Jump to navigation
Quebec pulls out of NEB hearings on Enbridge pipeline
Environmental activists are puzzled by the Quebec government's last-minute decision to pull out of National Energy Board (NEB) hearings over Enbridge's plan to reverse the flow of a pipeline between Sarnia, Ont. and Montreal.
Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, has learned that the decision to pull out came after four separate Quebec ministries produced reports to share the government's concerns over the safety, environmental and economic risks of the proposed plan.
Citizens and environmental groups across eastern Canada have sounded the alarm over Enbridge’s proposal to reverse the flow of a portion of its Line 9 pipeline toward Montreal.
They are worried about issues such as the possible contamination of agricultural land and drinking water in the event of an oil spill....
Oil companies in North Dakota fail to report almost 300 oil spills since 2012
According to the Associated Press, the nation’s second largest oil-producing state, North Dakota, failed to inform the public of almost 300 oil pipeline spills in the last two years.
Even though many of the spills were small, “[t]he public really should know about these,” Don Morrison, the director of the Dakota Resource Council, told the AP. “If there is a spill, sometimes a landowner may not even know about it. And if they do, people think it’s an isolated incident that’s only happening to them.”
Reporting such spills is significant, because even a barrel of oil could ruin water supplies, which would ruin countless acres of arable soil.
The director of the Department of Mineral Resources, Lynn Helms, told the Associated Press that companies are worried about “over-reporting” spills. The state is trying to strike a balance so that “the public is aware of what’s happening, but not overwhelmed by little incidents.”
One wheat farmer told the AP that he’s in favor of receiving information about every incident, since his livelihood depends on his land. He’s worried because the policy at the moment is “[w]hat you don’t know, nobody’s going to tell you.”
“It would tell me if there is enough oversight and why these accidents happen and if they could have been avoided,” he said. “Right now, you don’t know if there is a spill unless you find it yourself.”...
Alberta's Oil Legacy: Bad Air and Rare Cancers - by Andrew Nikiforuk
"Sickening carcinogens now saturate the province's industrial Heartland, study finds
Ten known or probably carcinogens now saturate the air downwind of Alberta's Upgrader Alley, the nation's largest bitumen and hydro carbon processing centre, while male blood cancers and leukemia in the region are the highest in the province..."
Rafe Mair: Enbridge pipeline should face BC referendum
The cynicism of both our senior governments regarding tankers and pipelines is appalling.
The pact between Premier Clark and Alberta Premier Redford - followed two days later by the Harper government’s Speech from the Throne – does precisely what many of us have said all along was their intention, to approve pipelines and tankers, irrespective of the findings of the Joint Review Panel (a farce), the wishes of First Nations and the wishes of the people.
This is not the time to despair but for two separate lines of action.
Enbridge pipeline requires referendum
First, and critically important in the short term, the people of BC must demand and press for a province-wide referendum. Would anyone suggest that the ravaging of our environment is less important than on the way we vote – i.e. the STV referendum – or a tax, as in HST? Would Premier Clark dare to take that position?
What it will take is a concerted effort, one where we all fight no matter what organizations we represent.
I suggest that all environmental organizations get under one roof for this struggle – it can be anyone of many. The Wilderness Committee, Living Oceans Society, Dogwood Initiative, Forest Ethics, Pacific Wild, and the list goes on. I can say that The Common Sense Canadian would get behind such an effort.
We must also be prepared, and let the government know we are prepared for massive civil disobedience. It must be peaceful and large enough that there aren’t enough jails to begin to hold all the protesters.
I believe that will happen spontaneously, so let’s for the moment deal with the referendum.....
New environmental review rules anger oilsands critics
Many oilsands projects will not have their potential environmental impacts reviewed by the federal government under updated rules announced today, environmentalists warn.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released lists Friday outlining changes to the types of resource development and infrastructure projects that will routinely require a federal environmental assessment. The federal review is intended to look at possible environmental impacts under federal jurisdiction, such as impacts on waterways or greenhouse gas emissions.
One concern that environmentalists have with the new rules is they won't require environmental reviews for a growing type of oilsands development.
In-situ oilsands developments — projects where the oil is melted directly out of the ground rather than being mined and then processed later — were not specifically addressed in the previous list of projects requiring federal environmental assessments, said Keith Stewart, climate and energy campaign coordinator and energy policy analyst for the environmental group Greenpeace. And now, they are not included in the new list of projects requiring them.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's announcement lists the types of projects that once required a federal environmental assessment that no longer do, including:
Groundwater extraction facilities....
