STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Stelmach getting heat from all sides

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

Get off Alberta’s back:MLA
The Stelmach government is getting it from all sides as both domestic and international criticism mount against Alberta’s oil sands development.

Christopher Heffernan
Wednesday July 16, 2008

The Stelmach government is getting it from all sides as both domestic and international criticism mount against Alberta’s oil sands development.
Lloyd Snelgrove is not only a cabinet minister and close friend to the premier, but he has also been tasked by his boss to “create a strategic plan for developing the oil sands region.”
This weighty task puts the Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA front-and-center in the debate over the CO2 emissions being created by Alberta’s massive oil sands projects.

Last week, the government announced the creation of a $4 billion green fund, half of which will be invested in carbon capture and storage (CCS) – a process that stores carbon emissions underground. The government is touting the program as a clear demonstration that Alberta is serious about reducing its greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time preserving economic growth and jobs.
“We believe the answer [to climate change] is new technologies,” said Snelgrove.
“Where these other provinces and federal leaders and bureaucrats, they talk all of these really good things, but they don’t do anything. It’s all based on ‘how do we get money out of Alberta?’”


However, the government’s environmental program has received a failing grade from Greenpeace, which calls Alberta’s climate plan a lot of hot air. Greenpeace spokesperson Mike Hudema says this plan will result in Alberta having higher CO2 levels by 2050 than it did in 1990.
“Sequestration programs will prevent investment in more cost-effective green energy solutions to global warming and ensure that emissions will continue skyrocketing for the foreseeable future,” said Hudema.
The Alberta NDP say the government is squandering taxpayers’ surplus in order to help out their friends in big oil. They say the money should instead be invested in government-owned renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal.
“This is irresponsible, short-sighted, and does nothing to improve our reputation abroad,” said NDP MLA Rachel Notley.
While alternative energy sources like wind and solar are ideas with great potential, they are not realistic alternatives for use on a mass scale, given the current state of technology, said Snelgrove.
As for growing international criticism of Alberta’s oil sands, Snelgrove says much of the world has gone “crazy” over CO2 emissions. He criticizes the “holier-than-thou” attitude emanating from many jurisdictions south of the border, which criticize Alberta while continuing to draw power from the province.
He blames misinformation from environmental groups and the media.
“When the companies explain to these American legislators what they’re required to do up here, and that no companies in their states operate under any stricter controls, they’re a little surprised,” he said.
“Virtually all of them say, ‘You know what? We’ve never heard that. We’re sure not getting that from our media back home.’”


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