STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘progressive conservatives’

Alberta: A survival guide

Posted by mhudema on April 21, 2008


1. Bring your own house.

2. If you are going to the Oil Sands, bring your own house, school, and hospital.

3. If you are going to Edmonton, wear your flak jacket. This is the murder capital of Canada.

4. If you are driving to Edmonton, note that it is also the auto theft center of Canada .

5. If you are bringing drugs, head straight to Fort McMurray, the drug capital of Canada .

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Much-scorned oilsands industry fights to improve its image

Posted by mhudema on March 14, 2008

Mining operations have nothing on Toronto’s urban sprawl, spokesman says
Gordon Jaremko
The Edmonton Journal
Suncor Energy president Rick George
CREDIT: Chris Wattie, Reuters
Suncor Energy president Rick George

EDMONTON – Rick George has no illusions about how the oilsands industry that his firm started 41 years ago stands in fashionable opinion.”There are a number of storm clouds threatening to rain on our parade,” the Suncor Energy president reminded the 2008 World Heavy Oil Congress in Edmonton this week.Business and government leaders set out to counter green crusaders’ portraits of Alberta as a dirty energy superpower, or at least clear up some of the hazy imagery, by asking for the oilsands to be viewed through a reasonable sense of proportion.George said industry aims to restore a balanced view in the months ahead, but did not claim the job will be easy.It is no accident the oilsands stick out as a new western target for international environmental scorn akin to the old Newfoundland seal hunt, observed Alberta Research Council president John McDougall.Alberta’s buried treasure differs from all other major energy deposits by being concentrated in a relatively small, accessible area under intense development by a highly visible cluster of industry, McDougall said. Read the rest of this entry »

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PM’s low-risk environmental plan

Posted by mhudema on March 14, 2008

March 14, 2008

Ed Stelmach is just what the Prime Minister needs. He makes Stephen Harper look almost green.The Alberta premier has promised not to “touch the brake” on oil-sands development. He has vowed not to let anybody – not First Nations, not environmentalists, not Ottawa, not even a quintet of oil companies proposing a partial moratorium – slow the gusher. The 56-year-old cattle farmer is cheerfully, shamelessly intransigent on climate change.What better foil could Harper have?Before Stelmach became premier, the Prime Minister sounded tone-deaf on the environment. Before Stelmach declared himself the protector of Alberta’s prosperity, Harper looked deferential to the oil industry.Thanks to Stelmach, he no longer risks being labelled the champion of unsustainable resource exploitation.He can now proceed with modest environmental change.That is not the prevailing view in Calgary, where Stelmach’s recent election victory is seen as a firm roadblock to any meaningful federal action to slow global warming. Read the rest of this entry »

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Please buy our dirty oil

Posted by mhudema on March 14, 2008

Mar 13th 2008 | OTTAWA From The Economist print edition

A new American law could limit oil-sands production in Alberta CANADIANS like to think that although they are the junior partner in their trade relations with the United States, the 174 billion barrels of proven reserves in the oil sands of Alberta provide a powerful ace up their sleeve in any dealings with their energy-hungry neighbour. That belief has now been shaken by an American law that appears to prohibit American government agencies from buying crude produced in the oil sands of the western province.The Energy Independence and Security Act 2007 did not set out to discriminate against Canada, America’s biggest supplier of oil. But that is the effect of banning federal agencies from buying alternative or synthetic fuel, including that from non-conventional sources, if their production and use result in more greenhouse gases than conventional oil. Transforming Alberta’s tarry muck into a barrel of oil is an energy-intensive process that produces about three times the emissions of a barrel of conventional light sweet crude.Having woken belatedly to the danger, the Canadian government is now scrambling to secure an exception. Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador in Washington, has written to America’s secretary of defence, Robert Gates (whose department is a big purchaser of Canadian oil), stressing American dependence on Canadian oil, electricity, natural gas and uranium imports, and noting that some of the biggest players in the Alberta oil patch are American companies. Mr Wilson added plaintively that both George Bush and his energy secretary, Samuel Bodman, have publicly welcomed expanded oil-sands production, given the increased contribution to American energy security. Read the rest of this entry »

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My trip to Oil Sands Land

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008

In which a humorous writer takes an adventure in Canada’s newest theme park.

Dateline: Monday, March 10, 2008

by Tom King

Last week I flew out to Alberta for a vacation, and when I got to the carousel to pick up my bags, whom should I see but Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion. It’s not often you run into the Prime Minister of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in an airport, so I walked over and said hello. You might think that Mr Harper and Mr Dion would be a little aloof, being as they’re famous, but they were quite friendly. I told them I was going to Banff to hike the Rockies.Mr Harper said that the Rockies were beautiful and all, but that nature tended to be overrated, and that he and Mr Dion were off to a new, all-inclusive resort near Fort McMurray called Alberta Oil Sands Land. Mr Dion said that Alberta Oil Sands Land was supposed to be better than Wonderland in Ontario or Disney Land in California and more exciting than the West Edmonton Mall.I have to admit that the place did sound tempting.Well, before you knew it, Mr Harper was insisting that I come with him and Mr Dion to Alberta Oil Sands Land, and, in no time at all, we were on a Government of Canada jet headed for the resort. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alberta’s Heavy Oil Burden

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008



Alberta’s oil reserves are seen as a long-term supply option for the United States

Al Jazeera’s People & Power programme recently visited the Candian province of Alberta where the region’s vast oil reserves are provoking both prosperity and opposition.Much of the terrain is blanketed in trees but underneath the forests of the remote north of the Canadian province of Alberta are an estimated 174 billion barrels of heavy crude oil.While much of the world’s attention has been focused on Iraq and what is going to happen to the country’s vast reserves of oil, the oil industry has been investing massively in the sparsely-populated region around the small city of Fort McMurray.Indeed it is believed there could be as much as two trillion barrel’s worth of oil in the tar sands here with 1.5 million barrels currently produced a day, a figure that is expected to double in just a few years.Like many parts of the world, Alberta is running short of light crude oil and the world is turning its attention to so-called heavy oil that is trapped in thick gooey tar sands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Doc builds convincing case against tar sands

Posted by mhudema on March 13, 2008

When Norway began extracting North Sea oil, its government worried that the sudden influx of revenue would distort the economy, so it placed its new wealth in a rainy-day fund. Now that the North Sea reserves are diminished, Norway’s state-owned oil exploration company is looking elsewhere, to Alberta’s tar sands.

The oil may be dirty and expensive, but the happy land of Canada welcomes foreigners with capital and can offer a stable regime unencumbered by any state-owned petroleum company of its own. American companies are already busy strip-mining the tar sands and piping the oil to U.S. markets, but Norway, a leader in reducing the carbon footprint of extraction, promises it will get at the oil without destroying the landscape.

Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta (Doc Zone, CBC, 9 p.m.) is a documentary that may make you join a protest march in Edmonton or Ottawa – or simply buy a one-way ticket to Oslo.

The film, by documentarian Tom Radford and producer Peter Raymont, begins with clichés: After Sept. 11, everything changed. “The only thing certain was uncertainty.” But it rapidly finds its feet, as it explains how the heavy oil once considered too expensive to be attractive at five times the extraction price of regular crude, has suddenly found a market.

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