Exclusive B.C. home of most pipeline safety incidents since 2000
279 of 1,047 incidents reported Canada-wide from 2000 to late 2012 took place in B.C.
By 2011, safety-related incidents — covering everything from unintentional fires to spills — rose from one to two for every 1,000 kilometres of federally-regulated pipeline. That reflects an increase from 45 total incidents in 2000 to 142 in 2011.
The types of incidents reported include small leaks, large oil spills, gas ruptures, equipment failures, worker injuries and deaths, and other types of accidents or reportable events along any pipeline that crosses provincial or international borders, which involves about 90 companies that own about 71,000 kilometres of pipelines.
The dataset does not include incidents along smaller pipelines monitored by provinces....
i don't believe for a second BC's got the most 'incidents' AB just doesn't report 'em unless they're big.
next kinder morgan talk here 'bout the 'twinning' is Nov 21 7pm @ the best western. heard through the pipeline (pun intended) it's going to be a one or the other approval and peeps here and on down past 'loops want the twinning not the northern gateway. going to be no opposition to speak of here.
..what you say about alta hiding spills quizzical..i've heard this as well. for this article:
Data provided by the National Energy Board through an access to information request shows that 279 incidents involving federally-regulated pipelines were reported in B.C. between 2000 and late 2012.
..it's telling how the neb doesn't just provide that info. like this is stuff we don't need to know. or that only trouble makers want to know.
Unist’ot’en camp site of late night bombing
An attempt to destroy the main Unist’ot’en sign with a home-made explosive accelerant occurred last night at approximately 10:20 p.m.
The Unist’ot’en camp located around 70 kilometres south of Houston has been in place since 2010 in response to proposed pipelines such as Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails’ liquid natural gas line.
Last night individuals living at the camp heard what sounded like a gunshot and they immediately took steps to make sure they were protecting themselves.
“We were in the main cabin and a soon as we heard the bang we shut off our lights, grabbed firearms, went outside and fired a warning shot,” Toghestiy (Warner Naziel) said.
Toghestiy investigated the scene on the north side of the bridge where he could see fire burning. He found a few canisters of ‘accelerant’ bound together with bright green surveyor tape and a long trail of ‘accelerant’ leading north along the road away from the bridge, which was used to reach the canisters, he said.
“When I was approaching the site I could see headlights heading away from the bridge,” Toghestiy said....
Ontario skips provincial review of Enbridge Line 9
TORONTO – Ontario won’t conduct its own environmental assessment of a plan to reverse the flow of the Line 9 oil pipeline that runs through the province, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said Monday.
Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) wants to reverse Line 9 and increase its capacity to move 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, up from the current 240,000 barrels.
It has also asked for permission to move different types of oil between southwestern Ontario and Montreal, including a heavier form of crude.
Liberals abandon provincial assessment
The proposal has sparked protests by hundreds of demonstrators, who have rallied outside the National Energy Board hearings in Toronto and Montreal.
Ontario’s New Democrats are pushing for a separate provincial assessment of the proposal, but Chiarelli said that’s not necessary.
The assessment is a federal responsibility because the pipeline crosses provincial boundaries, he said.
Ontario has intervened in the recent hearings to emphasize that public safety and environmental protection must come first, he said.
The province also called for a “stress test” for the whole system to be assured that the pipeline is safe, Chiarelli said.
“At this point in time, constitutionally we have to rely on what’s there in federal legislation,” he said.
Complain to your local MP
Chiarelli said that if residents feel that the National Energy Board isn’t doing its job to protect the public, then they should complain to their local MP and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“If Ontario does its own environmental assessment … that cannot override,” he said.
“That might inform, but the National Energy Board is responsible for getting the right information on which to make a decision.”...
Noam Chomsky on First Nations Resistance (Montréal, 26 octobre 2013)
Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse - by Corey Morningstar
"The following article is the third installment of an investigative report that demonstrates why billions of dollars are pumped into the non-profit industrial complex by corporate interests, effectively to manufacture discourse in order to protect the ruling classes from systemic change."
Don't be just another useful idiot for Green slime...Greenpeace, Tides, etc.
Confronting the Pipedream: Part 4 – Interview with Amanda Lickers
Amanda Lickers is an Indigenous Seneca organizer who is active around issues of decolonization and land defense. Recently, she has been organizing with Native communities in so-called “southern Ontario” in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 9b reversal project.
Amanda also recently co-produced a short documentary about Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipelines, called Kahsatstenhsera. The video can be viewed at www.reclaimturtleisland.com
Nuns Against Fracking: The 'Sisters Of Loretto' Oppose Pipeline (VIDEO)
What would Jesus frack?
