(Fracking in Alberta)
September 10, 2011,
Cochrane RancheHouse, Cochrane, Alberta
(POWERS website, www.powersalberta.ca)

Filmed and edited by Will Koop, B.C. Tap Water Alliance
(www.bctwa.org, and www.bctwa.org/FrackingBC.html)

Featuring Workshop Presenters
Andrew Nikiforuk and Jessica Ernst

(Updated - December 15-2012)



On September 10, 2011, POWERS (Protecting Our Water and Ecological Resources Society), a recently formed group in the Rocky View County of Alberta (west, north and east of Calgary) organized what the conference host, Dr. Gary Tressider, described as the first conference in Alberta to raise alarm over horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Dr. Tressider read the following from a prepared statement:

This conference is hosted by the people, for the people. We are hoping to light fires in people's hearts and taking down barriers in lobbying for a moratorium on fracking.

POWERS is a newly formed society to protect all water and environmental resources that are threatened by oil and gas development in our community of northwest Rockies here in Alberta.

Our mission is to help landowners become aware of the dangers and the culminative effects on our waters, lands, air and oil and gas operations that threaten them. Several community members have been personally impacted by the industry, including myself.

And, as we educated ourselves on the threats to surface water, and the culminative effects upon our lands, this soon led to our main concern of horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Indeed, when we educated ourselves about fracking, and the inadequate cement sealing of vertical casing, our first response was to fear. But, now we feel betrayed by: the oil and gas industry; the regulator, the ERCB; the federal and provincial governments - for the disingenuous assurances that our most valuable resource is being protected.

We all enjoy the innumerable benefits from oil and gas in our lives. And, we assure all of you, this is not about destroying the industry. But, rather, it is about the deadly practice of fracking. This is not about them versus us. Its about all of us. This includes every person that works in the industry, whether employees on the rigs or oil and gas executives. Its about protecting our waters and clean air for our children. No one is exempt from the ravages of fracking whether in urban or rural areas.

We want the powers that be to slow down, take a deep breath, and get off the fixation of wealth potential from oil and gas. And remember, that none of us should be blinded by greed, trading one valuable resource for another even more precious.

We demand a moratorium until independent scientists can prove fracking is safe. We cannot live without water.

Other countries, states, and the Province of Quebec have already placed a moratorium on fracking. We are not the only ones who think hydraulic fracking is dangerous.

POWERS is not affiliated with any political party or environmental group. It does not take government grants, money from the oil and gas industry. We are a registered society formed of residents and landowners from Rocky View who are deeply concerned about our drinkable water. We encourage the residents of northwest Rocky View, and all others, to join us in creating a voice that can be heard from here to the Alberta Legislature and on to Ottawa.

POWERS demands a moratorium in Alberta and throughout Canada. Water contamination is not a possibility, it is an inevitability. We need your help.


This precedent-setting public workhop for Alberta was attended by a number of key representatives of various groups and associations located in Alberta, such as:

Alberta Surface Rights Group (http://www.albertasurfacerights.org)

Council of Canadians (http://www.canadians.org)
Protect Blood Land (http://www.protectbloodland.ca)
Kainai Lethbridge Earth Watch (KLEW) (http://www.annelies.ca/klew/#)


Workshop introduction with Dr. Gary Tressider (which includes an opening video and soundtrack of Corb Lund, and his band the Hurtin Albertans, This is My Prairie, from their album, Losin' Lately Gambler (CD release date, September 22, 2009). Lund's video was filmed live at CBC's morning radio program, Q. Lund dedicates the song (played at the conference) to his mom, who's life and land are beset by deep troubles from coal bed methane fracking.

Workshop Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS78U6NgwDc

South Alberta Blood Tribe member Mike Bruised Head's speech at the end of the workshop about controversies and arrests concerning fracking on Blood Tribe Reserve lands.

