West-east pipeline part 2

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MegB
West-east pipeline part 2

Continued from here.

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Drinking water measures could be in place for months due to oil spill: official

Communities affected by an oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River can expect precautionary drinking water measures to be in place for weeks or even months, says a Saskatchewan government official.

"It's not going to be a short-term event," Sam Ferris with Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency said Monday.

"It could go on for some time."

Two cities downstream from the Husky Energy pipeline leak near Maidstone, Sask., have stopped drawing water from the river.

North Battleford shut down its intake on Friday and is relying on a limited supply from wells.

Officials say the oily plume reached Prince Albert, a city of 35,000 people, on Monday....

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Muskoday First Nation declares emergency over water supply

After four days of being shut off from its normal supply of water due to an oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River, the Muskoday First Nation has declared a state of emergency.

The move was announced Wednesday afternoon when officials said the "discontinued supply of water" required "prompt action."

About 800 band members live on the reserve, which is about 15 kilometres south of Prince Albert, Sask. The community is one of several in the area which is connected to a rural water utility that is normally supplied from Prince Albert's water treatment plant....

 

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Environmentalists target Atlantic oilsands tanker ban to block TransCanada pipeline

Major Canadian and U.S. environmental groups say Atlantic whales would be threatened by increased oil tanker traffic and are aiming for tanker restrictions as part of their latest effort to block a major pipeline proposed by energy giant TransCanada Corp.

quote:

Fin and Right Whales among species at risk

Pipeline and oil companies say the project would be a safe way to help the industry expand and create jobs. Environmentalists from U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Greenpeace and Canadian groups such as Quebec-based Équiterre and Toronto-based Environmental Defence disagree, arguing that environmental risks are too high for sensitive coastal areas and iconic species such as the North Atlantic Right Whale and the Fin Whale.

They say that the new pipeline and resulting tanker traffic would increase the risk of catastrophic spills, tanker-animal collisions or deafining ocean noise that could harm these species.

"We have been talking to marine mammal experts, who are very worried," said Steven Guilbeault, a senior director at Équiterre.

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Editorials Good luck selling pipelines now

quote:

The news from Maidstone was not reassuring. Husky learned it was spilling oil when people saw the oil slick on the surface of the North Saskatchewan. By then, 200,000 or 250,000 litres had spilled, the company estimated, a small spill by industry standards. Enbridge, by comparison, spilled 20,000 barrels (about 3 million litres) into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010.

Even so, Husky’s containment booms were not able to stop the oil from moving eastward in the powerful current of the North Saskatchewan. North Battleford switched to ground water sources and told its people to reduce water consumption. Prince Albert laid a 30 kilometre hose across country to the South Saskatchewan River, closed all laundromats and car-washes and told its people to stop watering their lawns.

Kinder-Morgan and TransCanada have to persuade provincial governments, First Nations and towns along their proposed routes their pipelines will be different from Husky’s line at Maidstone and Enbridge’s line in Michigan. They won’t rupture and they won’t leak but if they do, the companies will know about it right away and turn off the flow immediately. Even if the oil keeps spilling, they know how to deploy containment booms and prevent the oil from spreading.

This case will be difficult to make to people who are paying attention to Husky’s experience in Maidstone.

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Spills happening at a rate of about 2 per day in Saskatchewan: researcher

quote:

University of Regina researcher Emily Eaton runs an independent website that tracks oil impact.  Eaton said that there have been 8,000 spills in Saskatchewan since 2006 (about 17 per cent involved Husky Energy).

Eaton notes that the spills relate to oil, salt water, natural gas and other fluids used by the oil industry.

Smaller pipelines, she said, are the provincial government's responsibility.

"The province should and could do a lot more," said Eaton.

Eaton said the province does not have enough inspectors....

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First Nations in Manitoba keep wary eye on Saskatchewan oil spill

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs calls for boycott of Husky Energy

First Nations in Manitoba are keeping a nervous eye on a massive slick that's slowly spreading eastward on the North Saskatchewan River, after a pipeline owned by Husky Energy leaked more than 200,000 litres of oil on July 21.

