Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fracking the Karoo

Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) is a mining technique that results in the creation of fractures in rocks for the extraction of gas. Considerable controversy surrounds the current implementation of fracking in the United States as it is partly exempt from environmental auditing. Environmental safety and health concerns have emerged and are causing a high degree of concern – see . Now Shell and other companies want to Frack the Karoo – where we have no legistlation, information or experience with this technique.

Here are my ten reasons for why Fracking the Karoo is a very bad idea:

1. Its the extraction of a non-renewable resource
2. It involves the use of questionable / exploratory techniques with unforeseeable environmental consequences
3. Commissioning companies have questionable or self-serving track records (Shell, Bundu, Falcon)
4. Use of HUGE quantities of water – a limited resource in a semi-desert environment
5. Use of UNDISCLOSED chemicals and other potential pollutants to important underground aquifers
6. Extraction of this gas may sideline sustainable energy resources for the area for which the Karoo is perfect – wind and solar.
7. Aesthetically and environmental consequences of any mining include erection of drilling rigs, noise, traffic, light, dust and general pollution
8. If economically viable, companies will undoubtedly solicite permission for go-ahead by presssuring government to declare the gas a 'Nationally Strategic Energy Resource', which will effectively shortcut procedures and rights associated with the mineral act. This is apartheid era legislature that was enacted by the Apartheid government as a consequence of energy sanctions.
9. There is potential ozone pollution
10. Land devaluation of an ecologically sensitive area

Luckily these companies are up against South African environmentalists, and a Dutch princess. Legal counter action is being planned.

Add your vote to the protest here:

For more information regarding the environmental concerns regarding the fracking process visit 

1 comment:

  1. I have signed the petition and hope everyone else does too.... this is a shocking abuse of our beautiful country and must be stopped by all means!


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