© Frank Gale
Joe Wiseman is seen listening to a speaker at a recent anti-fracking event at the Lions Club in Stephenville.
STEPHENVILLE ‚ÄĒ Another anti-fracking event will be taking place in Stephenville next month.
The ‚Äú‚ÄėPeople‚Äô frackdown,‚ÄĚ‚Äąas organizers are calling it, is slated for Jan. 25 with George Murphy as guest speaker. Murphy is a member of the House of Assembly representing the NDP party who has been vocal on the issue of hydraulic fracturing and has publicly stated his concerns about protecting the environment.
The event to challenge hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique using millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals to break open shale rock deep underground.
Wiseman and Rev. Kathryn Vance facilitated the first event of this kind earlier this month on behalf of the United Church, which drew about 45 people.
During that event a number of signatures were gathered on five different petitions and Murphy plans to present the two relating to the provincial government in the House of Assembly, while the other three ‚ÄĒ relating to federal jurisdiction, are to be presented in the House of Commons by Judy Foote, MP for the riding of Random-Burin-St. George‚Äôs.
One of the federal petitions asks the federal government to establish an independent safety regular for Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore, separate from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB), which presently regulates all aspects of the offshore industry.
Another sent to the federal government asks for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, while the third calls on the federal government to create a democratic governance and ecosystem-based management system for the Gulf of St. Lawrence region.
One of the provincially-based petitions urges government to appoint an independent non-governmental, non-industry panel to ensure a planned review for onshore and onshore to offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing will be balanced and fully assess the potential health, environmental, economic, and social effects on the region as a whole.
The other to the provincial government calls for a ban on hydraulic fracturing.