That spill, which originated near Maidstone, Sask. has already passed through several First Nation communities, including the Muskoday First Nation, which declared a state of emergency after being shut off from its normal water supply for four days.

"The waters of the North Saskatchewan River eventually flow into the Saskatchewan River, which flows into Manitoba near the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and into Lake Winnipeg at Grand Rapids near the Chemawawin and Misipawistik Cree Nations," stated Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson in a press release...

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Pipeline whistleblower calls for public inquiry after Husky alters oil spill report

Former pipeline engineer and whistleblower Evan Vokes is calling for a public inquiry into the operations and engineering of all Canadian oil and gas companies after Husky Energy altered a report about its response to the Saskatchewan oil spill.

Vokes, who blew the whistle on TransCanada in 2012, said Canadians deserve answers about why pipelines are leaking and blowing up, despite industry claims that its infrastructure is safe. He said an inquiry could help shed light on some of the mysteries, much like the recent public hearings in Quebec held to root out corruption in the construction industry.

Calgary-based Husky Energy initially reported it had detected the pipeline leak that spilled around 1,572 barrels of oil into the North Saskatchewan River about 14 hours before responding to the disaster and informing provincial authorities. On Thursday, it submitted a new report saying it only discovered the leak about 30 minutes before it notified the provincial regulator.

quote:

Vokes has long alleged that many energy companies are cutting corners on engineering rules, putting public safety at risk. The federal regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB) confirmed in 2014 that several of his allegations of violations at TransCanada were valid.

"This is a very big deal," Vokes said, referring to the latest incident affecting Saskatchewan. "If everything was in place that they talk about (to ensure safety) then how did it happen? Obviously someone is not telling the truth. It didn't just happen, it wasn't magical."

Pondering

Premier Notley, who has been helping the industry make its case for pipeline construction, needs to break some bad news to the industry. It is shooting itself in the foot and destroying its own argument. Until the industry improves the performance of its existing networks, it is wasting its breath asking the public to believe it has changed its ways from the bad old days of leaky pipelines.

Any environmental review that approves a pipeline today is corrupt because oil companies have shown themselves to be untrustworthy in their assurances of safety. Aside from that they are apparently failing to clean up their closed wells. Any reputable review of pipeline proposals must include the company's history and current compliance with all environmental regulations in all aspects of their business.

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Husky Energy Spill in Saskatchewan Exposes Major Flaws in Pipeline Monitoring and Cleanup

quote:

Could Be Months Before North Battleford and Prince Albert Can Draw Water

So here we are.

Some 100,000 litres of the spill have been collected so far. Nobody seems to know how much of the oil has mixed with sediment in the river and sunk. The spill has travelled about 500 km downstream. It may be months before North Battleford and Prince Albert can draw water from the river again; the latter just built a 30 km pipeline to transport water from the South Saskatchewan River.

But we are supposed to trust that pipeline companies will do it better next time.

And that’s maybe the greatest irony. In the days after the spill, industry defenders argued that the spill was tiny. Equivalent to one-tenth of an Olympic size swimming pool. Just a blip on the radar of the amount of oil that’s safely transported across the continent every day.

Yet Husky hasn’t been able to contain it; in fact, it’s completely flubbed the task, instead attempting to spread misinformation about when the spill actually happened.

The provincial government has delivered no meaningful public response besides an assurance that pipelines are better than rail for transporting oil. And as usual, Indigenous communities — many of whose members continue to rely on the land and waters for sustenance — are bearing the brunt of the damages.

Unionist

[url=http://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/martine-ouellet-wants-to-block-en... Ouellet wants to block Energy East pipeline if elected[/url]

Quote:
If elected leader of the Parti Québécois next October, and then premier of Quebec in 2018, the Vachon MP will hear every possible option to ensure that the pipeline does not pass through Quebec. [...]

