Alberta oil and gas consultant Jessica Ernst is taking the industry and government to supreme court, arguing that company Encana has knowingly fracked and contaminated groundwater. She is also suing the Alberta government and energy regulator of gross negligence. This interview with Jessica Ernst and her lawyer Murray Klippenstein is well worth listening to, as many threads of the story resemble what’s happening here in Taranaki, e.g. lawyers have refused to represent local landowners against the oil industry while “in Alberta … because of the reach and pervasiveness of the oil and gas industry and the government there’s not many lawyers who are not in some way a little bit compromised …” said Murray.
“They [the Alberta lawyers] told me that the regulator cannot be sued because of the special immunity clause… they [the regulator] infringed on my charter rights trying to intimidate me into obedience, silence … they are all guilty but the energy regulator is the most guilty … they [industry and regulator] have all the money yes and they have all the experts and they control the court… but they don’t have that humanness where if you are willing to stand on the line and sacrifice everything, that gives you an enormous power and I rely on that, and that’s what keeps me going…” said Jessica.