Prominent Queensland Greens member Libby Connors and her husband, Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance will travel to the United States to help uncover adverse impacts of coal seam gas and shale gas mining.
The couple leave on Saturday to meet farmers, residents and politicians on the three week study tour of six American states including Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvannia.
Dr Connors said some communities had “suffered severely” in the US where drilling for gas had been occurring for more than a decade.
“We need to know what we could soon be facing on the Darling Downs and in the farmlands of central Queensland,” she said.
“Meeting graziers or ranchers in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming should be particularly illuminating as this region has become an intensive coal seam gas field with tens of thousands of wells drilled across their plains and paddocks.”
They were also looking forward to meeting irrigation farmers in Wyoming. “The US Environmental Protection Agency has found that surface aquifers in Wyoming have been contaminated by fracturing so this is an excellent case study for Queensland agricultural communities.”
The study tour will also visit urban centres where residents have fought to prevent fracking in their drinking water catchments. Fellow environmentalists will explain the difficulties they have had limiting and regulating the impacts of this invasive industry in the US.
They will discuss the issues with state senators and mayors and attend a protest rally in Washington DC.
‘We will be in Washington D.C. for the National Stop the Frack Attack Rally on 28 July. I am really looking forward to talking to ordinary citizens about what they have faced and with environmentalists about how they have confronted the powerful US oil and gas industry.’
Dr Connors said the trip was partly self-funded and partly covered by donations from Lock the Gate supporters.
Photos of drilling operations and of Libby and Drew will be available progressively during the trip.
Contact: Libby Connors 0429 487 110