Mike Bruised Head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO9Mvj1ln5k



nikiforukThis is a brief overview of this issue, believe it or not. There is so much at stake. Each and every one of you can make a difference, and must make a difference. And, you must talk to your neighbours, you must talk to your friends, and you must make them aware that this is an unprecedented, revolutionary event in terms of its impact on water, on people, on landscape in this province (Alberta). 
Andrew Nikiforuk, a celebrated author and journalist living in Alberta, gave an informative and educational presentation about fracking in Alberta, with a critical background assessment overview of fracking data in the United States and Canada. Nikiforuk's sweeping presentation, accompanied by powerpoint slide images, spans over an hour, and is one of the most interesting and excellent public presentations of its genre to date. All of Nikiforuk's slides are included here in this timely series of nine You Tube videos (including about three or four helpful additions by the video editor).

What Nikiforuk does - rather well - is he produces a graphic picture through his paint set of numerous facts and story-telling experience to help expose and elucidate the grim context behind the tragic story raised by Jessica Ernst in her suit against fracking Canadian energy company giant Encana:

I hope that I've provided a context you now need to understand Jessica Ernst's remarkable story.

Encana, who through the private consent of the Alberta government, fracked Ernst' community of Rosebud, Alberta (near Drumheller) beginning some seven years ago (drilling for Coal Bed Methane) and poisoned drinking wells in a large hydro-geological subsurface aquifer basin in the Rosebud area. As we all know, Jessica is not alone, as many, many others have suffered the same.

Anyone interested in the subject of fracking will no doubt find Nikiforuk's animated presentation a valuable addition to their fracking tool chest.

Nikiforuk has a website (www.andrewnikiforuk.com).

Part One: 

Part Two:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IplMw2wrHyI

Part Three:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXHmXlmZ9U

Part Four:

Part Five:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCc-4ZRJIDc

Part Six:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVe_YRm2CRo

Part Seven:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CICPEtIiq94

Part Eight:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5VZA_zQEg0

Part Nine:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgwJ9UWVF5A


Jessica Ernst is an environmental scientist, with 30 years of oil patch experience. She has a farm in Rosebud, Alberta. Jessica currently hauls her water from outside, because her well is poisoned. Not only can she not drink the water, but she had to disconnect the well from her house because her water contains so much methane it created an explosive risk. Her career as an environmental scientist, and her personal experience, make her uniquely qualified to talk on hydraulic fracking. Jessica was invited to New York in May to present her case, and to make recommendations, on hydraulic fracturing to governments at the United Nations 19th Commission on Sustainable Development.
(Introduction notes from Dr. Gary Tressider, Workshop host.)

This is the first video recording of Jessica Ernst's tragic tale and testimony of what happened to her and to her community of Rosebud, Alberta, located near to the town of Drumheller, famous for dinosaur remains. She, and her community, had their aquifer, or well waters, poisoned as a result of Coal Bed Methane hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a matter which is headed to Alberta's court system. Ernst has a compelling and deeply troubling story, which you will not want to miss, a story which reveals a dark side of Alberta's Petro State (Andrew Nikiforuk's presentation, above, provides the backdrop for helping to understand the many machinations of this Petro State).

Jessica Ernst has a website, www.ernstversusencana.ca, devoted to providing documents and information to the public about her suit against Encana Corporation, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, and the Province of Alberta for negligence and unlawful activities. She filed a Statement of Claim in late April, 2011. The case is set to be heard in Drumheller at an unknown date.

On October 1, 2011, UNANIMA International, a UN Economic and Social Council NGO, presented Jessica Ernst with its annual Woman of Courage award in New York, at the Church Center of the United Nations, next to the United Nations building.

Full Length Version (70 minutes): http://youtu.be/khRz8lpWGgQ

Part One:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1g0iJblMc0

Part Two:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8GlaXjzmBI

Part Three:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx-2INlsJ9A

Part Four: 

Part Five: 

Part Six: 

Part Seven: 

Part Eight:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw6cnrAUFZU