STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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A Generational Challenge to Repower America – Al Gore

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

2008-07-17 A Generational Challenge to Repower America, Al Gore

A Generational Challenge to Repower America, Al Gore

D.A.R. Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C.

July 17, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen:

There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.

I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly.

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Showdown in Cancer Alley

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Showdown in Upgrader Alley

Proliferation of oil-processing plants threatens our quality of life, say area farmers and residents

Kevin Ma

As Wayne Groot describes his concerns about the proposed upgraders that could one day surround his potato farm northeast of Edmonton, his eight-year-old son Luis runs into the kitchen and points out the window. Two moose are running across their lawn, and Groot pauses and smiles before picking up the conversation again. The proximity to nature is one of the many things Groot cherishes about farm life.

However, he may soon have to leave the area and his business. He’s worried about pollution from the proposed developments known as “Upgrader Alley,” a 300-square-kilometre area spanning four different municipalities northeast of Edmonton. By 2022, the industrial area could eventually include as many as nine upgraders, the plants that transform bitumen from the oilsands into synthetic crude.

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Protesters serve dirty water

Posted by mhudema on June 17, 2008

Oil investors pass on oilsands H2O
June 17, 2008 01:31

Tainted water from a lake near Fort Chipewyan and from the Athabasca River, was offered to international investors and members of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers by environmental protestors yesterday at the Calgary Hyatt Hotel.
“We’re here to tell the investing community that if they’re investing in the oilsands, they’re investing in something that comes with an increasing price tag,” said Mike Hudema from Greenpeace Canada.
Lionel Lepine from the Chipewyan aboriginal community said even the kids are wary about swimming in the lake and eating fowl or fish from the area which could be contaminated with arsenic and mercury due to oil sand production.
“Our whole tradition and way of life is in jeopardy,” Lepine said.

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Energy firms put on the spot

Posted by mhudema on June 17, 2008

Symposium lures investors and protesters
Jon Harding
Calgary Herald
Monday, June 16, 2008

Oil and gas companies swimming in cash. Protesters handing out bottles of Athabasca River water.

Both await 350 of the top institutional investors in the Canadian oilpatch as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) investment symposium begins Monday in Calgary.

The annual CAPP event opens with a different backdrop to a year ago, when drilling activity in Western Canada was in a rut and capital markets were dry as dust, particularly for scores of Canada’s junior and intermediate explorers.

Oil prices are fluttering towards $140 US a barrel and natural gas prices are up roughly 70 per cent since January — an almost immeasurable difference, although one that investors in equities have still not taken completely to heart. Some Canadian oil and gas stocks are up but the group as a whole has lagged behind growth in surging oil and natural gas.

Meanwhile, the world’s focus on Alberta’s oilsands has recently intensified amid global supply constraints and growing concern about the massive play’s environmental footprint.

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Alberta Tar Sands to Bring Acid Rain to Saskatchewan

Posted by mhudema on June 14, 2008

Hannah Scissons
Canwest News Service

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SASKATOON – Alberta’s growing oilsands development could bring acid rain down on neighbouring Saskatchewan, says an environmental expert.

Trent University Prof. Peter Dillon says Saskatchewan could see acid rain similar to what Eastern Canada experienced in past decades.

Dillon spoke in Saskatoon on Tuesday in a presentation sponsored by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and Environmental Defence.

The damage from the pollution emitted by the oilsands takes years to materialize, but the time to act on it is now, rather than after the damage is already done, Dillon said in an interview.

“Typically, you don’t see impacts for a few decades; that’s the lesson we’ve learned from Eastern Canada, and certainly Europe, as well.”

It’s essential to start collecting data now on the state of the soil, lakes and rivers, so the effects of the pollution from the oilsands near Fort McMurray, Alta., can be properly measured, he said.

The most sensitive parts of northern Saskatchewan, where the soil is thin in the rocky Canadian Shield, will likely be where the effects of acidification are first observed.
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Remember the ducks

Posted by mhudema on June 4, 2008

A grassroots group of individuals staged a protest at the Legislature on June 3, 2008, to protest the oil companies and their disregard for the environment. The group unleashed hundreds of rubber ducks into the wading pond, sang, and addressed the media.

Pics (11 images):
(Andrew F. took most of these photos):

Video: (4:10)

And check out page B2 of today’s Journal — there is a picture of someone who may look familiar . . . .

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Toxic Water

Posted by mhudema on May 29, 2008

Warning sounded on toxic water
Liberal critic blasts ‘hollow reassurances’

A study showing more than five million litres of toxic tailings pond water are leaching daily out of a pond next to the Athabasca River demonstrates that the Alberta government has lost control over oilpatch pollution, says a biologist.


But according to Premier Ed Stelmach, oilsands opponents are scaremongering over what will likely turn out to be minor emissions, upstream from the Northern Alberta community of Fort Chipweyan – something he hopes a province-wide study of the ecological impacts of heavy industry will confirm.

He said the province will pursue action against Suncor, the oilsands giant, if the leaching has exceeded tolerable legal limits.

“During the election period, when we were in Fort McMurray, I had a member of the First Nations deliver a report to me. I didn’t see it personally but … I made a commitment to the gentleman that what we need here is a baseline study.”

That would be followed by impact studies to show how much that baseline has shifted over decades of development, said Stelmach.

Dr. Kevin Timoney provided the Suncor-commissioned report from November 2007 to the Alberta Liberals after receiving it at a public presentation for Fort Chip residents; in 2006, Timoney found elevated levels of heavy metals, arsenic, volatile organics and other cancer-causing agents in a study of the river’s water quality.
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Toxic Water Released into River

Posted by mhudema on May 23, 2008

Alberta government plays down oil sands leak

The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is playing down a leak of nearly one million litres of tainted water into the Athabasca River from a wastewater pond at a Suncor oil sands site near Fort McMurray.

The Liberal opposition says the leak last year was the same volume as an Olympic swimming pool and involved water contaminated with oil and grease that left a sheen on the river.

Liberal environment critic David Swann said downstream communities were not notified for up to eight months after the September leak.

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