That's a question you might ask a group of nuns in rural Kentucky who are fighting a fracking pipeline proposed on their land.
The 200-year-old Sisters of Loretto has refused to allow energy companies to survey their 780 acres in order to build a natural gas pipeline that would connect fracking operations in Pennsylvania with an existing pipeline that runs from Kentucky to the Gulf Coast.
"This has the potential for danger and for pollution of this very precious resource," said Sister Maria Visse in a video report by the environmental news project Climate Desk, gesturing at the lush Kentucky hills where she her fellow nuns live. Visse has been a member of the Sisters of Loretto since 1955.
The Sisters of Loretto Roman Catholic community is based in Marion County, K.Y., about 55 miles south of Louisville. The group was founded in 1812 with a social mission. In addition to religious duties, the nuns helped to educate poor children in the area in the 19th century, according to their website....
Nuns argue fracking is a habit we can't afford
Theirs is a cloistered, holy life far from the whirl of Sydney, where the only sound some mornings is the flap of habits and the squawk of cockatoos.
And if nothing is more God-like than silence, what do the Discalced Carmelite nuns and friars of Varroville, near Camden, think of the prospect of coal seam gas drilling across NSW?
''To me it appears to be a slash and grab approach, get rich quick and - pardon this use of language - but to hell with the consequences,'' Sister Jocelyn Kramer said.
''It's not sensible to exploit the resources now and not bother what effect that might have for future generations.''...
A formidable brown line: Discalced Carmelite nuns and Father Greg Burke at their Varroville monastery.
Need for Site C Dam exaggerated as public hearings start next month
Public hearings into the controversial, $8 Billion Site C Dam are set to commence next month, as the Joint Review Panel for the project indicated today that proponent BC Hydro has filled in some key gaps identified in its proposal.
The process will kick off on December 9 in Fort St. John and is scheduled to wrap up by the end of January, with a final recommendation on the project expected mid-year.
Do we really need Site C Dam?
BC Hydro maintains the need for the project is strong – a contention that has been challenged repeatedly in these pages.
“The need for the project is there certainly in the long term, it’s long-term planning. It, in fact, may be needed sooner, particularly from a capacity perspective,” Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway told media, citing a growth in demand to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG), mining and other industrial sectors.
Conway also referenced anticipated growth in population and use of electronic devices in defence of the need for a new dam.
But there are some serious holes in Hydro’s story.....
LNG a whole different animal
That said, the idea of powering the enormously energy-intensive, proposed LNG industry does introduce massive new electrical demands for the province. But this notion is fraught with a litany of problems, such as:
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) just launched a new program called Energy IQ, aiming to take materials funded by Canada's largest oil and gas lobby group into classrooms across Canada. CAPP is one of the most fervent voices in favour of tar sands and fracking expansion, a powerful lobby group that has been linked to the gutting of Canada's environmental regulations, worked with the government on expensive pro-tar sands lobbying and more. Find our more about CAPP and Energy IQ here.
Classrooms are for students, not big oil's spin machine. Add your name to support the open letter to CAPP and Canadian Geographic below.
To the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Canadian Geographic,
We are a group of Canadian high school students writing this letter to formally express our concerns regarding the Energy IQ Program that was launched in schools this October.
The Energy IQ program is of serious concern to us as current high school students, specifically because of its inherent corporate bias and the ideals it will promote. Schools are public places, and therefore should be free of advertisements or promotions of companies, interest groups, and other for-profit institutions. Propaganda has no place in our schools. The content of your program appears to be highly focused on the oil and gas industry, yet it is presented as something that deals with all possible types of energy. When your definition of the tar sands is the verbatim definition used by Oil Sands Today, the message that sends is that you’re there in their interest, rather than in the interest of our future. We have our doubts that any program funded by CAPP would focus on types of energy other than oil and gas: this concerns us....
This is photo from the Canadian Geographic Education Facebook page with a Grade 3 class diving into their tar sands funded energy education program.
Confronting the Pipedream: Part 5 – Interview with Cindy Spoon of the Tar Sands Blockade
Cindy Spoon is an organizer with the Texas Tar Sands Blockade. The Tar Sands Blockade is an open invitation for people across North America to join a peaceful direct action campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. They stand with people of all backgrounds who are fighting to save their homes, land and our planet from destruction by tar sands pumped by the TransCanada company. The Tar Sands Blockade is coordinating grassroots actions across Texas and Oklahoma.
BC Premier's House 'Fracked'! (pics)
Activists set up a "fracking rig" on BC Premier Christy Clark's front lawn in Vancouver this morning. The premier was at home, but declined an invitation from the activists to join them to "celebrate her efforts to promote more hydrolic fracturing in BC" and sign away her water rights.
