TREASURE KAROO ACTION GROUP PRESS RELEASEFriday April 15, 2011
“PASA and Shell Oil alone will not authorize fracking in SA”
In reaction to a media report today (TimesLive) in which PASA CEO Mthozami Xiphu confirmed that chances favoured Shell getting a green light to frack, TKAG coordinator Jonathan Deal said: “Shell, through it’s local CEO seeks to create the impression that its (Environmental Management Plan) EMP, is the definitive document on which the question of fracking in South Africa will hinge. This debate is far bigger than one company, and involves the introduction of a controversial technology into South Africa which is presently under fierce environmental, scientific and judicial scrutiny in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany.”
“The dearth of legislation and knowledge in SA in respect of this technology and the many unanswered questions surrounding real and documented fracking pollution incidents in other countries establish a cast-iron case for application of the precautionary principle by our ministers. We applaud the Minister of Water Affairs for her no-nonsense approach to speculation about fracking in SA, and trust that PASA, Shell and its co-applicants and the Department of Minerals are more informed as to the fact that others also have a voice in this issue,” he said.
“At the very minimum, TKAG, in support of other organizations such as Wildlife Environmental Society of SA - WESSA, Centre for Environmental Rights -CER, World Wildlife Fund - WWF and Earthlife are calling for an over-arching Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to fully consider all of the factors involved in a decision of this magnitude – before any exploration licence is issued. We do this on the basis that there is no point in issuing a license for a process that may never happen in South Africa. Our government has the mechanisms to halt this process until the issue has been thoroughly assessed, debated and commented on by local and international scientists and all of the stakeholders in SA.”
“The indecent haste of Shell, through their multi-million rand PR campaign proves that they are focused on short-term gains for their shareholders, rather than the interests of this country, and places undue pressure on many of our Ministers who have yet to comment on this issue of critical national importance,” concluded Deal.
[About TKAG – Treasure the Karoo Action group is the coordinating body, representing a broad range of stakeholders who are concerned with the plans of Oil and Mining companies to extract shale gas from the Karoo basin. Popular support can be followed and joined on Facebook and at treasurethekaroo.blogspot.com]
Issued by HWB Communications on behalf of TKAG.For information, please contact:
National Coordinator – Treasure Karoo Action Group
076 838 5150/ email@example.com
Tel: 021 462 0416/ 079 500 firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>