It was already known that Ouellet, a candidate for the succession of Pierre Karl Péladeau, had huge reservations about the project, which she considers too risky for the environment.

In a press release on Tuesday, she went a step further by saying that if she runs the government, it will block the oil transportation project in Alberta by pipeline, one of the most polluting fuels on the planet, in her estimation.

She made it an issue of health and safety, fearing serious consequences, notably for drinking water, in case of breakage or leakage. 

According to her, Quebec has several ways of preventing Energy East from passing through Quebec territory, such as not granting a permit, or refusing changes to agricultural zoning. 

“It is not true that Quebec will be the fall guy,” with this project, she argued in a phone interview.

 

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Hydro-Québec chose sidelines at pipeline hearings. Then its lawyer joined TransCanada

Critics are accusing Quebec’s powerhouse Crown utility of bending over backwards for the oil industry.

Why, they ask, would Hydro-Québec sit on the sidelines during upcoming federal hearings to review of a huge pipeline project when the utility itself warned that TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline could threaten Quebec's electricity supply?

The controversy has been inflamed by revelations that one of Hydro-Québec's lawyers jumped to TransCanada and news that Ontario's Hydro One requested to be a full participant in the hearings. Critics say that Hydro-Québec is abandoning its responsibility to both landowners and customers and they question whether the process has been rigged to get the pipeline approved.

The criticism comes following the release of formal correspondence from both Hydro One in Ontario and Hydro-Québec to the federal regulator. The letters from the utility companies, posted on the website of Canada's National Energy Board, warned that Calgary-based TransCanada Corp’s continent-sized pipeline project could disrupt electricity supplies for millions of people in central Canada.

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen said that Hydro-Québec's decision is puzzling.

"I’m astounded that they are not an intervenor," Eliesen told National Observer in an interview. "The interests of any utility and particular, the number one utility in the province of Quebec is so significant with respect to major energy infrastructure projects… You would have thought that... Hydro-Québec would ensure that they would look after their ratepayers' interests.".....

Unionist

Wow! Great find, epaulo (and Mike de Souza). I haven't seen or heard this reported yet by any media here. This is extremely bad news, and I wonder who's behind this.

 

jjuares

epaulo13 wrote:

Hydro-Québec chose sidelines at pipeline hearings. Then its lawyer joined TransCanada

Critics are accusing Quebec’s powerhouse Crown utility of bending over backwards for the oil industry.

Why, they ask, would Hydro-Québec sit on the sidelines during upcoming federal hearings to review of a huge pipeline project when the utility itself warned that TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline could threaten Quebec's electricity supply?

The controversy has been inflamed by revelations that one of Hydro-Québec's lawyers jumped to TransCanada and news that Ontario's Hydro One requested to be a full participant in the hearings. Critics say that Hydro-Québec is abandoning its responsibility to both landowners and customers and they question whether the process has been rigged to get the pipeline approved.

The criticism comes following the release of formal correspondence from both Hydro One in Ontario and Hydro-Québec to the federal regulator. The letters from the utility companies, posted on the website of Canada's National Energy Board, warned that Calgary-based TransCanada Corp’s continent-sized pipeline project could disrupt electricity supplies for millions of people in central Canada.

Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen said that Hydro-Québec's decision is puzzling.

"I’m astounded that they are not an intervenor," Eliesen told National Observer in an interview. "The interests of any utility and particular, the number one utility in the province of Quebec is so significant with respect to major energy infrastructure projects… You would have thought that... Hydro-Québec would ensure that they would look after their ratepayers' interests.".....


Thanks for the update. This is great news. This pipeline may get built yet.

Pondering

jjuares wrote:
epaulo13 wrote:

Hydro-Québec chose sidelines at pipeline hearings. Then its lawyer joined TransCanada

Critics are accusing Quebec’s powerhouse Crown utility of bending over backwards for the oil industry.

Thanks for the update. This is great news. This pipeline may get built yet.

