Media Release: March 29, 2016
Andrew Weaver calls for a moratorium on horizontal fracking in B.C.
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, says that a new report linking hydraulic fracturing and increased seismic activity highlights an immediate need for the province to adopt a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing until there is a better understanding of its risks.
“I am calling on both the government and the official opposition to join me in supporting a moratorium on horizontal fracking in British Columbia,” says Weaver. “Other jurisdictions, like Quebec, New York, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have already suspended the practice and B.C. should follow suit.”
The study, set to be published in the journal of Seismological Society of America, surveyed seismic activity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin over the last 25 years and found a direct link between induced earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing in BC and Alberta.
“I am calling for a moratorium on horizontal fracturing in B.C. until we establish scientific certainty on the risks it poses,” says Weaver. “Earthquakes, groundwater contamination, fresh water use, sour gas leaks, environmental degradation and terrain modification, are all concerning side effects of fracking and they warrant comprehensive and cumulative scientific review.”
In the last decade drilling in B.C.’s Northeast has increased dramatically. Every year there are hundreds of new natural gas wells drilled in the province.
“Last year we saw a 4.6 quake caused by fracking in the Fort St. John area,” says Weaver. “Now we have the scientific evidence showing a clear link between fracking and earthquakes, but we really have no idea what the risks of this increased seismic activity amount to. We are flying blind.”
“The BC Green Party has consistently called for a moratorium on fracking in our province. To continue to allow horizontal fracking in B.C. is irresponsible in light of mounting evidence.”
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Mat Wright – Press Secretary Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382
Atkinson, G.M., D.W. Eaton, H. Ghofrani, D. Walker, B. Cheadle, R. Schultze, R. Shcherbakov, K. Tiampo, J. Gu, R. M. Harrington, Y. Liu, M. van der Baan, and H. Kao, 2016: Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin Seismological Research Letters, 87(3), doi: 10.1785/0220150263.