The following letter will soon appear in various rural newspapers.
May 27, 2013
To the editor,
Energy development in some form is critical in Alberta and there is wide consensus that associated risks must be minimized. We approach development and accept risks as a province and have gone ahead with hydraulic fracturing, but when our decisions impact individuals we often leave them to deal with the consequences on their own. Are we willing to compromise the livelihoods of some for the benefit of others? I believe that hearing the very human stories of those who have suffered unfairly will help us move toward a future we hope for.
Countless Albertans have important stories about energy development that have not been heard. The public discourse is controlled by a few entities that often do not leave space for landowners, farmers or other Albertans. Energy discussions in Alberta are incomplete. How can we create effective policy and regulation and make informed decisions without considering the impacts on Albertans?
Envision a province where everyone is heard, a place where city-dwellers and rural farmers alike are connected to their communities and to their land. There are many such stories to be told in Alberta, stories of richness and life. If your story of life in Alberta and energy development has not been heard, we want to help you share.
Visit www.albertavoices.ca to hear your neighbours’ stories and to learn how we can help make your voice part of the discussion on hydraulic fracturing and energy development. As U of A students and organizers of last fall’s conference in Camrose, Responsibility for the Land: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta, we understand that there are sensitive issues, and in working with you, we hope to learn from your experiences and foster a friendly relationship.