Renewable Energy

In 2011 4RG presented a petition to the House of Commons proposing that the Federal Government take the lead in formulating a national policy on renewable energy.  Joe Oliver, the Minister of Natural Resources, responded in a memo full of platitudes that was little more than a press release talking about all the wonderful qualities …

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Josef Goebbels and Climate Change

The Globe & Mail’s editorial pages featured comments by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, in which he extolled the success of his recent trip to the U.S. selling the tar sands. Oliver used that platform to attack the NDP leader, Tom Mulcair, who is Washington-bound this week. “A responsible politician would not travel …

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Shills and Touts

When did Joe Oliver (“our”minister of Natural Resources) commit to become the tout for the tar sands and its necessary utility, the Keystone XL pipeline?  One cannot be certain but, by July 5 of 2012, the Minister and the fossil fuel industry had agreed on “priorities”, including the need for “expanding markets”.  That was the day that Oliver met with five members of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association in Calgary.

Keith Stewart, a researcher with Greenpeace, obtained a Government memo through an Access to Information demand.  This memo confirmed that the parties aligned on priorities at the July 5th meeting .

Stewart notes that the Government has not yet brought in the regulations for the tar sands, something that was first promised by the Conservatives in 2008. He states:

“This is an industry that has an actual environmental performance problem. But both government and industry treat it as a public relations problem … as if they can buy their way towards having a social licence.”

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Canada’s Travelling Salesman: Part 2

We have said that Canada’s Energy Minister, Joe Oliver, is too closely associated with the fossil fuel companies that the Minister’s department is supposed to regulate.  We suspect that the failure of his department, coupled with a lack of pressure from Environment Canada to regulate the tar sands, is attributable to this coziness.

Oliver’s extravagant compliments of the tar sands as part of his  sales pitch to US businesses to press for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline demonstrate this near unity of interest between the regulator and the regulated industry.

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Canada’s Travelling Salesman

This week our Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, is visiting Chicago and Houston on a sales pitch to US business.

The subject of his pitch?  the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry tar sands bitumen across the US border on its way to refineries in Texas. His goal is to put political pressure on President Obama and his administration to approve the Keystone XL project.

First, he minimized the contribution that extraction of bitumen makes to world GHG emissions.  He did not mention that the tar sands are and will continue to be one of the world’s top producers of GHG.

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