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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Gas warning from Wyoming: US farmer visits

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

 Graeme Williams

US farmer John Fenton visits Australia with firsthand experience of fracking.
US farmer John Fenton visits Australia with firsthand experience of fracking.High in the mountains and ranges of the eastern Rocky Mountains, gas fracking is colonising farmland at an insatiable rate.

John Fenton and his wife Cathy have farmed cattle in the small rural town of Pavillion for decades. Twenty-four gas wells now pepper John’s farm and all of them are visible from his front porch.

The green pastures that supported his family for generations have been fragmented by pipelines, production tanks and compressor stations pumping out industrial fumes.

After the gas companies moved in and started hydraulic fracking, his neighbours’ water turned black and started smelling like diesel fuel.

Initially John thought he’d escaped the negative impacts, but testing soon confirmed toxic methane, propane and benzene in his water supply.

The underground aquifers his farm depends on were polluted. In 2010, the US EPA confirmed that local water supplies were contaminated with dangerous chemicals caused by gas fracking. The government agency warned Pavillion residents not to drink their water and to ventilate their homes when bathing or washing clothes to avoid the risk of explosion.

The gas company now trucks in drinking water for local farmers. Some eat from paper plates because they cannot wash dishes without contamination. Common health effects include nosebleeds, dizziness, loss of smell and taste, and neuropathy.

After appearing in the hit film Gasland, John Fenton has become a leading voice against gas fracking in the US.

An effective and authentic communicator, John’s powerful story about the potential consequences of unconventional gas fracking should serve as a warning to Australia.

John is embarking on a tour of Australia’s east coast and will be sharing his story from 6pm on February 24 at the Bangalow A&I Hall. The evening will be hosted by Greens MPs Jeremy Buckingham and Jan Barham.

See more about John’s tour at www.fentontour.com.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. TYPO FIXED

    Oh spare me! The nonsense, lies, the misguided anti carbon campaign goes on.
    Always remember the GREENS were in the very recent past actively promoting CLEAN GAS as the transition fuel.
    What happened, political expedience? Their CLEAN in a true born again religious like transformation has miraculously turned TOXIC.
    It seems that the organizers of this GREEN anti carbon bandwagon had to hunt down one poor discontented USA cattle rancher John Fenton “as featured in GasLands” to front a primed and misinformed Australian audience. His discontent is not even about CSG it’s about shale gas extraction. Relevantly there are no shale deposits in the Northern Rivers just as there is no/zero CSG potential in Tweed Ballina and Byron Shires.
    With a Josh Fox tear firmly planted in my eye, I watched painfully John Fenton’s Gaslands doco extract from the Echo link. I am sure he’s a real nice well meaning bloke but after carefully listening to his words, I was left with more obvious unanswered questions than actual facts. As the doco FrackNation demonstrated, a Josh Fox production should always be taken with a grain of salt.
    It’s a pity the CSG fear campaign organizers couldn’t even find a few disgruntled local farmers from the hundreds in NSW who have gas harvesting agreements to front the locals. In Queensland there are over 4000 plus farmers to choose from who have all signed voluntary gas harvesting agreements.
    Not even one peeved or poisoned candidate to be found in OZ to front the locals? There are some questions here for any curious intelligent potential audience member. Why John Fenton? Why no local farmers?
    In the Fenton article as usual there was not a single balancing reference about the many happy contented US farmers featured in the FrackNation doco which they have all seen. Or perhaps topically and relevant to the cattle rancher Fenton article, a reference to last week Metgasco’s ASX announcement that its waste water had been tested and cleared for local beef farmers to use for stock watering. What will John Fenton have to say about that if questioned?
    To those interested in balance and truth; the workings of a decade long successful relationship of AGL’s gas harvesting at Camden in NSW and locals with all the independent water and air testing for “fugitive emissions” etc is all available on the WEB by simply searching AGL Camden.
    Clean air, clean water, happy farmers and GAS for the residents of Sydney seems to be the main impact of the AGL’s presence in Camden.
    Read this readily available mass of public information about a well regulated industry and make up your own minds.
    The nub of all this is the fact that the only real toxic thing going on here is the fear campaign, the misinformation and lies spread by our own GREEN Taliban and their puppet masters.
    They have very carefully turned the anti CSG campaign into a quasi religious experience led by anti carbon zealots. The campaign has all the hallmarks of a type of fanaticism that we all should fear deeply.
    The really sad part is they have recruited children to partake in their quasi religious declaration day ceremonies. You can see the touch of the puppet masters in these events, which have all the parades, the music, dress ups and pomp of high church ceremonial affairs.
    Jones Town here we come.

