The picture of the small Quebec town engulfed in a sky high fireball after a train derailment in Lac-Megantic would make a macabre poster for all that is wrong with our fossil fuel addiction. The tagline could read: "Are we nuts?"
British Columbians would not take kindly to an Alberta pro-tar sands Prime Minister ramrodding through a decision to approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline in the face of opposition from so many different constituencies. In my personal opinion, it would be political suicide.
A tax loophole exempting tar sands pipeline operators from paying an eight-cent tax per barrel of oil they transport in the U.S. is costing the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund millions of dollars every year. With expected increases in tar sands oil production over the next five years, this loophole may have deprived U.S. citizens of $400-million dollars worth of critical oil-spill protection funds come 2017. Regardless of how many barrels of tar sands oil will be traversing U.S. soil, none should be exempt from spill liability taxes. If anything, corrosive diluted bitumen should be taxed more for the inherent dangers it presents.
As part of this year's nation-wide, week-long celebration of water, Canada Water Week, here are some questions for getting the most out of your documentary viewing experience. David Lavallee's film, White Water, Black Gold, has received myriad distinctions. It will air on TVO Wednesday March 20 at 10 p.m.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper can make all the safety announcements he wants but it doesn't change the fact that the people of B.C. are moving in the opposite direction he is. We are saying less tar sands oil not more, thank you very much.
In this latest spill that dumped between 160,000 and half a million litres of oil into Red Deer River, there is a little victim that is unforgettable.
The 670 kilometre B.C. portion of this proposed pipeline would include 591 water crossings, 532 of which are fish bearing. Should British Columbians be concerned? Those deliberating on whether they support the pipeline would do well to remember this truism: in gambling, the many must lose in order that the few may win.
One of the issues in the Northern Gateway pipeline hearing is the threat that oil tankers will pose in the dangerous channels and sensitive ocean environments near the proposed port, Kitimat. Enbridge soothingly predicts that major spills will be inconceivably rare. I remain a sceptic.
Whether we like it or not, this world runs on petroleum and petroleum-based products. Therefore, the question that needs to be asked: "How can our petroleum-based economy operate in an environmentally responsible way -- while costs to industry and consumers remain reasonable?"
I awoke this morning to the stories of Kenyan parents trying frantically to douse the flames burning their children after yet another pipeline explosion. As I looked at those images, I thought about how this week is the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace and began to wonder how much of our work in the coming years will be rapid response to these disasters.