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Common sense needed in development

This is in response to a letter posted in the Alaska Highway News March 21 authored by Alan Yu ('Whose interests are LNG opponents serving?') No, I am not an anti-LNG protester! I am, however, a firm believer that LNG at all cost is being pretty damn

This is in response to a letter posted in the Alaska Highway News March 21 authored by Alan Yu ('Whose interests are LNG opponents serving?')

No, I am not an anti-LNG protester! I am, however, a firm believer that LNG at all cost is being pretty damn greedy and in the end we may shoot ourselves in the foot.

So many people including Victoria and most local municipal governments are so blinded by this image of how a LNG industry will save us from whatever it is we are afraid of. It is this obsession with LNG that will, in the end, prevent the industry from happening at any level. People are getting fed up of governments and industry forging ahead with mega projects, at all cost!

In Alan Yu’s article, he quotes from a study which claims there is much more natural gas reserves than previously estimated. I am not disputing that as it may be fact, or it may simply be some ones guess. The point I want to make, is it tells me the obsession to squeeze every gigajoule of natural gas out of the bed rock, at all cost, is completely uncalled for. It is this ‘take it all, the Hell with the consequences’ attitude that turns people against some of these opportunities.

In the name of jobs and dollars (lots of dollars), we are turning our infamous Peace River area into what looks like a war zone. Once quiet communities, we are now plagued with big trucks pounding out our rural roads 24-7, noise pollution and unpleasant odours in what used to be quiet and peaceful areas  with clean air. We even see industry taking over our downtown areas and when they are done, they simply move on and leave us to clean up the mess.  When people speak out about what is going on, they are labeled anti-this and anti-that (protesters), when all they want is to see a little bit of common sense being used in developing these opportunities.

In most cases, our oil and gas companies are only doing what Victoria is allowing them to do. Victoria does not give a damn about the affect on our community – they just want dollars in the cash box. In some cases, industry is ‘pushing the envelope’ and governments are simply looking the other way – and you wonder why people are getting fed up.

So Mr. Yu, if what you quote is correct then tell me – why in God’s name do we have to put our precious few lakes at risk by allowing the oil and gas industry to drill and hydraulic fracture near and under them? As I write this, Murphy Oil is fracking under Swan Lake, again. This is a lake less than seven square kilometres.

In the name of LNG, Victoria saw fit to sell the drilling rights under Swan Lake allowing up to eight holes to be drilled and fracked beneath it. Do the math!  No, I am not an anti-fracking protester, but isn’t that pushing it beyond common sense in such a sensitive area?  Look what happened in Fox Creek due to over-fracking.

If as you say, there is so much more natural gas than what was previously estimated, why do we have to put our lakes at risk? I spent over a year lobbying oil companies and governments against this practice only to be told again and again there is no risk to our lakes (because some high paid consultant said so). Accidents happen all the time, and yes, they are happening in our area. 

Again Mr. Yu, I am not anti- industry, only against industry at all cost.

 

Allen Watson, Tomslake