Climate change ought to be a major issue this election, but I'm saddened to note that it has received little attention. Perhaps a quick update on both the problem and the solutions would add some helpful perspective in these final days of the campaign.
We need to move towards a society where oil products are not used for power or fuel. Until that day comes, we need these products and the safest, most environmentally responsible way to get them to us over land is via pipelines.
After decades of exhaustive attempts to overcome the dirty reputation of oil sands, we finally have an environmentally-friendly and low cost method to tap into these vast resources in the state of Utah -- good news both for Mother Nature and all oil and gas investors.
On August 4, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 10th Circuit shot down the Sierra Club's petition for rehearing motion for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. The decision effectively writes the final chapter of a years-long legal battle in federal courts.
Canada has given oil sands a dirty reputation, but a breakthrough, commercially viable technology has caught the eye of a former Exxon Mobil president who is putting it to use to clean up Utah's billions of barrels of oil sands.
What will spur a price recovery? North American producers may not want to hear it, but the most likely road to higher prices is one that will see them end up as smaller players in tomorrow's oil market.
We can't shut off the fossil fuel economy overnight, but the science clearly says that we need a real plan to leave fossil fuels like tar sands underground. Politicians need to stop treating this country like idiots and recognize that most people want an economy that's not dependent on the boom and bust of the oil cycle.
The premiers' Canadian Energy Strategy focuses on energy conservation and efficiency, clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. But details are vague and there's no sense of urgency. Although the language about climate change and clean energy is important, the strategy remains stuck in the fossil fuel era.
Instead of talking with the country's other provincial leaders about how to speed up the transition to renewable energy, Notley met with Quebec's premier to talk about how to dig us further into the problem by green lighting the $12-billion Energy East tar sands pipeline.
Shell Oil has announced it may take a page out of the BP "Beyond Petroleum" greenwashing book, rebranding itself as something other than an oil company for its United States-based unit. "Oil" could at some point in the near future be removed from the name.
On Thursday, July 3, on the eve of a long Fourth of July holiday weekend, Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge landed a sweetheart deal: a provision in the 2015 Wisconsin budget that will serve to expedite permitting for its controversial proposed Line 61 tar sands pipeline expansion project.
If nothing else, the G7 countries' recent agreement to end fossil fuel use for energy by 2100 signals a shift in the way we talk and think about global warming. Previous agreements were about reducing carbon emissions from burning coal, oil and gas. This takes matters a step further by envisioning a fossil fuel-free future. Moving toward zero carbon emissions -- in a much shorter timeline than agreed upon by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States -- is absolutely necessary, and not just for the climate.
Despite the bad press that continues to dog the oil sands, it's not a potential foreign boycott of "dirty" Canadian oil that's the biggest problem for the domestic energy industry. No, the larger challenge is simple economics.
Extreme weather conditions, storms, flooding, droughts and ice melting are the new reality in too many parts of the world. People are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and even their lives. While scientists and faith leaders call for urgent action, our political leaders have failed to take necessary actions.
I've spoken to thousands of environmental and community activists during many years of meeting with Canadians across this country. I've heard too many stories of people being harassed, ostracized, sued for standing up to large corporations and even fired from jobs because of their environmental advocacy. Canadians must continue to speak out for our water, land, air and wildlife, for justice for Indigenous Peoples, and for a clean energy future -- without fear of harassment, intimidation and hatred.
Setting a deadline 85 years from now to stop burning fossil fuels may be politically safe, but it completely ignores the science that tells us we need to leave the majority of global fossil fuel reserves underground, including upwards of 85 per cent of Canadian tar sands reserves. Time is of the essence, and every day is crucial as we work to wean our society off carbon-intensive fuels on to renewable energy.