience will have an opportunity to submit written questions for the presenters to the committee during each presentation.

Following questions by the committee members, a few questions from the public will be randomly selected and asked.

An open letter from the committee, chaired by Patti McLeod, the Yukon Party MLA for Watson Lake, noted not all questions from the audience will be asked.

The letter and full schedule for the public proceedings are available at http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/rbhf.htm.

The committee also plans to hold public meetings in Old Crow and Watson Lake, and possibly Whitehorse.

Those sessions have not yet been scheduled.

See letter, p. 7.

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Star Reporter

CommentsAdd a comment

kate moylan

Jan 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Question - Does scientific understanding include social science, e.g. the understanding of cultural and social needs (not just jobs)? Are social science needs given equal examination? They should be in this context. Yukon people have an equal right to an opinion at this stage, without being called crazy, nonscientific or emotional.

north of 60

Jan 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

...how do you know what you know about fracking? Have you researched it yourself, or just heard about it from friends, or maybe in a movie or a TV show. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably learned about fracking from the news. Well, that can be dangerous, because news reporting on health threats can sometimes be all fracked up. A recent report by the Associated Press about fracking serves as a great example.

    The headline on the AP “Big Story” on January 5 read “Some States Confirm Water Pollution From Drilling”. Not too ominous. But reporter Kevin Begos says in the lead paragraph that ”…hundreds of complaints have been made about well-water contamination from oil or gas drilling, and pollution was confirmed in a number of them, according to a review that casts doubt on industry suggestions that such problems rarely happen.” Whoa! Lots of water is being contaminated, and drilling companies are lying.

    Only, if you read on, you discover that while there were lots of complaints, there was hardly any actual pollution (which is what the companies claim is rare). 12 paragraphs into the story Begos reports that Ohio had 190 complaints in 5 years, only 6 of which involved actual pollution. West Virginia had 190 complaints, and only 4 cases that prompted clean up. Texas had 2000 complaints, and NO confirmed cases of pollution. Pennsylvania had 897 complaints in TWO years, and only 100 confirmed cases of pollution over FIVE years, but Begos doesn’t tell us how many total complaints there were for those five years.

  Complaints? Yes, plenty. And that news comes first. But actually polluted wells? Not many…

B. Foster

Jan 23, 2014 at 7:54 am


I like your level headed comments that I’ve read recently.
Sadly though it looks more and more as though the bias is towards the pro industry camp with our current government scrambling to pave the way.

Fracking is coming and it will likely fall to the FN as a final line of defense via the courts.
There is no vision that doesn’t have dollar signs floating in it. Like visions of sugar plums.

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