BITUMEN

CP

Don't Confuse Peter MacKay's Pipeline Claims For Facts

There is a catechism of the fossil fuel industry, with oft-repeated claims that seem by repetition to escape examination. Peter MacKay's recent opinion piece on pipelines was a veritable greatest hits compilation of such claims. He writes that "pipelines are by far the safest means of transporting oil." The first muddying of facts is the notion that we are talking about shipping oil. All the current pipeline proposals, including Energy East, are primarily about shipping unprocessed bitumen. Bitumen is in a pre-crude state and can only be casually referenced as "oil" if one accepted the idea that grain should be referred to as "croissants" when discussing markets.
CP

Why Won't the NEB Order a Safety Test of Enbridge's Line 9?

Environmental and citizen groups in Quebec are demanding the National Energy Board explain why it refuses to order a hydrostatic safety test of Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline, a west-to-east oil pipeline that could come online as early as next month. A hydrostatic test or hydrotest is a commonly used method to determine whether a pipeline can operate safely at its maximum operating pressure. The test involves pumping water through the pipeline at levels higher than average operating pressures.
AP/CP

David Black, Press Baron Behind B.C. Refinery Pitch, Has A Climate Denier Problem

It's bad enough that David Black is allowing his newspaper chain to print misinformation. Newspaper people are usually pretty big on getting their facts right. But it is worse that Black is letting this happen at the same time he is seeking environmental credibility to bolster his refinery plans. The disconnect makes people wonder whether they can trust his "green" claims about Kitimat if his newspapers are preaching climate denial.
Emma Pullman

Thanks to Harper, I Recently Apologized For Being Canadian

In addition to the Keystone XL which would increase total capacity of the pipeline to 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen per day, Enbridge filed plans to Monday to build the $2.6B Sandpiper pipeline project across northern Minnesota. If approved, the project will move 225,000 barrels per day of unconventional oil to Minnesota, and 375,000 barrels to Wisconsin.

1.5M Litres and Counting: Volume of CNRL Spills Growing

According to new figures released by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) the total amount of bitumen emulsion - a mixture of tar sands heavy crude and water - released on Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.'s (CNRL) Cold Lake Site is now more than 1.5 million litres, or the equivalent to more than 9600 barrels of oil.

Report: Cold Lake Bitumen Leak Mishandled by Energy Regulator

A draft version of a new investigative report released this week by Global Forest Watch and Treeline Ecological Research argues the series of underground leaks currently releasing a mixture of tar sands bitumen and water into a surrounding wetland and forest on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range is related to a similar set of spills caused by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) in-situ operations in 2009. The cause of the 2009 seepage was never determined and details of an investigation by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), then called the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), weren't made public until last year, four years after the initial incident.
Getty

The Most Expensive Onshore Oil Spill in U.S. History

The largest onshore oil spill in US history -- Enbridge's ruptured Line 6B that released nearly 3 million liters of tar sands diluted bitumen into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan -- finally has an official price tag: $1,039,000,000 USD. That's according to newly disclosed figures released by Enbridge in a Revised Application to expand another one of its pipelines, the Alberta Clipper.

Beyond The Bubble: A Recipe for a Stronger Alberta

With all the gloom-and-doom swirling around Edmonton this week, an outside observer might conclude a state funeral was in the works instead of an annual budget presentation. Yet while Premier Redford undeniably has tough decisions to make, there are promising signals that she is looking beyond bubbles and examining a range of more enduring solutions to the province's challenges.