STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Archive for July, 2008

In Conversation: Thoughts on the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

http://www.medicinehatnews.com/content/view/39295/76/

Speaking out In conversation with … Mike Hudema

How does someone get from Crescent Heights High School to a stage in Southern California challenging General Motors CEO to build the world’s most fuel efficient car?

For Medicine Hat native Mike Hudema, a spokesman with Greenpeace Alberta, the road included an exchange to India and years at the University of Alberta, where he was student body president and earned education and law degrees.

Along the way he also was charged with eating his ballot in the 2000 federal election, ran for the provincial New Democrats the following year, worked with numerous environmental and political action causes, and wrote a book titled An Action a Day Keeps Global Capitalism Away.

News reporter Collin Gallant spoke by phone with Hudema at the Edmonton Greenpeace offices where he works on the group’s Stop the Tar Sands campaign.

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Norway’s Oil Fund Eclipses Alberta

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

The article below is on Norway’s Oil Fund which was patterned after Alberta’s Heritage Fund. It was created in 1991, 15 years after Alberta’s fund. The Norwegian fund has grown to $390 billion while there is only $17 billion in Alberta’s fund. The other striking difference between the two funds is that mich if the success of Norway’s fund is attributed to the complete transparency of all aspects of its administration. As we all know, the Alberta Government doesn’t know what the word transparency means.

Pat

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NORWAY: Oil Fund Finds Ethical Success
By Tarjei Kidd Olsen


OSLO, Jul 31 (IPS) – Norway’s ‘oil fund’ has risen to become the second largest fund in the world despite housing an ethical investments council which has kicked out major companies such as Wal-Mart, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

The ‘oil fund’, properly called the Government Pension Fund – Global, and worth an estimated 390 billion dollars, has become the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, now only trailing the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority after overtaking the Dutch fund for public employees.

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Source of Oil Matters

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

The Register-Guard: EditorialsLetters: Commentary


The Register-Guard “Editorials, Letters” story header


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The source of the oil matters

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Published: #($ZDATE($ZDATETIMEH(date, 3), 5))#, #($ZTIME(date, 4))#

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Published: July 29, 2008 12:00AM

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After the health risks of smoking became clear, government took steps to protect the public. Government action will likewise be needed to protect the public — and the planet — from unconventional fossil fuels.

The world supply of conventional oil is shrinking, and petroleum companies are ramping up the production of oil from “unconventional” sources such as tar sands, coal and oil shale.

Unfortunately, oil from these sources causes even more environmental damage than conventional oil. If global warming is to be resolved, the use of unconventional oil must be constrained.

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Dirty Oil could Bake the Planet

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

‘Unconventional oil not sustainable’

listen

A report on extracting oil from oil sands and oil shale says the methods are environmentally and economically unsustainable and will undermine efforts to combat global warming because of the increased levels of atmospheric CO2 that is produced during production.

According to the World Wildlife Fund and Manchester-based Co-operative Financial Services, oil companies are increasingly looking to exploit new oil sources, previously deemed uncommercial, to meet world demand.

However, the extraction of oil from oil sands and oil shale creates up to eight times as many emissions as conventional oil production does. It also involves three times as much water to produce a barrel of oil and involves forest clearance.

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Unconventional Oil (like the Tar Sands) Threaten Environment

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

Unconventional oil sources ‘threaten environment’

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2008 12:52

The search for unconventional oil could harm the environment, report claims

Using unconventional fuel sources such as oil sands or oil shale could have “catastrophic” effects on the environment, a report warned today.

The sources have been viewed as an attractive option due to the rising price of oil but the WWF and the Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) say investing in them is both environmentally and economically unsustainable.

Their report claims that if all 1.1 trillion barrels of potentially extractable North American unconventional oils were exploited within the next century, it would result in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels of between 49 and 65 parts per million.

This could result in climate change being accelerated to levels that would threaten a mass species extinction.
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As Prices Soar so do Big Oil’s Profits

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

Should the Oil Industry Make a Profit?

As Gas Prices Soar, the Oil Industry Rakes in Billions in Profits

By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
ABC NEWS Business Unit

April 30, 2008—

The price of gasoline has never been higher, with many Americans feeling the pinch on their wallets. But not those who own stock in oil companies.