The good news is that they have been caught. The other good news is that it doesn't matter if all the governments approve the project the people of Quebec will not allow it to go through because it is a really phenomenally bad idea. After what is going on in Saskatchewan it boggles the mind that you think EE or any of the pipelines through BC will be accepted by the people of BC or Quebec. If this were up to politicians the pipelines would have been built during Harper's reign.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Wow! Great find, epaulo (and Mike de Souza). I haven't seen or heard this reported yet by any media here. This is extremely bad news, and I wonder who's behind this.

..txs unionist. de souza seem to have some great connections and he really digs for his stories. i'm seriously conscidering subscribing to the national observer.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Not only Charest. Energy East panel held private meetings with Quebec business leaders

It wasn't just former Quebec premier Jean Charest who met privately with the National Energy Board chairman, panelists and other federal officials during a series of controversial meetings last year to chat about the Energy East pipeline.

Documents released to National Observer by the NEB show that the federal energy regulator also met with prominent Montreal business leaders about the pipeline review in January 2015. The NEB, a federal court and law enforcement agency, is not supposed to engage in these types of discussions to avoid compromising the integrity and fairness of federal hearings.

The bombshell revelations come from internal emails and notes released by the NEB this week that prompted it to apologize for making false and misleading statements in July about the meetings. The NEB had told National Observer last month that its representatives had not engaged in any discussions about TransCanada Corp’s 4,500-kilometre Energy East pipeline project during its trip to Montreal....

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NDP calls on lobbying czar to expand Charest pipeline probe

Scathing new revelations have prompted federal New Democrats to call for an expanded probe into former premier Jean Charest’s private discussions with pipeline regulators.

NDP ethics critic Alexandre Boulerice sent a new letter this week asking the federal lobbying commissioner to examine exactly what happened in January 2015, when Charest met with five representatives of the National Energy Board, including two who are now sitting on a three-member panel reviewing TransCanada Corp’s Energy East pipeline project.

His calls for an expanded inquiry are based on new evidence uncovered last week by National Observer.

At the time of the meeting, Charest was under contract with TransCanada as a consultant, but he was not registered as a lobbyist. Both he and the NEB have denied that any lobbying took place during the meeting, held at the Montreal offices of Charest's law firm, McCarthy Tétrault.

quote:

Shepherd's office has said she takes all allegations seriously. But she has declined to confirm whether she is investigating the Charest meeting with the NEB explaining that all investigations are confidential. Earlier this year, her office dismissed allegations that Charest had inappropriately attempted to arrange a meeting for TransCanada with the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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There was another oil pipeline spill in Saskatchewan this week

Another, smaller, oil pipeline spill took place in Saskatchewan this week. 

Tuesday night, the province got word that Crescent Point Energy, the largest energy producer in Saskatchewan, had a release of approximately 100 cubic metres of emulsion from a pipeline near Pennant, about 45 kilometres northwest of Swift Current. 

“Recovery of the oil has taken place,” Laurie Pushor, deputy minister of the economy, said Wednesday. 

Provincial employees were monitoring the cleanup and the company has filed an initial incident report with the government.

“It’s pretty well cleaned up at this point, it was a relatively small, very contained spill,” said Neil Smith, chief operating officer of Crescent Point, on Thursday. 

According to him, the spill took place in a farmer’s canola field near a stagnant slough.

“There is no wildlife threatened, no drinking water threatened, no possibility of it moving toward anything like that,” said Smith, echoing similar comments made by Pushor. 

It was another company operating in the same area that discovered the spill.

“They gave us the heads up,” said Smith....

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Worse Than Keystone XL? TransCanada's Terrifying "Plan B"

The pipeline giant TransCanada, stymied in its attempt to drive Keystone XL through America's heartland, is facing renewed opposition to its "new and equally misguided proposal" to build the Energy East pipeline across Canada and ship tar sands oil via tankers along the U.S. East Coast to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In partnership with a number of Canadian and U.S. environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)—a major player in the fight to defeat Keystone XL—on Tuesday released a new report outlining how Energy East would "effectively create a waterborne tar sands pipeline with hundreds of new oil tankers traversing the Atlantic coastline, making vast areas of the Eastern Seaboard vulnerable to a dangerous tar sands spill."...

