I do not advocate violence in any form whether it is directed against my fellow humans, gas installations, or nature. I do, however, believe we need to carefully examine our acceptance of the present rate and methods of petroleum extraction in our beautiful Peace River Country. What justification do we have for using up this resource in a few human generations, leaving none for the future? Do we have the right to extract and burn fossil fuels at the rate we do when we are becoming aware of only the first wave of ecological damage done by our fuel burning habits?
When this short lived oil and gas boom is over we will be left with thousands of wells, gas installations and pipelines, all of which will eventually leak toxic compounds. The future generations, much diminished as a result of our greed, will be left with this inheritance from us.
According to our MLA?s office there has been just $1 million annually put into the ?orphan well? fund, and only since 2006. We currently have $3 million dollars which must cover the OGC administrative costs of clean up; compensate affected land owners, and clean up and dispose of contaminated material. This amount seems woefully inadequate to deal with the facilities already in place, let alone the planned expansion of the oil and gas industry. Even if money could compensate for the inevitable damage to human health and the health of our surroundings, this amount could hardly begin to repair that damage.
I find it deeply troubling that we justify our disregard for the future?s well being in the name of short-term economic gain. Reducing the possibilities for the future is not a responsible way to live in the present.
We must persuade our provincial government that its mandate is to regulate this industry for the well being of the Peace country and all its inhabitants, present and future.
For anyone interested in further discussion of this topic, go to www.credp.com