STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘alberta government’

Liability Issue Over Carbon Capture

Posted by mhudema on July 18, 2008

Liability issue raised over carbon capture
Dan Healing
Calgary Herald

The Alberta government is considering a formula to share future legal liability for stored carbon with industry as it moves forward with a $2-billion carbon capture and sequestration program.

Calgary MLA Len Webber, parliamentary assistant of energy, told an oilsands trade show audience in Calgary Wednesday the Alberta Carbon Capture and Storage Development Council is looking at the issue and will make recommendations this October.

“There is some discussion regarding perhaps the industry having liability for the first 10 years and after that the liability would be transferred over to the government but it’s a work in progress,” Webber said in response to a question from an audience member from Houston.

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Another Spill at Suncor

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

Suncor pipeline spill results in shutdown

Today staff
Thursday July 17, 2008

It’s estimated that up to 1,260 barrels of diesel fuel was spilled as a result of a leak from a Suncor Energy pipeline Tuesday morning about 40 kilometres north of Lac La Biche.
“It’s a very considerable size spill,” said Darin Barter, Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) spokesman this morning. He added the pipeline was shutdown immediately after the leak was first noticed by staff at Suncor’s Pipeline Control Centre in Sherwood Park.
The pipeline, which remains out of operation, carries product from Fort McMurray to Edmonton. It is one of the company’s original pipelines, installed about 40 years ago.
“The positive thing that out of what is a bad situation is that it’s all on dry land,” he said. “There are no water bodies that have been affected, and there’s been no evacuations.
“The ability to clean in that area is very good.”
The ERCB is monitoring clean-up operations at the site of the leak. All other appropriate authorities and agencies have been notified.
As is normal practice, the ERCB, the oilsands primary regulator, will conduct an investigation into the incident.


Initially, the clean-up involves the use of vacuum trucks, which were on site Wednesday. Barter acknowledged there is going to be some soil contamination in the top levels. He predicted that soil will likely have to be removed to a certain depth, and taken to a waste management facility for proper disposal.
Barter noted Suncor will not be able to resume operating the pipeline “until they can prove to us that it’s safe to operate.”
At this time, Suncor has said production from its oilsands facility is not affected.
The ERCB reported no injuries as a result of the leak, and there is no danger to the public from the release.
Suncor staff first noticed the leak at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The ERCB was subsequently notified at approximately 4 p.m. that day.
That notification delay will form part of the investigation.
“Notification to us is very important,” said Barter. “The ability for a company to identify, take immediate steps and notify the ERCB is very important to us. That gets action happening. We can contact other government agencies, emergency services if the company hasn’t already done so. So that notification to us is absolutely paramount.”
Shawn Davis, Suncor spokeswoman, noted the time delay was due to the fact Suncor staff had to travel to the leak area to confirm the spill.
According to the ERCB, the pipeline failure rate in Alberta was at a record low 2.1 failures per 1,000 km of pipeline in 2007, down more than 30 per cent from 2000 when there were 3.3 per 1,000 km.
There are 392,000 km of ERCB-regulated pipeline in Alberta.
In 2007, the ERCB conducted 1,647 pipeline inspections.

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Carbon Capture: the false solution

Posted by mhudema on July 15, 2008

Carbon Capture and Storage A False Solution

Too late to be of use, much too expensive, ineffective, and unsafe Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website. Details here

An electronic version of this report, or any other ISIS report, with full references, can be sent to you via e-mail for a donation of £3.50. Please e-mail the title of the report to:

Carbon capture and storage mega-projects collapse

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is intended to reduce the impact of burning fossil fuels by capturing CO2 from concentrated sources such as power stations and storing it underground (see Box). CCS has wide support among governments as world oil supply is failing to meet demand while many countries still have large coal reserves.

Coal-fired power plants account for half of America’s electricity, and coal produces more carbon dioxide than any other commonly used fuel [1]. The coal-mining industry has been promoting CCS as “clean coal”, and even some environmental groups see it as a way of bridging the energy gap until renewable energies can be more widely deployed.

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Toxic Tailings

Posted by mhudema on July 11, 2008

Toxic tailings from the tar sands

Alberta Environmental Resources Conservation Board’s new directive worse than useless.

Dateline: Monday, July 07, 2008

by Ricardo Acuña for Vue Weekly

The Alberta Government, along with their friends in the oil industry, have recently embarked on a major campaign to educate Canadians and Americans about the fact that extraction of oil from Northern Alberta’s bituminous sands is actually an environmentally friendly and ecologically sound process.

