If you knew fracking like Jessica Ernst knows fracking, you might travel across the country and around the world to let people know what you’ve learned.
At 7pm on Thursday July 5, at the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department’s Community Centre, Jessica Ernst will share her personal experience with fracking in her home town of Rosebud, Alberta.
Her presentation is sponsored by Pitu’paq, a group dedicated to water quality issues in Cape Breton. Pitu’paq represents Cape Breton’s ten municipalities and Mi’kmaq communities. Fracking is a key issue of concern for the organization’s members.
Jessica Ernst knows the effects of fracking first hand. She has launched a lawsuit against her former employer Encana for negligence causing water contamination, and Alberta’s Energy Resource Conservation Board, the province’s energy regulator, for breaching the Charter of Rights when the water near her home was polluted after Encana started fracking in her community.
If you drop a lit match into a bowl of water you expect it to go out. When Jessica Ernst drops a lit match into her water, there is a flash of blue flame. Her well is contaminated by methane gas that she claims is due to Encana’s fracking project
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking” is the controversial practice of blasting coal, oil and shale with toxic chemicals, sand and water to release natural gas.
There is currently a moratorium on fracking in Nova Scotia until 2014 while the government continues its review of the process.
Pitu’paq spokesperson Shirley McNamara, a Richmond County councillor, explains why Pitu’paq is sponsoring this event. “The issue of fracking has been brought up over and over again at our Pitu’paq meetings and we decided to ask an expert on the issue to come and speak with our group. We felt that the community would really benefit from hearing her story and Jessica agreed to do a public presentation in Baddeck. We are really looking forward to welcoming Jessica to our community and learning from her personal experience.”
Admission to the event on Thursday, July 5 is free.