A real negative! National Energy Board approves Northern Gateway Pipeline

We cannot let this approval go unchallenged.  Read on to understand the practical consequences of the approval, and how it can be resisted.

After some months of review of the evidence, the National Energy Board (NEB) gave Enbridge the go-ahead to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  This pipeline will transport tar sands bitumen to a British Colombia port where it will be loaded on super tankers for discharge in the Orient.   The approval was subject to fulfilment of 209 conditions, none of which are complex.

The NEB concluded that construction of the Northern Gateway is in the national Canadian interest. The NEB did not address longer term results and their consequences such as:

  1. the increase in Canada’s GHG emissions that will result from the exploitation of the tar sands;
  2. the contribution to world GHG levels when China,  Japan and probably India receive, refine and burn the bitumen to produce electricity;
  3. the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground if the world is to meet its target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade.

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Keystone and our image in the US!

Screen capture ForestEthics This image of Canada is far from flattering.  It headed an article in Treehugger.com that reviewed the status of the Keystone protests in the US. Stopping Keystone XL may be seen as a minor skirmish when compared with the significant battles that still must be fought to limit global warming.  Some environmentalists have criticized the … Read more

The Latest Sales Pitch for Keystone XL

The US Hill Times carried this headline: Canadian Ambassador: Path through Energy Independence is through Keystone XL.

(Photo Courtesy of TransCanada Pipeline, the backer of Keystone XL)

4RG has previously commented how the Canadian Embassy has been tasked with the job of selling Keystone. So our Ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, has no choice but to do so. Our problem is with the accuracy of statements he made in his sales pitch.

In the course of his presentation Doer was asked whether Canada was prepared to clean up the carbon intensity of the Alberta “oil sands” in an effort to ease environmentalist’s concern. Doer replied:

“Canada is already doing that. . . . . We care about cleaner air and cleaner water and we have started on the oil and gas industry in reducing carbon intensity.”

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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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