Ambassador Doer Defends the Tar Sands

The Keystone battle is at a decisive stage.  So, like many environmental organizations, we are stepping up our campaign against this infrastructure that will deliver the carbon bomb of tar sands bitumen!

Last October we commented on a sales pitch for Keystone XL from Gary Doer, the Canadian Ambassador in Washington. We invited his response to our blog and promised to reprint any reply. Here is the full text of the Ambassador’s response.

Like many answers to Parliamentary questions the Ambassador’s reply recites a lot of background “facts”.  It includes the assertion “The oils sands operate on a closed water cycle”, and goes on to explain that “none of the produced water is released back into the environment”.

He might have believed this when he wrote his reply, but recent research reported on the CBC and in the Globe and Mail has showed that this is incorrect – as we have pointed out in this articleHow ironic that the tar sands advocates insist that their case is based on “facts” but they can’t get the facts straight!

Read moreAmbassador Doer Defends the Tar Sands

Bad news for Keystone XL – good news for the environment

Last February a flurry of Canadian Politicians descended on Washington DC as part of a campaign to win President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport bitumen from the tar sands to US Gulf Coast refineries.

One campaigner was Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who often stated she was proud of Alberta’s management of the tar sands environment.  In her words, Alberta was

“. . . the first place in North America to require by law all large industry across all sectors to take action on greenhouse gas emissions. We have a $15 price per ton on carbon for those who do not meet legislated limits. We take the revenue generated from this levy and direct all the money into a clean technology fund. To date Alberta has collected $312 million and has already invested nearly $167 million into 43 clean energy projects. This fund has also allowed our province to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 million tons.”

Read moreBad news for Keystone XL – good news for the environment

No misunderstanding in the U.S.

So analogies aside, is carbon dioxide a pollutant?  President Obama clearly thought so. In his Earth Day proclamation he stated:

“We cannot afford to ignore what the overwhelming judgment of science tells us: that climate change is real and that it poses an urgent threat to our people and our planet. That is why my Administration set historic fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double how far our cars go on a gallon of gas while reducing harmful carbon pollution.  …

“Today, America is sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years. But we owe it to our children to do more. That is why I have called on the Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change. In the meantime, I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions to reduce pollution”.”

Read moreNo misunderstanding in the U.S.

Greenpeace Canada blows a whistle!

We have reported on the fate of our December 17th 2011 petition on Renewable Energy.  The title to our blog says it all:  Feds short change Renewable Energy. We were a little chagrined that the response from Joe Oliver, The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, was so short on substance.  Although we assumed that … Read more

A sell out?

The Canadian Federal Government claims that its policies on climate change will match those in effect in the United States.  So it is that regulations governing automobile emissions standards (to come into effect in 2016) essentially reproduce similar regulations in the United States. In other important fields Canada falls short of US achievements.  In the US, coal fired … Read more

Regulation of GHG emissions

So far as one can judge, the approach of the Canadian Government to the control of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) involves regulations on emitters, as, for example, the regulations on new gas-fueled power plants that will come into effect in 2015 (!!!)  The Government has invited emitters to participate in a process of review and consultation prior … Read more

Whitewashing the Tar Sands – Take 2!

In the eyes of many people the tar sands are “dirty”.  How do you change a public image like that? The Canadian Governments first attempt was the “ethical oil” campaign.  How can anything that is ethical be “dirty”?  ‘ But wait, there’s more PR that’s just arrived! The Federal and Alberta Governments have mandated a … Read more