Cook Inletkeeper requests public notice on proposed fracking

BlueCrest Energy is set to begin hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Cook Inlet this month.

(Image courtesy of Cook Inletkeeper)
(Image courtesy of Cook Inletkeeper)

The new fracking operation, which will occur about three and a half miles offshore, has faced steep opposition from Kenai Peninsula residents.

Under current rules, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was not required to publicly release BlueCrest’s fracking permit application until after they had approved it.

Bob Shavelson is the Executive Director of Cook Inletkeeper. He said the public should be informed of potential fracking projects before the Commission approves them.

“It’s just basic transparency, basic fairness, right to know,” Shavelson said. “We all collectively own the lands and waters and air of the state and that’s ingrained in Article VIII of our Constitution. So if someone’s going to pollute or potentially pollute those things, then we have a right to know about that and engage in that process.”

Cook Inletkeeper submitted a letter to the Commission on Sept. 19 requesting they amend their rules and provide public notice, as well as the opportunity for public comment about future fracking projects.

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on Dec. 15 in Anchorage to hear feedback on Cook Inletkeeper’s proposed changes.

Shahla Farzan is a reporter with KBBI - Homer.

Shahla first caught the radio bug as a world music host for WMHC, the oldest college radio station operated exclusively by women. Before coming to KBBI, she worked at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and as a science writer for the California Environmental Legacy Project. She is currently completing her Ph.D in ecology at the University of California-Davis, where she studies native bees.

When she's not producing audio stories, you can find Shahla beachcombing or buried in a good book.

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