STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘harper’

Dirty Fuels not Exempt from Dirty Fuel Law

Posted by mhudema on June 13, 2008

Write your letters NOW!!!!!
Bingaman: Defense bill resolves Canadian oil sands issue

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 12 — The US Senate’s Democratic energy leader does not expect a provision of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) to restrict sales of oil produced from Canadian oil sands to US refiners, he told a Canadian-US business conference on June 11.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said on May 22 the US House adopted a clarifying amendment offered by Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) to the fiscal 2009 Department of Defense budget which establishes that the controversial Section 526 of EISA 2007 does not apply to already available fuels.

Section 526 bars federal agencies from buying alternative or synthetic fuels that produce more greenhouse gases than conventional fuels (OGJ Online, Apr. 29, 2007).

While he said he did not presume to speak for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who promoted the provision’s addition to the 2007 energy bill, Bingaman said that he understood Waxman intended it to keep the federal government from using its substantial purchasing power to promote development of alternative fuels with more greenhouse gases than current conventional resources.

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First Nations Voices are Raising

Posted by mhudema on June 13, 2008

Canada delivers an official apology to its increasingly assertive indigenous peoples

FEW would dispute that Canada’s shameful treatment of many of its aboriginals has left a stain on its image. Between 1870 and 1996, an estimated 150,000 indigenous children were wrenched from their homes and sent to Christian boarding schools, where many were sexually and physically abused. Yet until Stephen Harper, Canada’s Conservative prime minister, rose in the House of Commons on June 11th to deliver an unqualified official apology to assembled leaders of Canada’s 1m First Nation, Inuit and mixed-race Métis people, no Canadian leader had taken this step.

Parallels will be drawn with a similar act of contrition by Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Labor prime minister in February. But the two differ in important respects. Australia offered an apology, but no compensation, to 55,000 mixed-race children forced into white foster homes. Mr Harper’s apology follows a C$2 billion ($2 billion) settlement in 2005 of a lawsuit by former students of schools set up, in Mr Harper’s words, “to kill the Indian in the child” by assimilating them into the dominant culture.

Mr Harper’s decision to apologise now is probably aimed in part at curtailing future lawsuits by Indian victims of abuse, who chose not to take part in the earlier settlement. But it is also shows that he understands the value of saying sorry when the state has harmed its citizens. He recently apologised to Maher Arar, a Canadian tortured in Syria after wrongly being identified as a terrorist; and to Chinese-Canadians for the government’s punitive Chinese head-tax policy of 1885-1923.

But this week’s ceremony is also testimony to the increasingly sophisticated use made by Canada’s indigenous tribes, who make up a mere 3.8% of the population, of the courts, alliances with environmental groups and targeted protests against mining companies to strengthen their otherwise limited influence.

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Exxon Stalled By Court – other project affected

Posted by mhudema on May 15, 2008

Imperial suffers Kearl defeat


From Thursday’s Globe and Mail

May 14, 2008 at 9:36 PM EDT

CALGARY — Multibillion-dollar oil sands projects will face new legal and regulatory hurdles after the Federal Court ruled against Imperial Oil Ltd. in its battle to keep the $8-billion Kearl oil sands mine on schedule.

Imperial went to court to win back a key permit for site preparation that was voided after a Federal Court found Kearl’s regulatory approval to be incomplete on the issue of greenhouse gases.

The loss will set back Kearl by at least several months, if not a year or more.

For the energy industry, the Federal Court decision means regulatory reviews are likely to become ever-more detailed and arduous, while legal challenges will become more common.

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Big oil soaks up $1.4B in tax breaks

Posted by mhudema on May 9, 2008 – Business – Big oil soaks up $1.4B in tax breaks

With companies reaping huge profits, it’s time to end corporate handouts, critics charge

May 08, 2008

Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA—Not only are Canadian motorists paying record high prices at the gasoline pumps, they are handing the big oil companies $1.4 billion a year in tax breaks.

Critics say with oil companies making huge profits the situation in Canada defies logic.

They say consumers might be able to stomach the corporate handout if the money was being used to protect the environment or clean up the mess left behind in the oil sands instead of going into the pockets of the likes of Petro Canada and Imperial Oil.

“They are completely unjustifiable . . . these companies do not need taxpayers’ help. They’re the ones who are doing the fleecing,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said.