 

Pondering

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/gerard-montpetit/ezra-levant-energy-east_b_...

Mr. Levant's enthusiastic promotion of Energy East notwithstanding, the mayors of the Greater Montreal area are ethically required to protect the water supply from a possible oil spill upstream from its water intakes. In July, the city of Prince Albert in Saskatchewan felt the effects of a drinking water advisory caused by a leaky pipeline. In Montreal, it's not just 35,000 citizens that would be affected, but nearly four million; and there is no alternate supply of water as in Prince Albert.

That's about half the population of Quebec.  Energy East will not go through Quebec because it's a really stupid idea and the 81 mayors know it.

Occasionally I hear the rhetoric that this is a federal decision that Quebec does not have the power to interfere with. While legally that may be true from a practical perspective it is not. The pipeline will not go through without the support of the people of Quebec. The people of Quebec have no reason to accept it. This is the province that put a moratorium on fracking because of the threat to our water.

 

NorthReport

Did you see the crashing employment numbers for Canada Canadians need jobs

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/four-major-trade-unions-back-energ...

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:
Did you see the crashing employment numbers for Canada Canadians need jobs
">http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/four-major-trade-unions-back-energ...

Four U.S. unions say that Canadians need jobs?

We definitely need to employ Canadian construction workers, by building a wall at the border.

Here's one of the aptly-named "union bosses":

Quote:

The irony that major trade unions -- a movement vilified by the former Harper government -- are now advocating for major resource infrastructure that was a top priority of the federal Conservatives is not lost on Mancinelli.

In an interview, the union boss laughed off the political paradox.

"Let me put it this way: it's vital also to the NDP government in Alberta," Mancinelli said of the pipeline.

"It all depends on what you're after. What we're after is continued jobs for our members, so it's really not a matter of who's in power or who we support politically. It's more to do with the jobs."

I'm a dedicated trade unionist, but these 4 U.S. unions should seriously fuck off and die.

 

NorthReport

Those are Canadian jobs for Canadians so let's not be silly here

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:
Those are Canadian jobs for Canadians so let's not be silly here

I don't care. Would rather see them on the dole. Sorry for being silly. I also want to eliminate jobs of Canadians building armored cars for Saudi Arabia. And that's just the start.

There's lots of work to be done in Alberta, and elsewhere, without building tar sands pipelines. But if Rachel Notley and her oil baron friends really really want to, more power to them. Just send them through wherever you live. Or straight down across the Alberta-U.S. border. Not here. Keep them the fuck away from my home.

Or do I get a say in what shit passes by my home?

Jobs are highly overrated.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canadian military official fears pipeline will lead to "disaster of epic proportions"

Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) has serious concerns that a major pipeline project proposed by Calgary-based energy company TransCanada Corp. will lead to a "disaster of epic proportions," reported Radio-Canada on Tuesday, based on a series of internal emails.

The Department also doubts whether the company has the capacity to clean up in the event of a disaster, the French-language public broadcaster reported.

The report noted that the pipeline's proposed route would go near a half dozen Canadian Forces bases as well as cutting right through a base in Petawawa, to the northwest of Ottawa. But the emails, obtained by Radio-Canada through federal access to information legislation, indicated that the DND officials were having trouble getting answers from the company in response to questions

The concerns raised by the military add on to other concerns raised by environmentalists, First Nations leaders and dozens of mayors along the pipeline's proposed 4,500 kilometre route. If approved, Energy East would have the capacity to ship more than 1.1 million barrels per day of oil from Alberta to New Brunswick....

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Oppose the Energy East Pipeline

Energy East 101, a four-minute handimation gives a comprehensive background on the controversial Energy East pipeline proposed by TransCanada.

