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Water is Not to be Fracked With

by Hillary Lindsay and Moira Peters

More than 100 people rallied to ban fracking at Nova Scotia Legislature today.
Fracking involves pumping hundreds of chemicals deep into the earth at high pressure. Chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylene end up in the water table, causing chronic health problems to humans, livestock and ecosystems.
Jars of water from 60 locations across the province demonstrated what is at risk from shale gas extraction.
Because fracking extracts natural gas, it is touted by government and industry as a clean energy source.
The crowd urged the Nova Scotia government to shift resources away from fossil fuel extraction and focus on conservation and renewable energy.
Many expressed concern for future generations if the province's water is not respected.
The North Shore Slow Pickers welcomed the crowd with renditions of well-known folk songs, with lyrics appropriate to the occasion.
Speakers at the rally included (left to right) Angela Giles with the Council of Canadians, Mi'kmaq Elder Billy Lewis and Tatamagouche resident Meghan MacCulloch.
A freedom of information request revealed that fracking has occurred in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in spite of government claims to the contrary.
In December, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy issued a call for exploration proposals for three blocks of land along the province's North Shore, from the New Brunswick border to Merigomish.
1,000 wells in the US have been contaminated by fracking. But many at the rally said a ban on fracking would only be a first step toward an energy plan that focused on conservation rather than extraction.
The impacts of shale gas exploration - from clearcutting, to increased traffic, to water and air pollution - have many Nova Scotians concerned, but it's fracking in particular that has struck a nerve.
People traveled hours to attend the rally: from Cape Breton, the North Shore and the Annapolis Valley.

Click on the above photos to view the slide show with captions.

More than 100 people rallied to ban fracking at Nova Scotia Legislature today.

Fracking involves pumping hundreds of chemicals deep into the earth at high pressure. Chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylene end up in the water table, allegedly causing chronic health problems to humans, livestock and ecosystems.

People from across the province brought jars of water from their wells to demonstrate what is at risk from shale gas extraction. An installation of 60 jars was on display on the steps of legislature.

The speakers urged the Nova Scotia government to shift resources away from fossil fuel extraction and focus on conservation and renewable energy.

For more on the fight against shale gas extraction in the province, check out the Halifax Media Co-op's article, "Nova Scotia's Tar Sands".

photographs by Christopher Cohoon and Moira Peters

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Topics: Environment
146 words

Comments

underestimating the numbers

Media sources and those who attended the rally say it was closer to 150 people who attended the anti-fracking rally on Earth Day 2011.

Protest fracking in Rogersville, NB

"You do not come in peace!" -- that was the message sent by the youth of Rogersville at a rally outside SWN Resources's open house on April 27, 2011 outside the Canadian Legion in Rogersville. Sixty people could be counted at any one time during the six hour protest against shale gas development. Many more came and went during the chilly day and evening. Future anti-shale gas rallies are planned for SWN Resources’s upcoming open houses in Doaktown, Chipman and Stanley. SWN Resources is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwestern Energy.

- Tracy Glynn, NBMC

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