STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘tar sands’

Big Oil Rejects Wetlands Policy

Posted by mhudema on September 16, 2008

Oilsands firms balk at wetlands policy
‘No net-loss’ rule could cost oil producers billions
Kelly Cryderman
Calgary Herald

Two major industry associations representing oilsands producers are refusing to support key tenets of a long-awaited plan to protect Alberta’s wetlands, citing concerns about rigid rules and restoration costs that could stretch to $1 billion and beyond.

Environmental groups say they have been blindsided by the decision.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how critical wetlands are,” said Danielle Droitsch, executive director of Water Matters, a Canmore-based environmental group.

Rules to protect the province’s disappearing wetlands — key to both healthy water supplies and wildlife — are long overdue, say environmentalists and other industry groups that are members of the wetland policy project team.

“While we’ve been negotiating this policy for three years, the Alberta government has been licensing (oilsands) operations in the absence of a policy,” Droitsch said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fort Chip to World: SOS

Posted by mhudema on September 15, 2008

Fort Chip to world: SOS

Climate change, water policy and aboriginal health. Three issues that should be atop the election agenda. Three issues that start with the oil sands.

Canadians are dying. Our government is doing nothing about it. Will it take world attention to end this injustice?

That’s what some residents of Fort Chipewyan, the small northern Alberta town at the mouth of Lake Athabasca, have concluded, starting a campaign for an oil sands moratorium that they plan to take across North America and Europe, until health and water concerns are addressed.

Residents in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., say they saw this fish, seen in this Aug. 15 photo, caught from Lake Athabasca the previous week. (Courtesy of Ling Wang)

Residents in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., say they saw this fish, seen in this Aug. 15 photo, caught from Lake Athabasca the previous week. (Courtesy of Ling Wang)

Fort Chip, an aboriginal community of 1200, has received increasing attention due to the high levels of cancer in the community. Dr. John O’Connor, a fly-in doctor first raised the issue publicly in 2005, noting the unusually high levels of a rare bile duct cancer, but was soon silenced by Health Canada and reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for causing “undue alarm”. Only last December was he finally cleared. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abandon Tarsands says Investor

Posted by mhudema on September 15, 2008

Abandon oil sands, urges big investor

One of Britain’s biggest investors will launch a campaign this week to persuade Shell and BP to drop their plans for heavy investment in oil sands and shale projects in North America.

Co-operative Asset Management is concerned that the huge environmental costs of producing crude from oil sands or shale could change the economics of these so-called ‘unconventional’ fuel sources, putting the oil companies and their investors at risk of a huge wasted investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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More Birds Die in Alberta

Posted by mhudema on September 10, 2008

Alberta oil leak kills 300 birds
By BILL KAUFMANN — Sun Media

Crude oil leaked from an untapped well in southeastern Alberta has killed up to 300 birds, sparking outrage among environmental critics.

The leak of 60 to 90 barrels of sweet heavy crude oil from a suspended well at CFB Suffield, 200 km southeast of Calgary, has killed hundreds of birds, said David Inkstrup, a spokesman for the federal Canadian Wildlife Service.

Drilled in 2005 but never put into production, the well is licensed to Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust.

The latest mass death of birds is part of a disturbing trend which governments are neglecting to halt, said Greenpeace Canada spokesman Mike Hudema.

“It’s imperative there be enough people in the field to make sure these kinds of mishaps don’t occur,” said Hudema. “There seems to be an environmental incident in Alberta every week.”

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More Birds Dead in Alberta

Posted by mhudema on September 10, 2008

Alberta oil spill kills hundreds of birds

With a report from The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Alberta’s oil and gas industry is again in the environmental dock, as a spill at an oil well in the province has killed up to 500 ducks and swallows, according to reports from the scene.

The birds died after landing in the spill, which was found Monday at an out-of-service conventional oil well in the southwest corner of CFB Suffield, in southeastern Alberta. The well is operated by Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust.

The new deaths have occurred at a bad time for Canadian oil companies, whose public image was hit earlier this year when 500 ducks and other waterfowl strayed into a waste pond at the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands facility. Pictures of those oil-covered birds made international headlines, as environmental groups used the incident to illustrate the perceived hazards resulting from oil sands development.

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Target Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on September 10, 2008

Layton targets tar sands
GLORIA GALLOWAY
Globe and Mail Update
September 8, 2008 at 7:04 PM EDT
FORT SMITH, NWT — The plane carrying New Democrat Leader Jack Layton and his NDP entourage swooped over the Alberta tar sands Monday to show vast expanses of northern wilderness despoiled by development.

Ponds filled with chemicals that remain from oil extraction, forest that have criss-crossed with strips that have been cleared of trees, mines that rise out of nowhere.

Linda Duncan, the environmental advocate who is running for the New Democrats in Edmonton-Strathcona, offered a running description of the devastation below. Wildlife has been displaced, she said, and ground water has been drained.

In Fort Smith, more than 300 kilometres north of the tar sands that lie outside Fort McMurray, Alta., people fear the chemicals they say may be flowing their way.

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Tar Sands Hit Quebec

Posted by mhudema on September 10, 2008

Tar-sands pipeline will undo Quebec’s work on environment
Voters should press governments to force polluters to reduce emissions
MATT PRICE and AARON FREEMAN
Freelance

Quebec was one of the first provinces to show leadership on tackling global warming. It is now pursuing more efficient vehicles, has a carbon tax at the fuel wholesale level, and is joining other jurisdictions in a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse-gas emissions.

It’s a shame that this progress is being undone by the tar sands.

The tar sands are already holding Quebec and the rest of Canada hostage on global warming, and now for the first time Quebecers will be asked to aid and abet the hostage-takers by routing tar sands oil into and through Quebec.

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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

By KERRY DIOTTE

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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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First Nations Unite to Fight the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on August 19, 2008

Natives unite to fight oilsands
Vow to go to court to stop ‘poisoning’ of rivers
Darcy Henton
The Edmonton Journal
Chipewyan elder Pat Marcel, 70, on the shore of Lake Athabasca where several hundred aboriginal leaders and environmental groups met for a Water is Boss conference on the weekend. Marcel says the community is not scaremongering when they say toxins in the Athabasca are killing the people.
CREDIT: Darcy Henton/Edmonton Journal
Chipewyan elder Pat Marcel, 70, on the shore of Lake Athabasca where several hundred aboriginal leaders and environmental groups met for a Water is Boss conference on the weekend. Marcel says the community is not scaremongering when they say toxins in the Athabasca are killing the people.

FORT CHIPEWYAN – Aboriginal leaders vow to go to court to stop what they say is the destruction of their land and the poisoning of their water.

Chiefs from three provinces and the Northwest Territories made the joint declaration Sunday at the conclusion of a water conference in Fort Chipewyan.

They say Alberta’s oldest European settlement is on the brink of catastrophe.

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam said aboriginal people cannot sit still and allow their land and water to be destroyed.

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Greengroups quit government tar sands group

Posted by mhudema on August 19, 2008

Green groups quit oil sands forum

Protest move made as Industry Minister in U.S. to address concerns about environmental impact

CALGARY AND OTTAWA — Three groups have quit a government-sponsored forum for assessing environmental costs in the oil sands, a move that undercuts government efforts to burnish the image of the massive developments in U.S. markets.

The latest flare-up between the Alberta government and environmental activists came as federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice sought to reassure an international audience that the oil sands are being developed in a responsible way and are critical to U.S. energy security.

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