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Local Protesters Call for Fracking Ban

LETHBRIDGE: About 100 people crowded Galt Gardens Monday night to protest "fracking." They're calling for a ban on hydro-fracking, a controversial drilling practice that blasts sand, water and chemicals underground to shatter rock and free up gas and oil deposits, until the health and environment impacts are proven.

"Although there may be potential for jobs with the fracking industry, there's also huge potential to contaminate our groundwater and our surface water," said Sheila Rogers, chair of the Council of Canadians' Lethbridge chapter and one of the rally organizers. "If we've polluted our rivers and can no longer get our drinking water from there, how does that really make us richer? Once you pollute your drinking water, you can never get it back."

The protest comes about two weeks after three Kainai, or Blood tribe, women landed in jail for blockading a new fracking well near their homes on the reserve. On Monday night, environment groups, families, young people and some seniors heard from one of the arrested women, Lois Frank. The speakers list also included Tom Cain, head of the local Greensence group and Jim Byrne, an environment researcher at the University of Lethbridge.

"Fracking is bad for our water, it's bad for our atmosphere and we really need to stop it," said Byrne. "We don't need the energy; we don't need to supply the rest of North America with energy."

The federal government announced plans to launch a more comprehensive study on the impacts of fracking, but this group says the move doesn't protect citizens in the meantime. They signed a petition calling for a province wide moratorium on fracking until the effects are proven, with plans to launch a larger protest event at the Alberta legislature in coming weeks.

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 4/22/2014 7:11:59 AM
Source: Marion Warnica, Country 95 News - photo by Country 95 News
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