“They are making world record profits and we’re giving them tax subsidies. It makes no sense and at the same time they are polluting the planet,” Layton said, pointing to this week’s discovery of hundreds of dead ducks in a toxic tailings pond belonging to Alberta oil sands giant Syncrude Canada Ltd.

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500 Bird Deaths Tip of the Ice Berg

Posted by mhudema on May 2, 2008

Groups warn of more bird deaths in oilsands ponds – Canada – Groups warn of more bird deaths in oilsands ponds

May 02, 2008


EDMONTON–The 500 ducks that died this week in a toxic wastewater pond represent only a fraction of the number of birds that die every year in Alberta’s oilsands region, experts say.

And they warn the number of bird deaths will jump dramatically as more heavy oil plants are built unless governments bring in tougher environmental rules, including how to deal with billions of litres of poisonous sludge the plants produce.

“The tailings ponds are old technology. They have to come up with a better tailings system,” said Ruth Kleinbub, a director of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists who lives in Fort McMurray.

“Don’t start building these plants until they have something better in place.”

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Bird Tragedy

Posted by mhudema on May 2, 2008

PM wades into dead duck controversy

Harper says tailings pond tragedy hurts image, First Nations chief wants inquiry


A female Mallard duck is gets it’s bill cleaned of oil at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton on Wednesday April 30, 2008 after being transported from the Syncrude tailings pond at their tar sands site near Fort McMurray, Alta. (Jordan Verlage/SUN MEDIA)

A third duck rescued from a Syncrude tailings pond has died.

That leaves just two surviving ducks of the roughly 500 that died earlier this week when they landed in the toxic pond north of Fort McMurray.

And one of the two remaining survivors is in poor condition and may not have long to live.

“The one does (have a chance). The other one, we’re not holding out much hope for, unfortunately,” said Kim Blomme, founder of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton.

Five ducks were initially recovered from the pond. Three later died, including one on Wednesday night, said Blomme.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Edmonton yesterday for the official opening of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, said the tragedy hurts Canada’s environmental image.

Click here to find out more!

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What’s the matter with Canada?

Posted by mhudema on February 22, 2008

Ah, those crazy Canadians, always banging on about the benefits of socialized medicine, ice hockey, and even – God help them – poutine. It’s true, of course, that our northern neighbors have plenty to be proud of; still, when it comes to the environment, even the most fervently patriotic Canuck will admit that the country has some pretty serious problems.

Back in the ‘90s, Canada was a model of environmental good behavior, playing a key role in the battle to protect the ozone layer, pushing for international measures to protect endangered species, and readily signing up for the Kyoto treaty. But it’s been downhill since then: A decade of apathetic Liberal leadership has been followed, since 2006, by a Conservative government that has proved abjectly unwilling to take action.

The result is that Canada is falling well short of its Kyoto goals; in 2005, one study found that Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions were 20 percent higher than they had been in 1990, and that on a range of environmental measures – from sewage handling to water consumption – the country ranked a miserable 28th out of 30 industrialized nations, beating only Belgium and the US.

The biggest problem, though, is in Alberta, where high energy prices have helped spark a boom in tar-sand processing. The sludgy sands contain up to 173 billion barrels of oil – but processing the gunk produces triple the greenhouse emissions of regular oil, and has created toxic-waste ponds visible from space. The industry has also been linked to acid rainfall in neighboring provinces and increased cancer and autoimmune-deficiency rates in local communities; worryingly, one study found that moose meat from the region contained 453 times the safe level of arsenic.

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How to Avoid Action on Climate Change

Posted by mhudema on February 6, 2008

The following is the text of Ian Angus’s keynote speech at “Smells Like Green Spirit,” a conference sponsored by the University of British Columbia Student Environment Centre, on January 19, 2008.

by Ian Angus, editor Climate and Capitalism

Canadians are known for being modest and self-effacing. We don’t brag much, and sometimes we seem to have an inferiority complex, a belief that we do okay, but we seldom excel.

Last month, diplomats and politicians and scientists from all over the world met in Bali, in Indonesia, to discuss what to do about climate change. As I followed the Bali discussions, I realized that there is one area in which Canada is truly a world leader. So I decided to devote my talk today to this Canadian success story.

Yes, the world can watch and learn from Canada, because if there is one thing that Canadian politicians and business leaders do well, it is this.

They can teach the world how to avoid action on climate change.

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