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Video: Big damages win against Fracking in Texas

In a recent legal settlement in Texas, a family was awarded $3 million after suffering health problems stemming from a fracking operation, which was not actually on their land. Apologies for having included in an earlier report, a video which did not give details. I have now replaced that video as well as providing news and links to other reports on this case.

"After a two-week trial that ended Tuesday -- Earth Day, coincidentally -- a Dallas jury awarded the Parr family $2.9 million for personal injury and property damages in the family's lawsuit against Plano-based Aruba Petroleum Inc.

According to the lawsuit, Aruba Petroleum had 22 natural gas wells within a 2-mile radius of the Parrs' property, with three wells in close proximity to their Texas home. The closest was 791 feet away.

As a result of poor management and lack of emission controls, Aruba Petroleum created a "private nuisance" to the Parr family by producing harmful air pollution and exposing them to harmful emissions of volatile organic compounds, toxic air pollutants and diesel exhaust, the lawsuit said." Source: Jason Morris, "Texas family plagued with ailments gets $3M in 1st-of-its-kind fracking judgment", CNN, April 26, 2014

Jessica Ernst continues to pursue frackers in long-running law suit

However, in the Jessica Ernst lawsuit:

"‘An Alberta government lawyer argued in court this week that Jessica Ernst’s lawsuit on hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination should be struck down on the grounds that it would open a floodgate of litigation against the province.

“There could be millions or billions of dollars worth of damages,” argued Crown counsel Neil Boyle.

Seven years ago, oil patch consultant Ernst sued Alberta Environment, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Encana, one of Canada’s largest shale gas drillers, over the contamination of her well water and the failure of government authorities to properly investigate the contamination.’" Source: Andrew Nikiforuk, "Alberta Moves to Strike Down Ernst's Fracking Lawsuit: Landmark case could spark a flood of litigation against the province, lawyer argues." The Tyee, Ca.,, 18 Apr 2014.

Asking the right questions commented on the above article:

"Hats off again to Mr. Nikiforuk for continued coverage of this disturbing suit!! All Canadians should take notice of the bizarre defense positions that have been waddled out in this case over the past SEVEN years (Ms. Ernst must have incredible stamina - we should all thank her). When an industry can adopt a technology (in this case hydraulic fracturing) without due diligence or evidence of safety and efficacy AND when the "government" oversight body (Alberta Energy Regulator) is run by former industry executives what are citizens to do? Where are the BASIC protections for ordinary citizens? As Mr. Nikiforuk has reported in many other articles, this is the future that some provincial governments and the current Harper® regime lust after! Captive regulators, administrators and politicians without any concept of "conflict of interest" and legal immunity from civic harm (What do you mean your tap water is on fire!?). It is almost so comically bizarre as to be laughable ....except that this is an ongoing Alberta court case and not reality TV!! Please remember you do have a choice."

Ohio shuts down fracking ops due to earthquake link

"Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and several mild earthquakes in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report. The report, which coincided with Ohio’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling quakes and hydraulic fracturing — the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to extract oil and natural gas from ancient rock. Last month, the state indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy Co.’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude 3 temblor that shook many Ohioans awake.

Federal scientists have previously linked earthquakes in part to the use of injection wells, where post-fracking wastewater is forced back deep into the earth for storage. None of the seven wells near the Ohio quakes were used for waste disposal, leaving Ohio scientists to go a step further to find a significant relationship between the initial blast of fluid and the earthquakes shortly thereafter." Source:Paresh Dave, "Does fracking cause earthquakes?" McClatchy News, Governing.com, April 14, 2014

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