A misguided policy

The Canadian Government has used a number of catch phrases to legitimize its support of fossil fuels.  The Government described its environmental monitoring and regulation of the tar sands as “world-class”, also referring to Canada in this context as “a world leader”.  Although the international community recognized these words as meaningless hype, many Canadians were re-assured that environmental risks were under control.

The value of Canadian dollar, also known as our petrodollar, soared.  Most Canadians considered that this development validated the goal of Canada as “an energy super-power”.

The Canadian Government countered criticism that an inflated dollar was detrimental to Canada’s manufacturing base. Supported by the Alberta Government and the fossil fuel industry, it emphasized that the exploitation of the tar sands resulted in substantial purchases of goods and services from suppliers in other Provinces.

Read moreA misguided policy

The Northern Gateway: what the National Energy Board didn’t consider!

The pre-announcement statements from Conservative Politicians show that Federal Cabinet approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline is a certainty.  Yet a fundamental issue may undermine the legal foundation for Cabinet approval. Did the National Energy Board (NEB) properly discharge its mandate to review the full environmental effects of the Northern Gateway Pipeline?    4RG Contributor Hugh Robertson …

Read moreThe Northern Gateway: what the National Energy Board didn’t consider!

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.