The video is narrated in English by Maude Barlow, author and national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

 

La face cachée d'Énergie Est

And in French by Quebec-based activist Steven Guilbeault from Equiterre.

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Idle No More demonstrators gather at Ralph Goodale's office

An Idle No More demonstrator says she wants to know MP Ralph Goodale's stance on renewable energy after the Husky pipeline breach into the North Saskatchewan River. 

Nancy Greyeyes was among a group of around five who carried signs and drummed outside Goodale's Regina office Wednesday. 

She said she was frustrated after the river, which she calls home, was contaminated by oil and other materials in the spill. 

"It broke my heart to have to tell my granddaughter, 'don't touch that water, no you can't get in that water' when any other time we would go to the river and my kids and my grandkids could just go and play."....

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Three dozen groups call for suspension of Energy East hearings, independent inquiry

Three dozen advocacy groups across Canada are calling for an immediate suspension of federal hearings reviewing the Energy East pipeline project and a public inquiry into the actions of the national energy regulator.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, the groups, including Greenpeace Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, Nature Québec, and the Council of Canadians, urged the government to intervene over what is becoming known as the Charest affair....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the doc is just over 17min long.

New Documentary Exposes Enbridge Line 5

A compelling new documentary was released today that scrutinizes the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. It is a must-watch for anyone concerned about keeping oil out of the Great Lakes.

Motherboard correspondent Spencer Chumbley went to Michigan to investigate the two degrading oil pipelines, and the research is alarming. If just one of the pipelines ruptured, it would result in a spill of 1.5 million gallons of oil. University of Michigan research scientist Dave Schwab says, “I can’t imagine another place in the Great Lakes where it’d be more devastating to have an oil spill.” At more than 62 years old, this pipeline is way past its expiration date.

motherboard-documentary-tn.png

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New allegations of bias over Charest meeting shake TransCanada pipeline hearings

For the second time in less than a month, two members of a federal panel reviewing the biggest pipeline ever proposed in Canada are facing a legal challenge calling on them to step aside because they appear to be biased.

The two members of the country’s pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board, Jacques Gauthier and Lyne Mercier, met privately with former Quebec premier Jean Charest and stakeholders intervening in a review of the Energy East project — a 4,500-kilometre pipeline that, if approved, would ship up to 1.1 million barrels of oil per day between Alberta and New Brunswick.

Since Charest, now a lawyer at the McCarthy Tétrault firm, was working as a consultant for the project proponent, Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., at the time of the meeting on Jan. 15, 2015, opponents of the project say the discussion never should have taken place.

Motions could disrupt Energy East hearings

The legal challenge raises questions about whether Gauthier used a personal email account to contact Charest and conduct official business of the NEB. It also calls for Gauthier and Mercier's to recuse themselves from the ongoing review of Energy East. Public hearings on the proposed project began earlier this month in New Brunswick and were scheduled to continue next week in Quebec but now face a potential disruption.

The NEB has powers of a federal court and its members, like judges, must avoid taking actions that would show bias, such as meeting privately with one of the parties involved in a matter under review.

The new legal challenge, launched by Canadian environmental law firm Ecojustice on behalf of an Ontario group opposed to Energy East, is the second one to request Gauthier and Mercier’s removal from the panel in the wake of revelations about the NEB’s private meetings uncovered by National Observer. It follows a similar motion introduced by a Montreal lawyer, Dominique Neuman, representing environmentalists from Quebec with Stratégies Énergétiques and the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, that also requested the reassignment of the NEB’s chief executive, Peter Watson, who participated in the meetings....

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Concerned citizens form Kisiskatchewan Water Alliance Network after Husky oil spill

A month after a Husky Energy Inc. pipeline failed, spilling at least 200,000 litres of heavy crude near and into the North Saskatchewan River, activists, environmentalists and organizations have teamed up to create a new water advocacy group. 

