Fracking debate heating up in New Zealand

12 Aug

Heated debate over fracking, the mining process which could be used to extract gas in western Southland, is raging in the gas heartland of Taranaki.

A protest group, Climate Justice Taranaki, has called for a ban or moratorium on the practice, which it believes threatens aquifiers with toxic chemicals.

The issue has become an environmental flashpoint across the globe, but Taranaki is the first New Zealand region where there have been anti-fracking protests.

“What we are seeing, especially in the United States and Australia, is groundwater aquifiers being depleted and poisoned by toxic chemicals,” Climate Justice spokeswoman Emily Bailey said. “The resource companies don’t seem to be telling us what’s going on.”

Fracking is conventionally used to improve the flow of oil and gas wells by injecting a water-chemical mix into a well and subjecting it to high pressure, which forces the rock surrounding the well to crack open, releasing more oil and gas. In Southland, it could be used to extract shale gas from potentially huge deposits recently discovered under the Waiau Basin.

Anti-frackers believe the practice uses toxic chemicals which can permeate underground aquifiers and contaminate water.

The panic over fracking for shale gas was ignited by a provocative film, Gasland by Josh Fox, which claimed to expose the huge environmental damage caused by fracking in parts of the United States.

Article by Alex Fensome. For more information and full article go to source of cross-posting here

For more recent articles on the anti-fracking movement in New Zealand visit here, here and here

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2 Responses to “Fracking debate heating up in New Zealand”

  1. Janet Penno August 13, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Is there not enough pollution in this world already without purposely adding more? For the large industries, the bottom line is more important than the environment and the people living in the region who use the water to survive.

  2. Beverley Strudley (@StrudleyBev) November 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    What is happening in other parts of the world due to Fracking.My family in Silt Colorado had to walk away from their home because of the on going health problems,Water supply,poisoned,the gas in the air,in the woodwork of their home,even bedding had to be left behind.Why cant we learn from these mistakes.Our beautiful country will be no more for future generations if we allow this to happen.

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