Alberta Tar Sands Pipelines
Politicians are known the world over for talking out of both sides of their mouths. They often make grand proclamations to win votes, to silence criticism, to placate opposition. Lately in the face of serious criticism from scientists, the federal government has tried to appear tough on the oilsands. But Canadians have yet to see action. The pending decision on whether or not to approve a new open-pit oilsands mine in Alberta provides Canadians with a real-time truth test of government promises.... Read more »
Canada’s ambassador to the United States wrote to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last fall, asking it to disregard greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta oil extraction as it decides whether to support a proposed massive Canadian pipeline to Texas.
As well, one Alberta bureaucrat warned the EPA its greenhouse gas policies could place at risk “the longstanding energy trading relationship between our two jurisdictions.”
The letters, including one from Canadian ambassador Gary Doer to the EPA’s most senior official and copied to Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, reveal an officially polite but tough disagreement over jurisdictional authority and greenhouse gas emissions.
Texas has rarely met an oil facility it didn't like. Ever since Spindletop sent a gush of crude 150 feet into the air near here in 1901, Texans have been mostly willing to put up with the spills, smokestack belches and massive refinery vistas that go along with big, fat pots of "Texas tea."
But that was before a Canadian company, TransCanada Corp., came forward with a plan to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy, high-pollutant oil from the tar sands under the boreal forests of northern Alberta, across the American heartland, through scenic ranchlands in the piney woods of east Texas and on to refineries near Houston and Port Arthur.
... Read more »
The federally appointed Joint Review Panel conducting the Environmental and National Energy Board review of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project released a decision today, January 19, 2011, indicating that the project application was not yet ready for review. The Panel had held hearings in Whitecourt, Alberta, and Kitimat and Prince George, B.C.. After hearing from dozens of First Nations representatives, environmentalists, fishermen, and citizens concerned about the impacts of the construction of the Northern Gateway tar sands oil pipeline and marine terminal, the panel determined that Enbridge had not in fact provided adequate consideration of the project-specific challenges and risks. Enbridge must now provide additional information before assessment of their proposal can go forward.... Read more »
EDMONTON - Premier Ed Stelmach opened an Edmonton oilsands conference Wednesday with a speech about Alberta’s commitment to producing green, ethical oil.
More than 300 King’s University College students turned out to hear his keynote address at the school’s Oil Things Considered conference, a two-day debate that will feature talks from Stelmach, federal NDP MP Linda Duncan, author Andrew Nikiforuk and others.
“We are already seeing enormous progress being made toward a greener barrel,” Stelmach said. “I’ve been clear that we need to see more progress being made.”
The speech was Stelmach’s first public appearance since before Christmas. He refused to stop to speak with reporters and instead referred questions to his communications staff.
In his speech, Stelmach said rhetoric that reduces the debate over the oilsands to simple slogans “does us all an injustice.”... Read more »