The activists tossed around bags of money and bottles of "wastewater." Once police showed up they moved the mock rig to the front sidewalk.
"Because the premier loves fracking, we figured we would save her the hassle of trying to take over other peoples' homes and bring it right to her," said Jacquelyn Fraser, an activist with Rising Tide.....
Exxon to Demolish Third House in Arkansas Town Stricken by Oil Spill
ExxonMobil plans to demolish another home in the Northwoods neighborhood of Mayflower, where an Exxon pipeline ruptured on March 29, spilling thousands of gallons of tar sands crude that polluted the neighborhood, surrounding wetlands and a cove of Lake Conway. The home at 44 N. Starlite had never been cleared for re-entry by the Mayflower Unified Command, a collection of local, state and federal officials and Exxon, and is scheduled to be demolished late this morning, Exxon spokesman Aaron Stryk said.
"This home was determined by Unified Command to have oil remaining beneath its foundation. Demolition and excavation of the soil under the home's foundation is an efficient and effective way to ensure that any remaining oil has been removed," Stryk said in an email.
This follows the Oct. 7 demolition of two other homes in the neighborhood, 32 and 36 N. Starlite, both of which were also determined to have oil beneath their foundations.
According to the Faulkner County Assessor's Office, the home at 44 N. Starlite was purchased in 2006 by Greg Doster for $165,000. Records show Exxon purchased the house on Oct. 25 for $185,000.
Exxon has purchased 20 homes in Northwoods to date, according to the Assessor's Office. That's about one third of the subdivision.
Natural gas industry accused of illegal water use in B.C.
Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission and natural gas company Encana over the use of water from B.C.’s lakes and rivers.
The suit, filed Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court, claims the commission has granted repeated short-term water licences, in violation of the provincial Water Act.
The environmental groups say as Encana proceeded with the fracking process to extract natural gas from underground reserves, it drew 880 Olympic swimming pools worth of water over three years from the Kiskatinaw River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Dawson Creek....
Regulator, Encana sued over fracking, water (video)
Vancouver-based environmental law firm ecojustice announced a lawsuit Wednesday in BC court against the province’s oil and gas regulator over its allegedly unlawful issuance of water permits for fracking.
The suit, which also names energy giant Encana, is being brought on behalf of the Wilderness Committee and Sierra Club BC over increasingly controversial shale gas operations in northeast BC. It contends that the Oil and Gas Commission is violating the province’s Water Act....
Canada’s largest energy union wants national fracking moratorium
Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, has joined the growing chorus of concern over controversial shale gas development. The labour organization representing over 300,000 members in a wide range of economic sectors, including energy, is calling for a national fracking moratorium.
Unifor issued a statement from its 25-member National Executive Board Thursday raising concerns about the impacts of shale gas development on the environment and on First Nations’ rights.
“Unconventional gas fracking has the potential to have catastrophic effects on our environment and economy. The safety risks are also a major concern for our union,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias....
LNG & Fracking: Risky Business for BC – Nov 18, Vancouver
Monday, Nov. 18, 7 – 9:30pm
SFU Harbour Centre (515 W Hastings St), Vancouver – Rm 1400
Thousands rally in Vancouver against Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline
With a new agreement on terms to accept the pipeline announced between B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford, pundits are predicting approval for the Northern Gateway from the National Energy Board by the year’s end.
But that’s when the resistance will really start, speakers such as Coastal First Nations leader Art Sterritt assured cheering crowds Saturday.
“The Northern Gateway is the sharp edge of the wedge, and if we allow it to go through there will be pipelines crossing all over B.C., just like Alberta,” Sterritt shouted from a stage....
Lakotas Throw Out TransCanada Reps Selling Tarsands Snake Oil (and vid)
"On November 13, 2013, tribal members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, acting as agents for Transcanada in order to sell-out the homeland to the Keystone XL Pipeline, brought Keystone representatives to the reservation. Here's what happened...
'Run home and tell your corporate headquarters in Canada that the Lakota are going to make a stand.."
Six reasons labour is coming out against Line 9
Last year thousands joined a sit-in in Victoria against the Northern Gateway pipeline. As Susan Spratt, organizer for what was then the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) said, “The ongoing risks that these tar sands pipelines and tankers pose aren’t worth any price. Tens of thousands of unionized and other jobs depend on healthy river and ocean ecosystems. We will be standing in solidarity with thousands of working people in B.C. and our First Nation sisters and brothers.”
