Islanders rally to ban fracking on P.E.I.
No fracking allowed was the clear message during a rally at Province House to put a permanent stop to the controversial form of natural gas exploration.
Jennifer O’Neill of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic chapter was one of the rally organizers and said they wanted to raise awareness about fracking in conjunction with rallies held around Atlantic Canada this week.
“Fracking isn’t good for the environment,” she said in Charlottetown on Tuesday.
About 100 people gathered in front of Province House to wave signs, sing protest songs and voice their concerns about fracking.
It was a much smaller rally than the one held in New Brunswick Monday that saw more than 1,000 people gather at the provincial legislature there.
The process of fracking, which is short for hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground to help release natural gas.
Environmental groups have raised concerns about the process because it sometimes involves toxic chemicals and there are worries about fracking’s impact on groundwater.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia both allow fracking but none is taking place on P.E.I., although that hasn’t always been the case.
In 2007 a pipe that a drilling company was using for fracking near Green Gables broke and spilled radioactive material.
There are two companies looking for natural gas on P.E.I. and Petroworth has the largest exploration permit with the rights to 440,000 acres of land.
O’Neill said the organizers still wanted to hold the rally even though there isn’t fracking underway on P.E.I. because if it does eventually start it will be too late to get groundwater clean again.