Letters to Editor: danger of fracking

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Video shows the danger of fracking

I read with great interest Diane Charteris' letter of November 9.

I applaud her for highlighting the dangers of fracking. I was ignorant of fracking, and the subsequent devastation and ruin that it causes to the environment, until a few months ago when my husband and I viewed the video Gaslands.

If anyone is in doubt as to the seriousness of this venture about to be visited upon us here in Hawke's Bay, then I suggest they hire the video and watch it.

Gaslands was a 2011 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature.

My husband and I were shocked at the revelations - polluted rivers and streams, farmers unable to use their water for their own use, fish and bird life decimated.

Homeowners could light a match near their house taps with the water running and gas would ignite.

People's health was destroyed (loss of the senses of smell and taste), and there were brain tumours and other cancers.

The election is almost upon us. I urge all voters to be responsible, educate themselves and take seriously Diane Charteris' warnings of the impending fracking.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has a responsibility to protect the lives and well-being of Hawke's Bay citizens - indeed, all forms of life.

It is accountable to us, the voters (the council forgets it is there to serve us) and I hold it responsible should fracking be forced upon us.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

The council's past record of safeguarding our waterways should serve as a warning to the people of Hawke's Bay.

A meeting for concerned members of our community re water pollution, water allocation and fracking was held on November 9.

Invitations to the public were extended via newspaper advertisements. The regional council, which was invited, deemed the meeting worthy of sending just one staff member.

Neither the chairwoman for the environment, Eileen von Dadelszen, nor the other committee members were present, with the exception of Liz Remmerswaal.

Remember, this is our issue, our land and our water. Make your voice heard and your vote count. (Abridged)

Viviene Scott, Taradale

Not relevant to NZ

The article by Bruce Bisset (14 November) on fracking is misleading and inaccurate.

In New Zealand, all the chemicals used are disclosed to the regional council and approved for use by the Environmental Protection Authority after following a public process of approval.

Heavy metals are not produced during the process of fracking and overseas experience is of no relevance to NZ because of different rock types encountered.

If well casings are properly set in the hole, there is virtually zero chance of pollution of aquifers, irrespective of how many chemicals are left as a residue in the well bore and rock formations.

The steel casing and cementing of the hole creates a barrier between the well and any groundwater.

Residents should by all means see the film Gaslands, but watch it bearing in mind that most of what they are seeing has been refuted by industry and is a gross distortion of what actually happens in North America.

Gas flaring from residents taps had nothing to do with shale gas development.

Before any fracking could occur in Hawke's Bay, the applicant must obtain the permission of the landowner to operate on their land as well as consents from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and any relevant local authority.

It is still highly uncertain whether any shale oil exploration will lead to fracking.

In 50 years of oil and gas development in New Zealand, there has been no damage to aquifers or surface lands from fracking of oil and gas wells.

To suggest otherwise is wrong.

What occurs overseas is of no relevance here where the industry acts responsibly and has an impeccable track record in dealing with landowners and in environmental performance.

John Pfahlert, Executive officer

NZ Petroleum Exploration and Production Association

- Hawkes Bay Today

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