A similar movement is emerging against Enbridge’s plan to pump toxic tar sands through the 38-year old pipeline Line 9. Last month hundreds of people -- including indigenous communities, environmentalists, students, faith groups, musicians and trade unionists -- marched and rallied against Line 9. Next week the Ontario Federation of Labour is holding its convention in Toronto, and a number of unions have submitted resolutions against Line 9.....
Harper government's extensive spying on anti-oilsands groups revealed in FOIs
The federal government has been vigorously spying on anti-oil sands activists and organizations in BC and across Canada since last December, documents obtained under the Access to Information Act show. Not only is the federal government subsidizing the energy industry in underwriting their costs, but deploying public safety resources as a de-facto ‘insurance policy’ to ensure that federal strategies on proposed pipeline projects are achieved, these documents indicate.
Before the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel hearings on the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline, the NEB coordinated the gathering of intelligence on opponents to the oil sands. The groups of interest are independent advocacy organizations that oppose the Harper government’s policies and work for environmental protections and democratic rights, including Idle No More, ForestEthics, Sierra Club, EcoSociety, LeadNow, Dogwood Initiative, Council of Canadians and the People’s Summit....
Hundreds Protest Against Pipelines on Unceded Mohawk Land
"...The pipelines and this issue of corrupt government, corrupt corporations, and the potential to destroy the beautiful landscape that we have in our community, affects everybody,' protest organizer Ellen Gabriel told The Daily in an interview. 'We need to change how capitalism is working.."
US House passes bill to speed up oil and gas fracking
The House approved a bill Wednesday aimed at speeding up drilling for oil and natural gas.
The measure was one of three energy measures the House was considering this week as Republicans controlling the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that’s lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.
Another bill expected to win approval later Wednesday would restrict the Interior Department from enforcing proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands. A third bill would streamline permitting for natural gas pipelines.
Supporters say the bills are needed to ensure that a drilling boom taking place on state and private lands extends to millions of acres, mostly in the West, under federal control.
Obama to veto bills
President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bills, saying they are unnecessary and run counter to protections put in place for oil and gas drilling.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who sponsored the bill to speed up permitting, said the current energy boom has mainly occurred on state and private lands, including the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana and the Marcellus Shale region centred in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Said Lamborn:
The only reason we haven’t seen that same dynamic growth on federal lands is because of excess regulations....
Over 120 companies and organizations take part in BC Jobs and Trade Mission
Premier Christy Clark departs today for her Jobs and Trade Mission, leading a delegation of over 120 companies to China, Korea and Japan from Nov. 21 to Dec. 3, 2013 to deepen British Columbia's relationships with these priority markets.
"Trade missions are an important way to share B.C.'s competitive advantages with our international partners so that B.C. businesses and communities share in the benefits," said Premier Clark. "As we develop LNG and seize economic development in every corner of the province, these partnerships and strategic outreach will mean more economic growth and jobs here at home."
In addition to expanding trade and investment opportunities between B.C. and these important markets, Premier Clark will be advancing liquefied natural gas (LNG) development opportunities and promoting the province as a stable and attractive destination for trade and investment. She and Minister Teresa Wat will also encourage Asian corporations to headquarter their North American operations in British Columbia....
Most here may be dead set against future petroleum developmenty but it doesn't seem like that view is reflected by the majority of the Canadian populace:
Even when the economic benefits are set aside Canadians do not share the anti-pipeline sentiment here.
Dozens killed in Chinese oil explosion (aljazeera.com)
Thirty-five die after oil leaking from a damaged pipeline catches fire as workers try to clean the spill.
Deadly oil pipeline blast (cbc.ca)
LNG in a Nutshell
Damien Gillis stitches together the big picture of the impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the fracking from which it would derive if the BC Liberal Government's vision to build five plants on BC's coast goes forward.
From a Nov.18 discussion at Vancouver's SFU Harbour Centre - alongside the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Ben Parfitt. Hosted by Council of Canadians.
Don't know about Keystone, but the rest of these pipelines in Canada will all be going ahead as the government, and the energy companies, have massive public opinion on their side.
Unfortunately this is something that way too many of those on the left cannot, for some inexplicable reason, seem to grasp. Fight against jobs and you will lose hands-down. Period!
Just ask BC NDPers that actually have a clue what took place last May and they of course will confirm this.
Energy sector key to economy, poll suggests
Economic benefits driving public support for pipelines, Harris-Decima suggests
US Court Denies Halt to Keystone XL - by Steve Hornhttp://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/25/us-court-denies-halt-to-keystone-xl/
"A story covered only by McClatchey News' Michael Doyle, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson shot down Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) request for an immediate injunction in constructing Enbridge's Flanagan South tar sands pipeline in a 60-page ruling..."
