THE tightly-knit Karoo community is understandably prepared to fight tooth and nail to prevent Dutch oil giant Shell from proceeding with its controversial plan to drill for shale gas in the arid region.
Opposition to the plan is growing by the day and it is clear a long battle awaits Shell before it drills its first hole.
While the oil giant has embarked on an extensive public relations and advertising campaign in a bid to allay fears about the consequences of drilling for shale gas – known as fracking – thousands of metres below the surface, residents of the Karoo remain unconvinced. The imponderables are just far too many and their very way of life is under threat.
Of most concern is the effect the drilling operations will have on scarce underground water resources – water crucial to farming operations which produce much of the country’s meat, wool and mohair.
As we report today, local scientists believe Shell’s Environmental Management Plan on which the Energy Minister will need to base his decision to allow the drilling to proceed or otherwise, is flawed containing incorrect data.
Clearly, it is time for the government to become more proactive in the dispute.
The very future of one of the nation’s most unique regions hangs in the balance because of corporate greed.
(Editorial: Weekend Post Saturday 26 March 2011)
Read articles in Weekend Post 26 March 2011:
Petroleum Giant’s vital fracking report ‘flawed’
Heated Debate: the gloves come off in Graaff-Reinet
Read more by clicking here: www.edlunnon.co.za: DON’T FRACK IT UP!