A personal story: Diana Daunheimer, Didsbury, Alberta

“I have come to see the regulator as nothing short of a bodyguard to the industry.”

-Diana Daunheimer

Telling personal stories
The oil and gas boom has been underway for a number of years in many locations across North America, and there are now a lot of stories about individuals and families whose lives have been personally affected. This post is part of a regular series of those stories on this blog to help you envision what could happen if drilling expands along the Beartooth Front. Look for these once a week.

Today’s thoroughly-researched and well-documented story originally appeared in the Tyee, a widely read and respected independent online magazine that publishes news, reviews and commentary not typically covered by British Columbia and Canada’s mainstream media.

There are a number of themes in this story that we see present elsewhere, and that we should be concerned about along the Beartooth Front: regulators looking out for corporations instead of community, unresponsive oil and gas companies, and careless and uninspected use of chemicals in drilling. Most importantly, it’s about a relentless person who is determined to get justice.

It’s a long read, but a great story and definitely worth the time.

Previous posts in this series:
Tim and Christine Ruggiero, Wise County, Texas
Laura Amos, Encana, Colorado
Helen Ricker, Poplar, Montana

Diana Daunheimer, Didsbury Alberta
When a tight oil boom invaded rural Alberta five years ago, Diana Daunheimer was, as she puts it, just another “ignorant landowner.”

The mother of two and vegetable farmer knew little about the practice of horizontal drilling or multi-stage hydraulic fracturing.

The practice involves the injection of highly pressurized fluids into mile deep wells that later mole out horizontally for another mile or two, in order to break open shale rock as tight as granite.

Diana Daunheimer

Diana Daunheimer, her kids and farm in Alberta (click to enlarge)

To coax lower-quality oil out of the Cardium Formation as well as other pancakes of shale rock deep below west-central Alberta, industry increased its use of the practice around 2009 and created a black gold rush that has industrialized many rural communities with constant traffic and polluting flare stacks.

Daunheimer knew even less about the Alberta Energy Regulator, formerly the Energy Resources Conservation Board, which referees the industry in the province.

But as the number of horizontal fractured wells in the Cardium Formation jumped from 70 to 2,000 over four years, and oil production skyrocketed from 2,000 to 80,000 barrels a day, Daunheimer quickly became informed.

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
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6 Responses to A personal story: Diana Daunheimer, Didsbury, Alberta

  1. Pingback: A personal story: John Fenton, Pavillion, Wyoming (audio and video) | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  2. Pingback: A personal story: Linda Monson, Yellowstone River southwest of Williston, North Dakota | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  3. Pingback: A Personal Story: Bob Deering, Pennsylvania. “Our Dream Has Become a Nightmare” | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  4. Pingback: A personal story: Christine Pepper, Bradford County, Pennsylvania (with Daily Show clip) | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  5. Pingback: A personal story: Marilyn Hunt, Wetzel County, West Virginia | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  6. Pingback: Article in The Local Rag uses half-truths, lies and plain stupidity to promote oil drilling | Preserve the Beartooth Front

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