Update on a Woman of Courage

There is now a book about Jessica Ernst, Our Woman of Courage for 2011. An award-winning investigative journalist, Andrew Nikiforuk, launched his book “Slick Water at Ground Zero” on September 12. The book tells the shocking story of Jessica’s determined stand to hold the Canadian energy company Encana, and regulators in her own provincial government of Alberta, accountable for fracking damage to the environment. After Ernst filed her lawsuit and put forward evidence that Encana had violated laws by fracturing the community’s drinking water aquifers, she was falsely accused of being a bomb-making terrorist and harassed by the Harper government’s anti-terrorism squad. Frightened but undaunted, she uncovered a startling history of liability, fraud, and intimidation, along with a willful denial of widespread groundwater contamination. Nikiforuk was one of the first journalists in North America to document the devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on communities.

In response to our congratulations, Jessica said she still has a long way to go, likely another 10 years, with the delays and tricks that the courts allow. She sees what she has vanishing, and justice for citizens whose water was harmed by fracking nearly impossible. But she vows to keep going; the author of the book thinks it will be the only real justice she sees.