..the same forces that are bringing us pipelines bring us perpetual austerity, mass unemployment, corp heavy trade deals, destruction to our environmental and water habitats, a ravaging of labour rights and social programs. they lie about the jobs they will create, about the benefits we will receive and the protections against catastrophe. you can't negotiate one for the other because the system demands it all. why don't you get that connection?
..your negative pronouncements, are not arguments for change but for more of the same. they project fear and a total lack of imagination re job creation. as for the ndp well they aren't much use to us if they aren't going to oppose this system as well. pretending that they can negotiate us a good deal is pure fantasy. venezuela had to take control of their resources before they began benefiting. why would it be any different here?
One Step Closer to Fossil Fuel Divestment
Concordia is edging closer to an ethically responsible investment policy, which would include diverting university funds away from the fossil fuel industry.
After over a month of negotiations between members of the university administration and student groups, the decision to set up a working group to create a socially responsible investment policy was announced in an email from Concordia’s VP Development and External Relations Bram Freedman on Nov. 25.
“After a thorough discussion of this issue at the last meeting of the Board of Directors of the Concordia University Foundation, I can tell you there is an openness to further exploring this issue,” Freedman said.
The Joint Responsible Investment Working Group will hold its first meeting in January....
Activists Shut Down Line 9 Construction in Toronto
"Rising Tide Toronto shuts down construction on Enbridge Line 9 pipeline in Toronto..."
Right on Rising Tide!
Lubicon Lake Files Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Company (and vid)
"The Cree people at Lubicon Lake in northern Alberta have had enough. They have filed a lawsuit against oil and gas giant Penn West Petroleum."
Demonstrators near Leslie St. and Finch Ave., from a variety of aboriginal and environmental groups, chained themselves Tuesday to construction equipment operated by Enbridge.
Update: Oregon blockade of Tar Sands ‘Megaload’ enters second night
For the second night in a row, activists with a coalition including Rising Tide, 350, All Against the Haul, and members of the Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes attempted to stop the Omega Morgan megaload from leaving as planned.
The load left approximately 45 minutes prior to its permitted departure based on Oregon Department of Transportation.
As of writing, activists are regrouping and monitoring the slow progress of the megaload as it trundles along at a snail’s pace.
This comes after a successful hard blockade yesterday involving two activists locking down to the megaload for over an hour and a half. Yesterday’s blockade prevented the transport of the megaload for an entire day, and activists have pledged to continue sustained and escalating resistance in order to prevent the megaload’s destruction of infrastructure, critical ecosystems, and expansion of the tar sands....
Harper government spending $40 million to clean up Tar Sands’ image
The Conservative government is spending $40 million this year to advertise Canada’s natural resource sector — principally oil and gas — at home and abroad.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver revealed the figure Wednesday as his department seeks another $12.9 million to augment an international campaign designed to portray Canada as a stable and environmentally responsible source of energy.
That will bring NRCan’s 2013-14 ad budget to about $40 million — $24 million for advertising abroad and $16.5 million for the domestic market.
“The government has a responsibility to provide Canadians with facts to assist them in making informed decisions,” Oliver, under opposition questioning, told a Commons committee.
This engagement and outreach campaign will raise awareness in key international markets that Canada is an environmentally responsible and reliable supplier of natural resources.
The entire federal government advertising budget last year was about $65 million, according to preliminary estimates, with $9 million allotted for Natural Resources.
In 2010-11, NRCan spent just $237,000 on advertising, according to the government figures....
City Of Kawartha Lakes Loses Fight Over "Unfair" Oil Spill Clean-Up Order
The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the necessities of spill containment and environmental protection can take precedence over the "polluter pays" principle and the rules of natural justice. In assessing the validity of a Director's clean-up order for a 2009 oil spill in the City of Kawartha Lakes, the Court deemed questions of who was at fault were "irrelevant." The City, which bore no responsibility for the original spill, was ordered to clean up oil that had spread onto municipal lands and threatened to recontaminate nearby Sturgeon Lake.
