A moment of silence was observed at the start of the Arctic Energy Summit in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Monday, September 28, in response to Royal Dutch Shell's sudden announcement that it has abandoned oil exploration in offshore Alaska "for the foreseeable future." Shell's announcement was a bombshell and caught everyone off guard. The silence in the plenary session hall -- which happens to double as a hockey arena -- was surreal. I wondered: Could this be the end of offshore oil in the Arctic?
In the midst of this early election storm, people across Canada started crashing campaign events of all the major political party leaders. Over the past seven weeks, the sight of community groups interrupting party leaders to demand answers on climate has become commonplace. People, and not just activists, across Canada and around the world understand that action on climate change means leaving fossil fuels in the ground. What we need now is for politicians to demonstrate that they understand this, and as we enter the second half of this election campaign we need people power to push them to make it happen.
On June 26, Imperial Oil, on behalf of its partners BP and ExxonMobil, informed the National Energy Board it would not apply as planned for an exemption from the board's same season relief well (SSRW) capacity requirement. Could it be that the oil majors have finally recognized that no collection of subsea intervention devices, blowout preventers, and capping stacks can do what a timely relief well can?
Oil and gas exploration-driven advancement towards the High North and the ice brink is disputed in Norway, as elsewhere. When examining factors such as oil prices and the northern harsh conditions, rapid industrial development in the Norwegian Barents Sea is not a given.
Tim DeChristopher's ordeal exposes the massive power of the fossil fuel industry. Governments, including the U.S. and Canada's, often do far more to promote the interests of this industry than to protect people's rights and health.
Earlier this year, energy giant Kinder Morgan submitted an application to the National Energy Board to increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The implications of this expansion are enormous and the populace will be asked to bear the risks with virtually no public engagement.
But before supporting the Keystone Pipeline, we need to take a deeper look at whether its practices will really lead to "better days" for working men and women, their families, and their communities. How many jobs will the pipeline really produce?
If the Keystone Pipeline Project gains approval, it will become exceedingly difficult to control the tar sands monster. The scientific community needs to get involved in this fray now.