Atmosphere & Energy
These days, Canadians watch in horror as the worst oil spill in US history plays out in the Gulf of Mexico. Many are unaware, though, of the many other large spills that have occurred over the years throughout the world (see Spill Size History). While the present fears and concerns relate to offshore drilling rigs, spills actually occur at several different points along the chain of operations (see Spill Locations and Causes). In a review of reports of 133 major oil spills since 1967 it was found that most spills are from tankers (78%) and pipelines (9%), while the remaining occur at the wells / rigs (8%) or terminals and storage locations (5%) (see Spill Locations and Causes). We all know, however, that a spill from a well can dwarf a spill from a tanker.
Many, including politicians, want to believe that with improvements in technology and stricter regulations we will soon be able to prevent all such disasters. The above review, however, does not support this optimistic outlook. The majority of the accidents were not due to problems with technology and could not have been prevented by regulations or timely inspections. Of the spills that occurred because of shipping accidents, 29% involved ship collisions, 22% involved ships running aground, and the remaining 49% involved other combinations of factors including inclement weather, fog, fires, explosions, and accidental damage to the ships. Human error, often coupled with insurmountable forces of nature, plays the biggest role in such disasters.
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Thirty environmental, urban planning and health groups will deliver a letter to Dalton McGuinty today, urging Ontario’s premier to break the province of its addiction to oil.
The groups — including Earthroots, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club Ontario and the David Suzuki Foundation — say the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a “wake-up call” for Ontario.
They say McGuinty should work to wean people off their dependence on oil and move the province towards cleaner energy methods, such as electric vehicles.
Environmental Defence, one of the groups that signed the letter, says Ontario consumes almost 200 million barrels of oil each year, mostly for transportation, and sends up to $20 billion out of the province to buy it.
Premier Dalton McGuinty is being warned the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a “wake-up call” for Ontario.
Thirty environmental, urban planning and health groups will deliver a letter to the Premier today, urging Ontario to break its addiction to oil.
The groups include Earthroots, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club Ontario and the David Suzuki Foundation.
Un groupe pétrolier français fait obstruction à l’examen public d’un projet d’exploitation des sables bitumineux
OTTAWA – Le Sierra Club du Canada, l’un des groupes d’intérêt public prenant part à la Commission d’examen conjoint mandatée d'évaluer un vaste projet d’exploitation des sables bitumineux, a exprimé sa consternation après que ses questions aient été tout bonnement rejetées par le groupe pétrolier français Total et son équipe d’avocats de Stikeman Elliott.
« Si Total veut faire affaires au Canada, il doit respecter les lois canadiennes sur l’environnement ainsi que les obligations constitutionnelles du Canada envers les Premières nations », a fait valoir John Bennett, directeur exécutif du Sierra Club du Canada.
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OTTAWA - Sierra Club Canada condemns the federal government for inaction on climate change. In a report tabled Tuesday June 2, the federal government quietly announced new emissions reduction targets which are ten times smaller than the ones announced last year.
In the report, the government stated that it would reduce its annual emissions by 5 megatonnes (Mt) below the business-as-usual level in 2010, and 10 Mt below the business-as-usual level by 2012. These targets are significantly lower than last year’s projected reductions of 54 Mt and 74 Mt for 2010 and 2012, respectively.
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