STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Stelmach defends oilsands’ environmental record

Posted by mhudema on January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Alberta is a leader in protecting the environment, premier Ed Stelmach said Thursday, taking exception to a report card from two lobby groups that gave the oilsands industry a failing grade.

Stelmach rejected the conclusions of the report from the Pembina Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. It gave northern Alberta 10 oilsands plants an average mark of 33 per cent, with nine of the 10 projects receiving a failing grade. The industry uses too much water and pumps out too much greenhouse gas, the report said.

“The government of Alberta and all of the oilsands operators work closely to ensure we take a leadership role in environmental technology [and] research,” the premier said in defence of his government’s record. “The kind of technology we do here is something can be applied in many other provinces in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Pembina Institute pointed out that while individual oilsands companies have reduced the intensity of their emissions, overall emissions are increasing as the industry expands.

The province has not set a target date for overall reductions.

Syncrude, one of the largest companies in the oilsands, also slammed the report card in which it tied for last place among the 10 firms surveyed. Syncrude and Synenco Energy scored 18 per cent.

“We obviously don’t agree with their assessment. In fact, we consider ourselves a leader in sustainability in the oilsands industry,” Syncrude spokesman Alain Moore said.

The report ranked Albian’s Muskeg mine the highest, with a 56 per cent grade.

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