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Posts Tagged ‘alberta’

US upholds ban on Tar Sands Oil

Posted by mhudema on September 26, 2008

U.S. Congress upholds restrictions on high-carbon fuels

Last Updated: Thursday, September 25, 2008 | 10:18 PM ET

Mining trucks carry loads of oil-laden sand after being loaded by huge shovels at the Albian Sands oilsands project in Fort McMurray, Alta., in 2005.Mining trucks carry loads of oil-laden sand after being loaded by huge shovels at the Albian Sands oilsands project in Fort McMurray, Alta., in 2005. (Jeff McIntosh/Associated Press)Fuels derived from Alberta’s tarsands could find a tougher market in the United States after Congress decided Thursday to uphold legislation restricting imports of fuels from high-carbon sources.

The decision was celebrated by environmental organizations that have been campaigning against changes to Section 526 of the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Members of Congress have spent the past nine months contemplating whether to repeal or weaken Section 526, which deals with fuels from high-carbon sources such as tarsands oil, liquid coal and oil shale.

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Dirty Business: The Tar Sands of Alberta and Toxic Waste

Posted by mhudema on September 25, 2008

Dirty Business: The Tar Sands of Alberta and Toxic Waste

Dirty Business
The Tar Sands of Alberta and Toxic Waste

By Andrew Nikiforuk; September, 21 2008 – Znet

Fred McDonald, a Métis trapper and storyteller extraordinaire, often questioned the reasoning and science behind the proliferation of toxic ponds and end-pit lakes. Before he died in 2007 of kidney failure, McDonald lived in Fort McKay, an Aboriginal community 72 kilometres north of Fort Saskatchewan. The stench of hydrocarbons from the surrounding mines often hangs heavily in the air there, and in 2006, an ammonia release from a Syncrude facility hospitalized more than 20 children.

On a fall day in 2006, McDonald sat in his kitchen, sipping a glass of rat root juice (“It’s good for everything,” he told me) and breathing through an oxygen tube. The day before, he had spent several hours on a dialysis machine. McDonald’s kidneys were failing but not his mind. He recalled the days when Tar Island was a good place to fish and hunt. (Tar Island was so named by local Cree and Métis after the bitumen that often oozed down its banks. In the late 1960s, Suncor transformed the island into a tailings pond, the first in the tar sands.) “It always had moose on it. We loved that island. We are slowly losing everything.”

McDonald was born on the river, and he had trapped, fished, farmed and worked for the oil companies. He fondly remembered the 1930 and 1940s, when Syrian fur traders exchanged pots and pans for muskrat and beaver furs along the Athabasca River. Families lived off the land then and had feasts of rabbit. They netted jackfish, pickerel and whitefish all winter long. “Everyone walked or paddled, and the people were healthy,” McDonald said. “No one travels that river anymore. There is nothing in that river. It’s polluted. Once you could dip your cup and have a nice cold drink from that river, and now you can’t.”

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Poll: Albertans want a healthy environment

Posted by mhudema on September 15, 2008

Albertans torn between resource riches, protecting environment
Kelly Cryderman
Canwest News Service

CALGARY — Albertans are torn between wanting to reap the full benefits of their natural resource wealth and protecting the environment, a new survey suggests.

“They’re very concerned about the environment, but they don’t want to mess around with the economy,” says Leger Marketing pollster Marc Tremblay.

More than half the Albertans surveyed in the poll for the Calgary Herald – 58 per cent – said governments should take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – even if it means limiting economic development or eliminating jobs.

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Love over Money

Posted by mhudema on September 9, 2008

September 7, 2008

For Hudema, love over money is ‘eco’ logical

Greenpeace’s man says defending Alberta wilderness trumps legal career



It’s been just over a year since Greenpeace set up an office in Edmonton.

Compared to its presence in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal, this is, relatively speaking, enemy territory.

It’s especially so because this is not just a regular office of the direct-action environmental group. This office was set up specifically to try to shut down oilsands operations in Alberta.