Since then, the City of Kawartha Lakes has fought a series of legal battles to correct what it considers "a breach of natural justice." While the City did not dispute the jurisdiction of the Ministry to issue such a "no fault" Order, it argued that "the MOE must have regard to principles of fairness, including the 'polluter pays principle', as part of its exercise of discretion to issue such an Order." The City maintained that the MOE should only issue a "no fault" Order in the event that the polluter(s) cannot or will not comply with a fault-based Order. The Appeal Court did not agree. In its decision released May 10, 2013, Justice Goudge writes that,
"Evidence of the fault of others says nothing about how the environment would be protected and the legislative objective served if the Director's order were revoked. Indeed, by inviting the Tribunal into a fault finding exercise, permitting the evidence might even impede answering the question in the timely way required by that legislative objective. (Kawartha Lakes (City) v. Ontario (Environment), 2013 ONCA 310)."
The Ministry had issued a preventative Order under section 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act to ensure prompt remediation and minimize any adverse effects. The Ministry had already issued a remediation Order on the responsible parties, but the spilled oil had spread onto City property. Therefore, a second Order could rightfully be issued to the City as the party that, "owns or has management and control of an undertaking or a property," even though it bore no fault for the original spill....
Metro wants seat at Kinder Morgan hearings
Vancouver will apply for intervener status to participate in the National Energy Board hearings next spring into Kinder Morgan's plan to twin its Trans Mountain pipeline to the Lower Mainland.
Saying the city has "grave concerns" about the ability of regulators and oil carriers to respond to a spill, let alone deal with a major increase of oil tanker traffic if the pipeline is twinned, Mayor Gregor Robertson said the city will oppose the expansion.
But even then, the mayor said he's not satisfied with the limitations the NEB has put on the hearings to consider only issues relating to the pipeline or downstream marine transportation. He believes it should also consider the effects of climate change related to the use of the fossil fuels carried by the pipeline...
Lubicon Lake Nation Tells Penn West Petroleum to Frack Off!
Peaceful Occupation of Penn West Petroleum Site Begins Little Buffalo, AB/ The Lubicon Lake Nation people have been driven to enforce their Law against PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD. (TSX: PWT); (NYSE: PWE) today on an oil lease site located in their Territory by peacefully occupying a nearby access road. The oil and gas giant.
Penn West has indicated they intend to drill and use hydraulic fracturing at the location. The site is at the headwaters of a nearby lake, bordered by the traditional Lubicon community of Kinosew Sakahikan referred to provincially as Haig Lake.
Long-time Chief Bernard Ominayak said this evening: We have never signed treaty, ceded our land, nor sold it to anybody. It’s high time that all resource companies operating on Lubicon Lake Nation lands, including Penn West, as well as the Provincial and Canadian governments respect that and stop destroying Lubicon land and stealing Lubicon resources....
The Lubicon Lake Nation has not signed treaty with the Crown or any other foreign body at any time. As such, they remain the sole title holders and retain the Aboriginal rights to their land and resources and do not recognize the authority of the Province to issue any type of permits to industry for the exploitation of Lubicon land. The Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation requires industry to obtain the free, prior and informed consent from the Nation prior to any environmentally harmful project moving forward. This hasn’t happened in this case according to Chief Ominayak. Penn West has been repeatedly informed by the Nation that no foreign government, including any Canadian endorsed, illegal, Indian Act formed government, will represent the Lubicon Lake Nation with regards to their lands.
..location of drillinghttps://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Haig+Lake,+East+Peace+No.131,+AB&hl=en&ll=...
Activists Take Aim at Bay Area Crude Projects
Local community and environmental activists are sounding an alarm over four proposed energy projects in the Bay Area. Demonstrators rallied Wednesday morning outside a Bay Area Air Quality Management District board meeting, calling on the Air District to put the developments on hold.
Two of the proposals are for crude-by-rail projects. One would be an addition to the Valero refinery in Benicia; the other would be an oil terminal in Pittsburg that would receive crude by pipeline, rail and ship. Activists are concerned about crude-by-rail because, they say, trains would provide a means to bring in what they call “dirty” oil from the Canadian tar sands.
The other two projects, at Chevron’s Richmond refinery and the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo concern equipment upgrades, which, activists say, will position refiners to process heavier grades of crude.
“What’s really at stake here is the public’s health,” said Andres Soto, an organizer with the East Bay group Communities for a Better Environment. “We’re asking the District to not issue any more permits until this issue about the quality of the crude is publicly disclosed, publicly discussed, and either mitigation or a moratorium on its processing here in the Bay Area is established.”...
Above: Pennie Opal Plant from the environmental group Idle No More at a rally in San Francisco. She says she’s concerned about local refineries bringing in crude oil from Canadian tar sands
Engineers poke holes in Enbridge tanker safety
While the Harper Government reacts to this week’s release of a federal report containing 45 recommendations on improving oil spill response capabilities on BC’s coast, a group of professional engineers is launching a campaign to point out the flaws in Enbridge’s tanker safety plans.
