To: Petrolium Agency of South Africa (PASA)
SOUTH AFRICA: Don't Use Hydraulic Fracturing near Harrismith/Verkykerskop/Van Reenen/Bergville Area
(PASA Ref Nu: 12/3/313)
Please don't allow Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) to be used in the proposed exploration area near Harrismith, Verkykerskop, Van Reenen, Driefontein, Bergville, Winterton, Spioenkop.
We have a planet in crisis from greenhouse gas emissions and need to heed the global call for “business unusual” to ensure that the human race can survive the global warming that is underway. In South Africa, the water crisis is being exacerbated by Climate Change impacts. The activities ensuing from this application will continue to add to the impacts and drivers of Climate Change.
◾Mining has never improved the lives and livelihoods of local communities, but has rather left people worse off than they were before;
◾South Africa’s mining industry is not sustainable as envisaged in the principles of NEMA and our Constitution – there is not a single example where the impacts are being managed to prevent pollution, protect human health and benefit the local communities sustainably;
◾Cheap gas is a misnomer – the costs are borne by society and the environment, not by those organisations involved in “moneytisation” of the “resource”;
◾Climate Change is being driven by emissions of gases and that extraction of underground gas will lead to large volumes of methane gas emissions to atmosphere during drilling, well casing and production, as well as during transport;
◾South Africa has committed to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and focusing on renewable sources of energy to avoid reaching the point of no return in terms of global warming;
◾Fracking is banned in many developed and developing countries;
◾Fracking is causing health impacts in all the areas where it has been used from emissions to the air and pollution of groundwater;
◾Gas extraction uses huge amounts of water which will have to come from a supply that is already oversubscribed;
◾Fracking generates “production” water, comprising toxic chemicals which has no way of being treated to avoid contamination;
◾6% of new wells in the USA fail in the first year and all fail with time causing pollution and affecting health of people, domestic animals and the environment
◾Methane emissions from fracking have not been included in the database of emissions used to predict global warming increases in future which determine if we will be able to continue to live on our planet;
◾Solar energy in South Africa is setting the standard for sustainability especially in terms of job creation and community development and this application represents damaging technology for dirty fuel sources which will keep us back;
◾People living in the fracking belts of the USA and Australia have all repeated the refrain that they never knew how fracking would destroy their lives and livelihoods.
We will not support this application and call on the regulators to prevent exploration rights from being granted. This and similar projects must not be authorised in any shape or form.
Why is this important?
We are concerned about the wastage of water used for the Fracking process and the possible impact on our groundwater.