Sitting inside the humble digs that appear to have once been an auto repair shop on 64 Avenue near 104 Street, Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema is reflecting on a year that has seen its activists fined for high profile stunts and wind up slapped with a $120,000 lawsuit for trespassing on Syncrude property near Fort McMurray.

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New Chief prepares for tarsands fight

Posted by mhudema on August 19, 2008

New chief prepares his people for oilsands fight
Revitalized Athabasca Chipewyan say Edmonton-born leader is no soft touch
Darcy Henton
The Edmonton Journal

FORT CHIPEWYAN – It’s mealtime at the Fort Chipewyan water conference and Chief Allan Adam leaves the food lineup with two brimming plates of roast beef. But as he wades through the crowd to his seat, he ends up giving his food away to others.

The second time it happens, he laughs about being such a soft touch, and wonders whether people will let him pass to the front of the line again.

He needn’t worry. On his third try, he manages to secure a meal for himself.

Residents of this remote, fly-in community, nearly 600 kilometres north of Edmonton, say the youthful, light-hearted new chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan has revitalized them with his enthusiasm and his charm, but that he’s definitely no soft touch.

That could be bad news for oilsands companies and a provincial government seemingly intent on dramatically boosting bitumen production to meet the world’s thirst for oil.

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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.


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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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Tar Sands Threaten Groundwater

Posted by mhudema on July 28, 2008

Oilsands threaten groundwater
Conservation specialist warns steam blowout could contaminate massive Athabasca aquifer near Fort McMurray
Jennifer Yang
The Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – Oilsands development could be putting one of Canada’s largest groundwater systems in peril, the Alberta Wilderness Association warned Saturday.

Many of the region’s oilsands projects sit directly below what’s believed to be the largest aquifer in the North American Plains region.

This immense system of underground water channels, which includes parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, is an invaluable source of Canadian freshwater that feeds into several important waterways such as the Athabasca River.

Critics are particularly worried about oil projects taking place over aquifers that use an oil extraction method called Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, or SAGD, commonly used in an area between Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche.

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Can a Law Suit Stop the Tar Sands?

Posted by mhudema on July 28, 2008

Law Suit a Tar Sands Stopper?

Win for Alberta Cree band could clog up oil ambitions.

View full article and comments here http:///News/2008/07/28/LawSuit/

By Tom Sandborn

Published: July 28, 2008

Jack Woodward and the Beaver Lake Cree aim to change Canadian law — and their success likely would throw a huge wrench into Alberta’s tar-sands oil production.

The suit pits the Beaver Lake Cree band against the governments of Canada and Alberta, asking the court to rule invalid the government authorization for thousands of petroleum projects on the band’s core territory.

Woodward, a Victoria-based Aboriginal-law expert, filed the suit on behalf of his clients this May, and says its intent is to lay the groundwork for a new legal regime governing resource extraction on land reserved for or claimed by Canada’s First Nations.

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Greenpeace Invades Syncrude

Posted by mhudema on July 25, 2008

Greenpeace Blocks Pipe At Syncrude Oil Sands Waste Pond

Dow Jones

cnnad_createAd(“654903″,””,”200″,”220″);OTTAWA -(Dow Jones)- Environmental protesters blocked a pipe to a waste water pond at Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s oil sands development in northern Alberta, Greenpeace Canada said Thursday, as the group continues to demand a halt to oil sands production.

Shortly after 1 p.m. EDT, 10 activists capped the pipe that discharges toxic waste products into the so-called tailings pond at Syncrude’s Aurora North mine near Fort McMurray, Greenpeace said in a new release.

They also raised a skull-and-crossbones banner over another pipe, and another on the banks of the pond reading “World’s Dirtiest Oil: Stop the Tar Sands.”

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Alberta Needs an Energy Plan

Posted by mhudema on July 24, 2008

Albertans deserve a viable energy plan for the future
Nigel Hannaford
Calgary Herald

Say what you like about oilman T. Boone Pickens, and his campaign to cut U.S. oil imports by generating electricity with windmills, and using the natural gas this would free up for transportation fuel: At least, he has a plan.

The question is, does Alberta have an energy plan?

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