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Carbon-Capture plan full of hot air

Posted by mhudema on July 10, 2008

July 10, 2008

Carbon-capture plan full of hot air, say critics



It’s a $2-billion blunder that could prove even more costly to Alberta’s environment, say critics.

They’ve lambasted the Alberta government for committing half of a $4 billion green fund to carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the process of storing carbon gases underground – as an unproven science that ultimately may not even be able to hide the province’s carbon emissions problem, let alone solve it.

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Alberta’s PR Machine goes to Chicago

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

The filthiest crude: like squeezing blood from a rock and a zillion times more destructive.

POSTED June 25, 9:13 PM

Four tons of forest=one barrel of oil.

The practical…whatever will most predictably and most quickly make a profit…is synonymous with the immediate. The long-term effects of the values and acts of “practical men” lie outside the boundaries of their interest. For such people a strip mine ceases to exist as soon as the coal has been extracted. Short-term practicality is long-term idiocy.
~Wendell Berry

Last week, the Energy Minister for the province of Alberta stopped in Chicago. He was on a campaign to import oil wrung from Alberta’s tar sands into the U.S., via a pipeline that would run through Illinois.
Tar sands are extensive deposits of sand, clay and silt mixed with bitumen–a viscous, oil-rich tar–that sit beneath Canada’s Boreal forest. The only way to extract this bitumen, which makes up about 10% of the concoction, is by razing forests and then open-pit mining the sand. Only a fraction of the deposit can be reached by digging; the rest is forced to the surface by pumping steam underground. About four tons of earth is mined for every barrel of oil produced. Once the bitumen is separated out from other organic materials, it must undergo an energy intensive process to be converted into crude. Five barrels of water are polluted and over 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas are consumed to process one barrel of tar sands oil. The toxic water is held in storage lagoons large enough to be seen from space, poisoning surrounding wildlife and habitats. Tar sands oil refinement emits two to five times more carbon dioxide than conventional oil processing. Firsthand witnesses of the Alberta tar sands strip mining operation have likened the scene to Tolkien’s Mordor. Environmental Defence Canada released a report on the industry entitled The Most Destructive Project on Earth.
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Big Oil talks Carbon Tax

Posted by mhudema on June 26, 2008

OK, Alberta oil producers, start thinking carbon taxes

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail

You might have recently seen newspaper advertisements for Suncor Energy, the oil-sands producer, touting its record in fighting greenhouse-gas emissions.

Suncor, relatively speaking, has been one of the most environmentally conscious oil companies. Rick George, the company’s president and CEO, has spoken often about environmental challenges.

Suncor’s ads, and its recently released progress report on climate change, show it has decreased the intensity of its energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse-gas emissions while investing in several renewable energy projects.

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Take a Tar Sands Vacation

Posted by mhudema on June 26, 2008


Dear friends,
What comes to mind when you think about Alberta,Canada? Vast forests and wilderness, toweringmountains and ski hills, rodeos and cowboys? That might have been true once, but not any more. Albertais now home to the largest and most environmentally destructive project on theplanet, as revealed in a new site dedicated to dispelling Alberta’s clean image.

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Upgraders need too much water

Posted by mhudema on June 25, 2008

Upgraders need too much water
The Edmonton Journal

Re: “Upgrader Alley pause urged; Think-tank wants environmental rules set before new permits,” The Journal, June 16.

The biggest travesty relating to Upgrader Alley originates at the Gold Bar waste-water treatment plant in Edmonton. It is there that Epcor, the city-owned utility, plans to take 26 million litres of reclaimed water per day — an amount equal to the daily water consumption of the city of Edmonton. This water is presently returned to the river for use downstream. If the plan goes ahead, no water will be returned to the river by Epcor.

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Oil sands industry faces rough road

Posted by mhudema on June 25, 2008

International Herald Tribune
Oil sands industry faces rough road in reaching out to green groups
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CALGARY, Alberta: Oil sands producers in Canada have a rough road ahead persuading environmentalists and an increasingly concerned public that they are serious about protecting the environment while investing billions of dollars in new projects.

The industry’s lobbying group and several chief executives began a new communications campaign this week aimed at countering a full-court press by environmentalists over the impact of oil sands development on air, land, water and local communities.

Top executives admit they have come up short responding to concerns over their operations and explaining the progress they say they have made in areas like investing in carbon capture technology and land reclamation.

“As a result, we’ve been a bit overtaken by the other side of that equation, which resulted in what we think is an unbalanced view of our industry, so we do need pick up the ball and tell our side of the story,” Marcel Coutu, chief executive of Canadian Oil Sands Trust, said Tuesday.

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