Nick Smith in an opinion piece in today's Press has criticised local bodies for banning fracking and told us there are no risks
." There's more to fear from the vibration of your mobile phone than from the earth movements caused by fracking, former environment minister Nick Smith says."
The biggest concern around fracking has been about what happens to the water. Canterbury runs on underground aquifers and derives the largest percentage of its income from its natural environment. Wouldn't any Council , including the Christchurch City , Selwyn District and Kaikoura District want to be absolutely certain that its major asset, water, was protected in the process. Isn't this just good safe governance . Once your water is contaminated its gone , and it's how we make our living in Canterbury.
Those residual chemicals - we simply don't want them, and we have noticed how unwilling any fracking company is to disclose the impact of those chemicals. We have seen it in places overseas, and its terrifying. But if that's not what's used here, tell us exactly what is and the impact of combining all those chemicals and forcing them into the earth that we grow our incomes on ...
The fact that people have gone through almost 12,000 earthquakes and they would never knowingly create ground instability seems sensible to us. Small earthquakes have been linked to fracking in the UK , but the biggest concern by far is water. The pollution of the water and the massive wastage of water in obtaining the gas.
Smith " accused the Christchurch City Council of "jumping on the Greens' ‘Don't Frack with New Zealand' bandwagon", saying fracking had been done in New Zealand for decades and was used in the building of the Clyde Dam.He likened the fracking debate to a modern-day version of the Chicken Licken story, in which a hen thinks the sky is falling in after an acorn hits her head."
Does this seem to be a recurring theme from the Government at present? Heard it before somewhere? Ah, yes, Phil Heatley accused those who expressed concern about oil spillages at sea , or being "extreme Greenies". Are we supposed to see being cautious about our major offshore asset, the sea , and one of our major assets at home, our water as "extreme green". In which case give us extreme green any time. And has the Government realised that their attempt to label cautious and sensible responses from the community is merely going to be labelling all of us as extreme green. The Selwyn Council ? I bet they were amused !
The Kaikoura Council ? Likewise , it will be the first time they have ever been labelled extreme green in their lives. But they are likely to wear that label much more as they seek to preserve their community income from whale watching agains the stupidity of risking deep sea oil drilling off their shore.
Even the Christchurch City Council would be surprised to hear itself called extreme greenies. Certainly its community would be surprised.
But wait ...it's worse than that , we actually expect Central Government as local government to act to preserve the natural environment of this land. That includes our water and ensuring that its not polluted with chemicals and that its not wasted. Isn't that part of the responsibility of Government? On that basis , Nick Smith , its part of your job to protect both people and community income from the risks of polluting and wrecking the very things we depend upon. And actually , wasn't Nick Smith until recently Minister of Climate Change and Environment. How could a Minister with some knowledge and standing in that area genuinely promote fracking? Have we missed something here?
if you look at the map for potential fracking in Canterbury it is a huge part of the entire province.And so far our only say on it has been reflected through our Councils saying " No Way " A very fair reflection of public opinion here we're guessing.
Dr Smith went on to say " hysteria was sweeping the country about the practice, and he called for some "science and commonsense" to be injected into the debate."
Absolutely agree...and perhaps he could as well . Perhaps he could actually tell that the major fear of fracking relates to the likely pollution of ground aquifers and massive wastage of water . Earthquakes have always been minor although it makes sense to the people of Canterbury to not destabilise an area that still records earthquakes every day.