Canadian Manufacturing

Fracking now an unregulated free-for-all in Alberta, NDP claims

Party leader said information shows number of fracking licences granted soared 647 per cent

EDMONTON—The opposition NDP says newly released documents show fracking has become an unregulated free-for-all in Alberta with no regard for the impacts on groundwater or on people’s health.

NDP Leader Brian Mason says information provided under freedom of information laws shows that the number of fracking licences granted by the province soared 647 per cent last year to 1,516.

Mason says the amount of water allocated and used for fracking has increased even faster.

He says the province has gone too far to make a temporary moratorium on fracking realistic, but he says Conservative Premier Alison Redford’s government needs to get a handle on the health and environmental implications.

In fracking, underlying rocks are blasted with pressurized water and chemicals to release natural gas.

Several provinces are revisiting fracking as they examine concerns over groundwater and aquifer contamination and methane gas leaks.

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