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Rhodes hosts lively debate on fracking

Date Released: Sat, 17 August 2013 12:59 +0200

Battle lines were drawn in Grahamstown on Thursday night when the leader of South Africa’s fight against shale gas mining in the ecologically sensitive Karoo locked horns with the author of a controversial new book that claims the fears are exaggerated.

Support for Treasure Karoo Action Group leader Jonathan Deal and Extreme Environment author Igo Vegter was divided on Thursday night at a lively Rhodes University debate on the pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Deal, who won a prestigious international Goldman Environmental Prize earlier this year for spearheading the fight against fracking, painted a bleak picture of possible environmental disasters.

Vegter argued that environmental exaggeration was harmful to emerging economies such as South Africa.

Vegter’s call to allow oil companies to at least explore the Karoo to quantify the amount was supported by Rhodes University economics Professor Gavin Keeton who said recovering a mere 5% of the resource would contribute R80-million to South Africa’s GDP over the next 25 years.

Picture by: DAVID MACGREGOR

By DAVID MACGREGOR

Picture Caption: GET THE FRACK OUT THE KAROO: Award winning Treasure Karoo Action Group leader Jonathan Deal gets his point across

Article Source: Daily Dispatch

 

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