We call for an indefinite extension of the current moratorium (expected to be lifted after July 2012), to allow for more time for thorough research regarding both the potential costs, negative effects and potential benefits of shale gas extraction in South Africa (while also regarding the unique geological, environmental, developmental, socio-economic realities in the country and in the Karoo), weighed against other energy alternatives (such as renewable energy projects in the Karoo region). We would like to also call on the government to conduct a strategic environmental assessment and a health impact assessment as part of the investigation into shale gas. We urge the government to make an informed decision, instead of a rushed one. If shale gas fracking is allowed in South Africa, it would be by deliberate choice, not by accident. We need to decide whether we would be able to live with the consequences of our decisions.
This petition closed over 2 years ago
Our Karoo is under threat – current applications for horizontal fracking, a water intensive and environmentally destructive...
Our Karoo is under threat – current applications for horizontal fracking, a water intensive and environmentally destructive extractive process, cover more than half the Karoo in South Africa, 230,000 sq km, an international recognized biodiversity hotspot.
Many people in South Africa are very concerned about the potential negative impacts that the extensive process of shale gas mining can cause, as recorded in the USA, international research reports and articles.
These effects include: health impacts, external costs and damaged roads, truck traffic on a never before scale, severe air pollution, potential groundwater contamination, ecological damage, farming and tourism impacts, and radioactive, hazardous, toxic waste. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/97449702/100-Fracking-Victims)
The Minister of Mineral Resources will address Cabinet at the end of July, and will make her decision known as to whether she will give the go ahead to allow fracking in the Karoo or not, despite the lack of wide public consultation and participation.
This urgent petition to the Minister BEFORE she presents her decision to the Cabinet will give all South Africans, affected landowners and communities and interest groups the opportunity to request the Minister to extend the moratorium indefinitely to allow for more research before making a decision.
The controversial extraction method of unconventional fracking (High-Volume Slick-water Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing) is under ban or moratorium in more than a 140 places around the world.
Recently, Prof. Van Tonder from the University of the Free State said, that due to the unique geology of the Karoo, groundwater contamination will be inevitable. http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-06-15-confessions-of-a-fracking-defector.
Before any decision can be made, the moratorium on fracking must be extended and fracking should be prohibited in South Africa until thorough scientific research is done to prove that shale gas mining can be done safely according to South African conditions. We currently don’t know where water would be sourced, how safe the drilling would be and how toxic and radioactive waste water would be disposed of. We do not know what the external costs in terms of enforcement, community health impacts and road repairs etc. would be.
The science surrounding the technology and its impacts (both positive and negative) is largely unsettled.
Some research suggests that the extraction process and fugitive methane emissions could make shale gas as bad as coal for the climate.
Shale gas drilling and extraction has lead to groundwater contamination (like in Pennsylvania - http://www.peherald.com/news/article/2974 ), habitat loss and fragmentation and wildlife population decline in some animal species in Wyoming for example
We, as the public of South Africa, are entitled to our constitutional rights to a clean environment that is not harmful to our health.
Read more : www.treasurethekaroo.co.za