So what's all the fracking fuss about anyway?
Western Australia has one of the world's largest reserves of gas trapped in rock deep below ground. The problem is, over 100,000 individual fracking wells would be required to extract this gas.
Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is a new onshore gas extraction technique that involves drilling pipes beneath the earth, then pumping vast volumes of chemicals, sand and water at high-pressure to crack them to release the trapped gas.
There are very real and genuine concerns that many in the WA community have about hydraulic fracturing for gas.
The term 'fracking', whether for shale, tight, or coal seam gas (CSG), has become synonymous with land degradation, air pollution, climate change, chronic health problems, social agitation and contaminated and depleted water resources.
Public opposition has been fuelled by a growing awareness of both the scientific case against the industry and of the impacts on communities when the gas companies move in. Though little more than a dozen sites have been fracked so far in WA we’ve already seen serious leaks and other mishaps in the Kimberley, Mid West and South West.
News continues to spread of the appalling impact the industry has had in the eastern states on overseas. As a result a growing number of governments have banned unconventional gas extraction and fracking because of the risks and impacts on public health, the economy and the environment. Western Australian's now have a huge decision to make. Will we allow this industry to tear apart our beautiful country or will we say, "Frack Off!" to this industry and demand a frack free future for Western Australia.
Good news friends – our campaign asking Alinta Energy to ditch its contract with fracking company AWE has been picked up by The West – you can read the article here.
The article’s not short on bloopers, not least confusing Frack Free Future (that’s us) with ‘Frack Free WA’ (another group’s Facebook page, not even the name of an actual organisation!), but it’s great to get that widespread coverage. Especially given The West is somewhat reluctant to publish stories on fracking lately.
Alinta is quoted in the article, and has also been responding to people on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, WA’s main gas supplier is being a little cute with the truth.
Here’s two misleading things Alinta is saying in response to our campaign:Read more
Through the Frack Free Future alliance, we work closely with farmers and local communities to prevent unconventional gas and fracking from threatening their homes and livelihoods, and contaminating our State’s water supply with dangerous chemicals.
This is why we were horrified to discover that despite being opposed to it, many Western Australians have been inadvertently supporting the unconventional gas industry - as Alinta Energy customers.
Alinta Energy supplies 84% of WA’s homes with piped gas , but what Alinta are not telling their customers is that they have already signed a gas supply contract with fracking company AWE, and our gas bills are helping to support plans for WA’s first industrial scale gas fracking operation in the Irwin area.
But with so much offshore gas in WA, there’s no need to risk the consequences of unconventional gas.
It is unacceptable for Alinta Energy to bankroll the unconventional gas and fracking industry to get a foothold in WA. It isn’t wanted by farmers, it isn’t needed by consumers, and it threatens our safe water supply which we all depend on.
Unconventional gas hurts our farmers and risks our future - tell Alinta Energy to back out of fracking for good. For more information please read Briefing 3 'Why Alinta Energy must stop supporting unconventional gas and fracking in the Mid West'
Petition to Alinta Energy
To: Chief Executive Officer, Alinta Energy Locked Bag 55 Perth, WA, BC 6849
We are concerned about your gas purchasing arrangement with AWE - a gas fracking company in the Midwest.
AWE's gas fracking plans risk groundwater, farmland and the environment and these plans are strongly opposed by the local community. We seek commitments that you will not support or purchase gas from gas fracking in WA.
So the State of Victoria has just banned fracking and other forms of onshore unconventional gas extraction .
Oh wow. How great is that? Answer: very, very great indeed. I’m stoked. If you care about food and farming, safe water supplies, human physical and mental health, the environment, climate change, this whole beautiful world of ours…. you’ll be stoked too.
Seriously, this is great. Well done to the farmers, the wine-makers, the unions and faith groups, the environmentalists and business owners, academics, politicians, traditional owners and everyone who’s worked so hard for a frack free future in Victoria.
It’s people power that’s delivered the ban in Victoria, just as it made the fight against the fracking such a key determinative issue in the Northern Territory election.
NT Labor stomped home on a commitment to a moratorium on fracking in the territory, ahead of a potential ban there too. There were other factors too for sure, but Adam Giles’s outgoing CLP party paid heavily for its unremitting support for the gas industry .
Yep, it’s people power, backed up by a growing body of evidence, especially from the US where fracking’s been going on longer, that shows the real impacts this dangerous and accident prone industry has on health, water quality and the environment.
Just last week health researchers in Pennsylvania, US, released further evidence of a link between shale gas fracking and human health impacts, including birth defects, asthma and migraines . Shale fracking in Pennsylvania is similar to what we could see across much of WA.
So now it’s all eyes on WA – just six months to go to the March 2017 State Election.Read more