Concerned Professional Engineers (CPE) is a BC-based group boasting “many decades of experience in the design, construction and operation of large projects for the extraction and transportation of natural resources like coal and oil.”
Enbridge downplaying spill risks
The group recently kicked off an online “crowd funding” campaign to help publicize its work, which has involved in-depth analysis of Enbridge’s tanker plans and detailed submissions by its members to the National Energy Board hearings on the project. They say Enbridge’s claim of a 10% oil spill risk from tankers connected to its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is far too low.
“We’ve performed our own, independent review and found Enbridge’s analysis to be lacking,” says CPE.
This is not good engineering.
Some of the group’s key concerns are as follows:
Anti-fracking clashes in Romania as activists break into Chevron site (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Hundreds of protesters have broken into a Chevron site after the US oil giant resumed its search for shale gas in northeast Romania. RT’s Lucy Kafanov reports from the scene, where clashes ensued as riot police started streaming in.
Some 250 people gathered on Saturday in the village of Pungesti. RT’s Lucy Kafanov reports that the demonstration kicked off quite peacefully with the protesters chanting “Chevron go home.”
“The situation then escalated. Some people had run across the road towards the Chevron property, there was a bit of a commotion, and we saw the protesters run into the property; the surrounding perimeter fences were taken down," Kafanov reports. Local media said people were able to tear down fences to 20 acres of land owned by the company.
Riot police officers were called into the area, which made the situation "very heated" as clashes between the demonstrators and the police ensued.
"We did see some demonstrators injured, as well as police officers injured. They were taken away in medical vans. We also saw probably about four or five arrests, possibly more, we’re still not confirmed on the numbers," Kafanov says.
Following the incident, the US company later announced it was suspending activities in the area.
“Chevron can today confirm it has suspended activities in Silistea, Pungesti commune, Vaslui County as a result of unsafe conditions generated by unlawful and violent protester activities,” Chevron said in a statement.
Energy workers union backs First Nations against Northern Gateway
On Thursday, Gavin McGarrigle, the union’s B.C. area director, signed a new solidarity accord on behalf of the union at a Vancouver media event marking the third anniversary of the Save the Fraser Declaration. The declaration, signed by representatives of more than 130 First Nations, aims to ban oil tankers and pipelines from crossing British Columbia or the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon. In a short speech, Mr. McGarrigle said the province needs a “good jobs revolution” with large investments in green jobs, along with significant improvements in public transit and passenger rail networks.
“The Enbridge Northern Gateway Project seeks to massively increase oil exports as if climate change wasn’t real,” he said.
“It proposes to travel through our communities and First Nations with profit as the first motive instead of respecting our environment and social obligations to each other. It creates few jobs in Canada compared to its scale and exports more of our natural resources even faster.”
Unifor represents workers in nearly every sector of the economy, including those in oil and gas, mining and smelting and construction.
Last month, the union released a position paper calling for a Canada-wide moratorium on all new oil and gas fracking, citing concerns over safety and environmental risks as well as a lack of informed consent by First Nations about fracking on native land.
In an interview after the event, Mr. McGarrigle said union members will stand with other opponents in civil disobedience should the project proceed.
Unifor wasn’t the only major union to sign the solidarity accord on Thursday. Glen Hansman, first vice-president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, signed on behalf of the union, which represents 41,000 public school teachers.
“As a union, the BCTF has a long history now of trying to raise awareness about aboriginal issues, the rights of aboriginal peoples and the sort of education that needs to occur to support aboriginal learners in our schools,” Mr. Hansman said in an interview. “Reconciliation has to go way past simply a multi-day event, especially here in B.C. where territory is still largely unceded.”
In September, the BCTF participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Vancouver event, one of seven national events mandated under the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement between former residential school students, First Nations groups and the government of Canada.
Tom Adair, executive director of the B.C. Council of Film Unions, signed the accord as an individual.
“The issues of the First Nations governments have not been sufficiently addressed,” he said. “The issue of carbon, and putting more and more carbon dioxide into the air, which this would facilitate, is not a long-term, good strategy for the human race.”
Other signatories included members of the local tourism industry, health and conservation organizations, Vancouver’s Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr and Vancouver-West End NDP MLA and opposition environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.
B.C.'s natural gas strategy bad economics (audio)
Christy Clark won the last election in part on the promise of a natural gas industry that would create jobs and eliminate the provincial debt. It turns out to be more fantasy than hard economics. Ben Parfitt is a resource policy analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He spoke about B.C.'s liquified natural gas industry at SFU Harbour Centre on November 18.