As soaring gas prices have turned into massive profits for big oil, the shareholders of these companies are cashing in. And if you own a mutual fund, that may even be you.

BP yesterday reported a staggering 63 percent surge in first quarter net profit to $7.6 billion, and Royal Dutch Shell posted a 25 percent increase to $9.1 billion. Last week, ConocoPhillips reported a 16 percent rise in net income to $4.1 billion.

The earnings bonanza is expected to continue when ExxonMobil and Chevron report earnings later this week.

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Shell’s Profits Soar

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

Shell reports $11.6 billion profit despite output dip
Bloomberg News
July 31, 2008, 7:35AM

Royal Dutch Shell said second-quarter profit climbed 33 percent on
record oil prices and pledged to increase investment spending to revive
production growth.

Net income rose to $11.56 billion, or $1.87 a share, from $8.67 billion,
or $1.38, a year earlier, The Hague-based company said today. Excluding
gains or losses from holding inventories and one-time items, profit was
$7.83 billion, which didn’t include additional fair value adjustments of
$750 million. The median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg
was for profit of $8.3 billion.

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Industry Steps Up the Greenwash

Posted by mhudema on July 31, 2008

Stepping up efforts to win over critics; Lobby Group
National Post
Thu 31 Jul 2008
Page: FP1
Section: Financial Post
Byline: Claudia Cattaneo
Dateline: CALGARY
Source: Financial Post
CALGARY – Faced with an unflattering image as a global environmental disaster area, the oil sands sector is stepping up its offensive to counteract critics.
The sector has re-branded the Oil Sands Developers Group, a Fort McMurraybased coalition of 28 companies developing the business, and put forward its president, Don Thompson, to get out the message that reality on the ground is different from that portrayed by green groups and others who want development stopped.
Members of the coalition, which Mr. Thompson said are used to solving complex problems, range from industry pioneers such as Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. to new entrants including Norway’s Statoil Hydro ASA and Korea National Oil Corp.
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Tar Sands Risk Climate Catastrophe

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

New sources of fossil fuel ‘risk climate catastrophe’

Russian oil plant

An oil plant: oil giants plan to explore more ‘unconventional’ sources

Oil giants including Shell and BP plan to extract fossil fuels from new sources that could trigger catastrophic climate change, a report warns today.

Pumping out tar sands and oil shale from reserves in the US and Canada is becoming increasingly attractive as oil prices soar, researchers say.

But refining the material is eight times more polluting than processing conventional oil, according to a report by WWF and Co-operative Financial Services.

Nonetheless, Shell and BP are planning to invest £62billion in ‘unconventional’ fuels by 2015, warns the study.

‘Unconventional fuel sources may seem attractive in the short term but ultimately the environmental and economic costs are unthinkable,’ said James Leaton of WWF-UK.

If the estimated 1.1trillion barrels of recoverable fuel in Canada and the US were extracted, it would release 980billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, it is claimed. This could push atmospheric CO2 levels well past the point believed to trigger dangerous climate change and mass extinction of species.

Mining tar sands – a mix of oil, water, sand and clay – will also damage substantial areas of Canadian forest which act as carbon sinks.

WWF and the Co-op are calling for a global halt to licensing the fuels and legislation to stop them being sold here.

But a BP spokesman said: ‘Oil sands represent a significant untapped resource from a politically stable country.’

And a spokeswoman for Shell said: ‘Supplies of “easy oil” cannot keep up with the demand growth.

‘Society has little choice but to add other sources of energy, including “unconventional” fossil fuels like oil sands.’

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Stop the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

Oil: Campaigners seek an end to production of CO2-intensive ‘unconventional fuels’

· Ethical investment groups try to halt tar sand projects
· Oil firms to spend $125bn to exploit new sources

Shell, BP and other oil companies at the centre of the tar sands revolution in Canada are facing a backlash from the Co-operative and other members of the ethical investment community determined to bring a halt to these operations for environmental reasons.

A joint report from Co-operative Investments and the wildlife charity WWF released today will be followed up in September by a meeting of the UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) to press for an end to this carbon-intensive activity.

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