The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta
This You Tube is a compilation of segments from a 90 minute talk. Jessica Ernst worked for more than three decades as an environmental biologist doing research and independent consulting for the Alberta, Canada petroleum industry. One of her main clients was the EnCana Company, which began large-scale fracking in the region of her home community of Rosebud Alberta in the early years of the 21st century.
In 2007, Jessica Ernst the scientist became Jessica Ernst the whistleblower. Bringing forward evidence that her own water well and those of her neighbors had been severely contaminated, Ernst sued the EnCanada Corporation. She also sued the forerunner of the Alberta Energy Regulator as well as the Alberta government itself.
Ernst is especially intent on getting some accountability from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which is 100 percent industry-funded. She accuses the AER of violating her freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ernst made this allegation based on a directive issued by the oil and gas regulator, Jim Reid. Rather than doing a credible investigation of Ernst's complaints, Reid ordered his staff to cease all communications with Ernst in 2005.
Tellingly, the current head of the AER is Gerard Protti, a former executive of EnCana Corporation. His conflict of interest is illustrative of a culture of conflict of interest that is transforming the governments of Canada and Alberta into wholly-owned subsidiaries of Texas-based and China-based oil and gas companies.
Ernst explains how this failure at the top is resulting in the poisoning of the environment and the severe undermining of public health. The quality of commercial agriculture is thereby undermined. The vitality of wildlife is attacked. Similarly, the public health of Albertans is under assault.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Pedro Biondi
Extinct in its habitat for at least three decades, the Alagoas curassow (Pauxi mitu) is now back in the jungle and facing a test of survival, thanks to the joint efforts of more than a dozen institutions to pull this pheasant-like bird back from the brink.
By Julia Conley
Sen. Elizabeth Warren expanded her vision for combating the climate crisis on Tuesday with the release of her Blue New Deal — a new component of the Green New Deal focusing on protecting and restoring the world's oceans after decades of pollution and industry-caused warming.
A judge in New York's Supreme Court sided with Exxon in a case that accused the fossil fuel giant of lying to investors about the true cost of the climate crisis. The judge did not absolve Exxon from its contribution to the climate crisis, but insisted that New York State failed to prove that the company intentionally defrauded investors, as NPR reported.
By Sharon Elber
You may have heard that giving a pet for Christmas is just a bad idea. Although many people believe this myth, according to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. So, if done well, giving an adopted pet as a Christmas gift can work out.