Misspoke – but accurate!

At a recent town hall meeting Prime Minister Trudeau commented: “We can’t shut down the oil sands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels.” These remarks led to a storm of protest, to which Trudeau responded (apologized?) : “I said something the … Read more

Canada evades a moral reality!

4RG has been inspired by the efforts of a Norwegian organization, Grandparents Climate Action (GCA). In 2011 GCA placed an advertisement in the Edmonton Journal  opposing exploitation of the Canadian tar sands by Statoil, a corporation created by the Norwegian Government.  The ad stated: We, the Grandparents Climate Action of Norway, will stand firmly on … Read more

A small news item . . .  that impacts Canada!

Today (December 4th) the Globe carried a story from Brussels that suggests Canada is not that popular with EU Legislators. The subject: a recent European Executive decision rescinding the application of the EU Fuel Directive to tar sands oil.  A Committee of the European Parliament restored the Directive, a decision that must be confirmed by … Read more

Truth in Advertizing?

A few days ago our blog, A half-truth? or A suppressed truth?, questioned the accuracy of statements made by Canadian politicans. Government ministers have claimed that environmental issues relating to the exploitation of the tar sands and particularly the construction of pipelines to carry its bitumen to market would be determined by “science”, and not politics.

Our blog concluded:

“The reality is that pipeline decision is based on politics, the politics of perceived economic and regional interests. A political strategy that ignores science!”

In an article by Eric Reguly in Saturday’s Globe & Mail (May 12th), entitled “Canada’s $207,000 oil sands ad: Putting a price on deception” refers to an extreme example of just how far the “politics” of the Canadian Government will go. His article is a must read.

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Stating the Obvious that wasn’t stated!

Former President Jimmy Carter and other Nobel Prize winners signed a letter to President Obama urging him to reject the Keystone Pipeline. Prime Minister Harper’s office responded quickly, citing the many arguments in favour of Keystone that its supporters have presented over the past three years.

This response also referred to the problems of oil supply that followed on the Iranian crisis of 1979, a factor contributing to President Carter’s defeat in 1980.

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No stopping the exploitation of the tar sands!

Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law, penned an article with the title “Dear President Obama: In Canada climate change affects none of our decisions!”

His article is a good analysis of the recent State Department Review of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  He compares the process followed by the State Department in conducting that Review with similar decisions of Canadian Government agencies.

We know that the State Department accepted that the tar sands bitumen would get to international markets whether or not the cross-border Keystone XL link was built.   Gage disputes this conclusion.

Regardless, he is right on the key issue!

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Keystone XL: The real issue must be addressed!

The US State Department released its report confirming an earlier conclusion that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly increase Greenhouse Gas emissions. The operative paragraph of the report states:

“Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs, and supply-demand scenarios.”

Essentially the State Department found that bitumen from the tar sands would still be extracted and transported to the US Gulf Coast Refineries by other means of transport (rail), as is the present situation.

A spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry claimed that the report proves that the Keystone Pipeline is safe for the environment.   This statement is a wrong characterization of the report’s finding, quoted above, which was directed only to how the pipeline would affect the rate of extraction.

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