  2. Actually it is tight sands at Pavillion WY. The same type of unconventional gas that Metgasco wants to drill for at Bentley, near Casino!! There is a lot of coal seam gas in Wyoming and Colarado. Shale is more Pensylvannia and Texas. So you’re just wrong.

    Regardless of the actual geology, the issues with unconventional gas extraction, whether shale, coal seams,or tight sands, from the fracking process, to the dewatering aquifers, to land use and access issues are similar and lessons should be learned from the US experience.

  3. In answer to John Vaughan’s spit above….
    I would imagine the Greens are now aware of the dangers of this industry that was once called “Green and Clean”… I’d rather see someone change their attitude once further science comes in. I do however doubt that you Mr Vaughan who has all your money tied up in the “Lotto of Metgasco” will ever admit to being wrong.

    The so called “CSG Fear Campaigners” HAVE found disgruntled farmers in QLD who have signed up for gas and are having massive troubles with the gas wells on their property, not to mention bore water levels, but due to the contracts that they signed are SILENCED from talking publicly about their issues.

    And this is the way the gas industries have gotten away with it all over the world. Thankfully farmers have got a lot wiser with the signing of contracts, thus the huge issue with the lack of land owners who are prepared to sign up to “live in a Gasfield”.

    And how dare you make judgement about our street declaration days. I am a mother and my children were proud to be a part of a community venture. A venture that shows strength and power in communities. Probably the very reason you are getting so agitated yourself Mr Vaughan, because you know in the end the strength of this community WILL win out.

    You don’t even live in this region, however you want to watch out for your “Sea view”… or it will be full of tankers as far as eye can see, shipping your precious gas off to China.

    We say no to living in a Gasfield. Full stop.

  4. In Dalby Queensland – in excess of 200 farmers impacted by gas field developments in their area met with Shine Lawyers and Erin brockovitch on Tuesday.

    So of the 4,000 farmers Vaughn touts, deduct the 400 plus from around Dalby.

    And it isn’t 4000 “happy farmers” it is 4000 land access agreements.

    Most farmers have multiple agreements, so the number of actual farmers is far less than 4,000.

    There is much I would like to add here but time does not permit. It is unfortunate, that in his shareholder driven rage, Vaughn plays loose and fast with the truth.

    Given Vaughn has makes the top 20 list you would have to say “Shareholders tell lies”.

  5. Gas as such can be a clean source of energy but the process of fracking to extract coal seam gas is not a clean source of energy. We do not want to see what has happened in USA and in Queensland happen to the pristine waterways of the northern rivers. Once the damage is done it is too late – the process cannot be reversed. It is a shame to see such bias from a Metgasco shareholder put forward as “facts”

  6. It must be stated the Greens were at the forefront in singing the praises of cleaner natural gas years ago.

    They must be held accountable for this mining invasion.

    A short time ago wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed to thousands of dollars per kwatt hour in South Australia because solar panels lose efficiency in high heat and there was not wind for the industrial wind generators. The Green Necks will not acknowledge that it is dark half the time and the wind does not blow all the time. How is it sustainable to build power plants that are only to be used when alternative sources fail to produce?

    The Greens have no shame, always blaming someone else. They created the spark that started the mad pursuit of gas mining.

    Australia has shot itself in foot by enacting the carbon tax.

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