Canadian landowner Jessica Ernst, who is suing the giant frack company Encana and the Alberta, Canada provincial government for polluting her groundwater well with methane and other chemicals, goes to court today. Ernst’s website is here.
As investigative reporter Andrew Nikiforuk writes yesterday in The Tyee, Ernst is facing an unusual argument by the Alberta government: that it has no duty of care to people or groundwater.
Alberta’s main oil and gas regulator will argue in an Alberta court this Friday that it owes “no duty of care” to protect groundwater from hydraulic fracturing and that a regulator can violate the basic rights of citizens if it regards them as an “eco-terrorist.”
In a landmark case that has attracted global attention, Jessica Ernst, a 55-year-old scientist and oil patch consultant is suing the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), the Alberta Environment and Encana for contaminating her water well with methane and other chemicals nearly a decade ago.
The $33-million lawsuit, which has attracted media attention around the world, effectively puts the practice of hydraulic fracturing on public trial.
Jessica Ernst came to Michigan last May as a featured speaker at Ban Michigan Fracking’s public event “The Truth and Consequences of Fracking.” She warned Michiganders what to expect from the frack industry and in particular from Encana and that laws and regulations do not protect us from the dangers of horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
Ernst’s presentation, “The Truth and Consequences of Fracking” for Ban Michigan Fracking in Traverse City on May 18, 2012:
Encana is fracking up Michigan’s state forests
Encana is drilling and fracking in Michigan. Horizontal deep frack wells have been permitted to Encana in the state forests located in Cheboygan, Missaukee, and Kalkaska counties and a new well now has been permitted to Encana in the state forest in Roscommon County. More to come on Encana’s wells in Michigan in future posts on our site.
Jessica Ernst, interviewed in Michigan in spring 2012:
We stand with Jessica Ernst as she faces Encana and the Alberta government in court today. Her courage to seek truth and justice, and demand accountability from the gas industry and the government, is an inspiration to people worldwide. We, in Michigan, appreciate her sincerity and kindness in spreading the word about the dangers of fracking and making the trip here to meet with us.
Please help spread the word of the dangers of fracking and Jessica Ernst’s story by sharing it with others.