Oil Sands

CP

They Proposed Another Pipeline

CALGARY - Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) has projects in the works to bring more bitumen-thinning diluent to customers in the oilsands, the company told investors on Tuesday.The company is pitching a new $1-...
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An Oil Railway In B.C.?

OTTAWA - CN Rail, at the urging of Chinese-owned Nexen Inc., is considering shipping Alberta bitumen to Prince Rupert, B.C., by rail in quantities matching the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline,...

Neil Young's Utopian Vision of Mother Earth

In the 20th century, much of the divide in politics and policy was over how best to create jobs, incomes and keep people from starving--how to create opportunity as part of the good life. Those on the "left" argued for state intervention and often outright state ownership; those on the "right" pointed to open markets and other elements of capitalism as the superior route to avoiding poorer populations.

Alberta: A Spill Filled Summer

It's been another spill-filled summer in the spill-prone province of Alberta. With Alberta averaging over two oil spills a day over the past 37 years, there are many spills that we don't know about. However we do know about some and what we know is alarming. Here is a recap of just five of the spills to hit Alberta this summer.
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When Neil Young Came To The Oilsands

A couple weeks ago I wanted to let my family and friends know what was going on in my life and I tweeted that I was going to be filming with Neil Young and Daryl Hannah in Fort McMurray. I was not prepared for the reaction. My phone was immediately blowing up with media requests to find out what was going on. Reaction from people commenting on social media in the community ranged from concern to rage over how Fort McMcMurray would be portrayed by these people who have a clear environmental agenda.

An Open Letter to Neil Young on Oilsands, Fort McMurray, and Home

Welcome to Fort McMurray, Neil. This is not the place you think it is. Oh, sure, it is the home of the oil sands, and that is our major industry - but it is, as the ads say, so much more than oil. This community is home to thousands of people who live, work, and play here. And some of them, like me, love it. In fact some of us love it so much it feels more like home than anywhere else we have ever lived, and we work every single day to try to make it a better place - and that includes the industry.
Getty

No More Oil Means No More Smartphones

Filling up at the gas station is certainly one of the ways to use oil that is most familiar to us. But guess what: of all the oil we use, only 43 per cent goes to fueling our cars. Given this, can we seriously consider ending our "dependence on oil", as some would suggest? Someone who wants to stop using oil will have to say goodbye to smart phones, ballpoint pens, candlelight, clothing made of synthetic fibers, glasses, toothpaste, tires (including those on bicycles), and thousands of other products made from plastic, a petroleum derivative. Good luck with that program.
AP

Harper's Sneaky NEB Act Revisions Violate Our Charter Rights

Foreign markets are buying up our resources, corporations are getting rich, and average Canadians are taking on all the risk. Unfortunately, Canada has a poor record of enforcement against oil companies, and prosecutes less than one per cent of environmental violations in the oil sands. Because of changes to the NEB Act last year, Canadians must do tremendous paperwork to have their voices heard, but some are fighting back.
Alamy

Big Oil Just Can't Take a (Tar Sands) Joke

Two political satirists, in the spotlight for their ongoing spoofery of the Alberta tar sands project, had the Indiegogo fundraising promotional video for their upcoming "vacation" to the Alberta tar sands ordered removed from YouTube after Alberta's tourism bureau alleged a copyright violation. Is Big Oil to blame?
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Pipelines Create Jobs. Or Do They?

There's a big dust-up between Barack Obama and Keystone XL proponents over how many jobs the pipeline is projected to produce.This debate can be summarized by asking the question: "How many jobs do you want it to produce?" Whatever your answer, it's not hard to find someone to support your claim.
Alamy

Oil Sands: 4,000 Environmental Infractions, 40 Punishments

A new report out today finds that environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are addressed with an enforcement action far less often than similar infractions reported to the United State's Environmental Protection Agency. Of the more than 4,000 infractions reported in the oil sands, less than 1 per cent (.09 to be exact) were addressed.
Getty

President Obama Must Step Up and Fight Climate Change

Approving or rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline is one of the critical decisions that will test whether the President is serious about his legacy to protect our shared climate. While the President has stated he will not approve the pipeline if it damages our climate (spoiler alert: it will), it's time to turn up the pressure to encourage President Obama to make the right decision for our future and reject the pipeline.
Zack Embree

Heartbreak at the Edge of Canada's Tar Sands

"Here," said a Heiltsuk friend as we began the walk, "put this in your pocket, it will help protect you." She handed me a piece of dried Devil's club bark, medicine from the B.C. coastal rainforest to carry with me as we walked by Alberta's tar sands facilities. Strong medicine was definitely in order as my lungs hurt, heart ached, and eyes welled up with tears with all that I witnessed.

What I Learned At The Tar Sands Healing Walk

Some fifteen years ago, at a Peace Gathering, an elder shared a prophecy. A baby boy would be born in a teepee on a buffalo robe, his birth signalling that now is the time to act. Last Thursday, on the eve of the 4th Annual Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, a young woman went into labour. Her contractions came closer together. Grandmothers and mothers gathered to pray. And, at the stroke of midnight, inside a teepee, a healthy boy was born on a buffalo robe.
Alamy

Joe Oliver and Alison Redford Should Walk the Tar Sands Healing Walk

The 4th Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk taking place in Fort McMurray, Alberta this July 5-6, is an important opportunity for Canadians, and people from all over the world, to get a sense of the land at the heart of the largest unsustainable development project on the planet. Now it's time for Minister Oliver and Premier Redford to recognize their own responsibility, and meet some the people most directly impacted by the decisions made in Ottawa and Edmonton. It is time for them to get out of their cars and walk like regular folks through an area they aren't shy about selling on a global stage.

Alberta's Underground 'Oil Blowout' Industry and Government Don't Want You to Know About

"We don't know what the hell is going on under the ground". That's what Crystal Lameman, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation told me this morning. On June 27, an oil spill occurred at Canadian Natural Resources Limited's Primrose operations. The spill happened on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, located in a region The Royal Canadian Airforce calls "the inhospitable wilds of northern Alberta and Saskatchewan." This 'inhospitable' region happens to be in her community's traditional hunting territory where her family traditionally hunted and trapped and where her elders are buried.
Alamy

We're Oil Barrelling Towards Catastrophe

It's difficult to imagine what it looks like to dig the current 1.5-million barrels of tar sands out of the Boreal Forest each day. So what would it look like if industry gets its way to dig up 5.2-million barrels a day by 2030? We've crunched the numbers and it's not looking pretty.
NASA/JPL

Canada Is a Climate Change Loser, Not Leader

On Tuesday, President Obama made it clear that a safe future for our children and climate comes first. While Canada used to be able to duck and hide behind the United States when it came to failing to act on climate change, with the U.S. stepping forward, Canada is now alone in its refusal to take climate change seriously.

What the Hell is Going on in Fort McMurray?

What the hell indeed is going on in Fort McMurray, you might ask. How did I get to spend time talking to Malcolm Gladwell, and Bill Cosby? What is bringing these people so far north? Well, what is bringing them is the Northern Insights speaker series from the Fort McMurray Public Library - but I think what is really drawing them in is the narrative of this community.