Citizen Action Monitor

“I have never seen such a level of corruption in politicians, regulators, companies,” says Alberta whistleblower

Jessica Ernst, environmental scientist, former oil and gas industry employee, exposes corruption in the industry

No 1029 Posted by fw, April 9, 2014

“I’m an environmental scientist. My whole career has been trying to get the oil and gas industry to do better. I’ve never seen anything so bad as fracking. I have worked in this industry for 30 years. The last 10 years have been the start of the unconventionals, and I have never seen such a level of corruption in politicians, regulators, companies. Instead of them improving the regulations like they promised last April they are deregulating. They removed all the limits in Alberta for unconventionals.”Jessica Ernst

“In 2007, Jessica Ernst the scientist became Jessica Ernst the whistleblower. Bringing forward evidence that her own water well and those of her neighbors had been severely contaminated, Ernst sued the EnCana Corporation. She also sued the forerunner of the Alberta Energy Regulator as well as the Alberta government itself.” —Anthony Hall, EcoWatch

Oil Consultant Turned Whistleblower Exposes Fracking Crimes in Alberta by Anthony Hall, EcoWatch, April 8, 2014

This You Tube is a [13-minute] compilation of segments from a 90-minute talk. Jessica Ernst worked for more than three decades as an environmental biologist doing research and independent consulting for the Alberta, Canada petroleum industry. One of her main clients was the EnCana Company, which began large-scale fracking in the region of her home community of Rosebud Alberta in the early years of the 21st century.

In 2007, Jessica Ernst the scientist became Jessica Ernst the whistleblower. Bringing forward evidence that her own water well and those of her neighbors had been severely contaminated, Ernst sued the EnCana Corporation. She also sued the forerunner of the Alberta Energy Regulator as well as the Alberta government itself.

Ernst is especially intent on getting some accountability from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which is 100 percent industry-funded. She accuses the AER of violating her freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ernst made this allegation based on a directive issued by the oil and gas regulator, Jim Reid. Rather than doing a credible investigation of Ernst’s complaints, Reid ordered his staff to cease all communications with Ernst in 2005.

Tellingly, the current head of the AER is Gerard Protti, a former executive of EnCana Corporation. His conflict of interest is illustrative of a culture of conflict of interest that is transforming the governments of Canada and Alberta into wholly-owned subsidiaries of Texas-based and China-based oil and gas companies.

Ernst explains how this failure at the top is resulting in the poisoning of the environment and the severe undermining of public health. The quality of commercial agriculture is thereby undermined. The vitality of wildlife is attacked. Similarly, the public health of Albertans is under assault.

SEE ALSO

    • everything you always wanted to know about fracking (but were too afraid to ask) by James Boswell, wall of controversy, August 5, 2013 – a short blog post about Jessica Ernst’s lawsuit against Encana alleging “that EnCana broke multiple provincial laws and regulations and contaminated a shallow aquifer that supplied drinking water to the Rosebud community with natural gas and toxic industry-related chemicals.” The post also includes Jessica’s 2012, 43-minute video presentation titled, Truth & Consequences of Frac’ing.  That video is reposted here –

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