“Water is life. No water, no life — it’s that simple ” said Emil Bell, a Canoe Lake First Nation elder whose weeklong hunger strike protesting the July 20 spill led to the formation of the Kisiskatchewan Water Alliance Network (KWAN).

The alliance — Kisiskatchewan is the Plains Cree name for the North Saskatchewan River — is intended to bring together organizations under the banner of activism, and lobby both government and industry for better environmental protection.

Bell’s hunger strike ended Aug. 12. Tyrone Tootoosis, who hosted the 75-year-old elder in a tipi on his farm north of Duck Lake, told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that the goal has shifted from raising awareness to taking action.

“It seems like some of the people are in this apathetic state of complacency — can’t seem to wake up,” Bell said Monday, echoing Tootoosis’s words. “People gotta start taking it seriously, this disaster.”

 

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First Nation with poisoned waters feels abandoned after Husky oil spill

A First Nations community in Saskatchewan is feeling abandoned with poisoned waters in the wake of a major pipeline spill that has leaked massive amounts of oil and other toxins onto its territory.

The devastating impacts that the James Smith Cree Nation observed this week on wildlife, nearly 300 kilometres away from the source of a Husky Energy pipeline spill, are coming to light as the Calgary-based oil company dismissed allegations that it hired an industry-friendly consulting firm to assist with water testing in order to downplay the disaster.

Husky has been under fire since one of its pipelines failed early on July 21, releasing up to 1,570 barrels — roughly 250,000 litres — of crude oil and other toxins into the North Saskatchewan River, a drinking water source for thousands of Canadians.

The disaster prompted emergency water restrictions in several municipalities, killed more than 140 animals, and is the subject of federal and provincial investigation.

The James Smith Cree Nation, a community of 1,600 people about 80 kilometres east of Prince Albert, has not been impressed by Husky's response. Chief Wally Burns said the provincial government has sent officials to test the water, but his own community is now running out of funds to pursue its own response to the disaster.

“Husky hasn't come to the table and they failed to help," said Burns in an interview with National Observer. "That’s the way I see it. And yet it’s their problem. I’m just here to protect my people, the future generations to come, so that they can have a good life.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

quote:

The consulting firm is part of Husky's technical working group charged with determining "current and ongoing risks to aquatic life," along with various engineers, toxicologists, and environmental and public health specialists. The group's collective analysis will help inform final recommendations from the Saskatchewan and federal government as a result of the spill, and will also be considered by water security experts, biologists, chemists, and environmental protection officers. ​

Critics say the use of the U.S. consulting firm is particularly troubling given that Husky has declined to provide the public with a detailed breakdown of the methodology used to collect more than 1,000 water samples from the North Saskatchewan River, including how long after the spill they were taken, how badly they flunked government drinking water safety standards, and what proportion of the samples were taken at varying river depths as the crude oil began to sink.

quote:

"Fox guarding the chicken coop"

In 2010, the New York Times published a scathing article raising questions about the objectivity of Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH), a science-based environmental consulting firm headquartered in Arkansas. The company rose to prominence in its field after analyzing test results for large energy corporations during a 2005 Hurricane Katrina-related oil spill in Louisiana and a flood of coal ash in central Tennessee in 2008, among other toxic accidents.

But as the firm was contracted by BP to provide analysis during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Times reported a "troubling pattern" revealing that CTEH has regularly failed to release a complete portfolio of data from its studies, which tends works in its client's favour.

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NEB bans critics from speaking out about accusations of bias at Montreal hearings

Canada's National Energy Board says it won't allow critics to speak out about accusations of bias against its panelists during hearings next week in Montreal, despite a month of explosive revelations about alleged improprieties and conflicts of interest at the federal pipeline regulator.

Lawyers representing environmental groups in Quebec and Ontario demanded this month that Jacques Gauthier and Lyne Mercier recuse themselves from the proceedings because they allegedly broke NEB rules, in January 2015, when they discussed the pipeline project during private meetings with former Quebec premier Jean Charest and other stakeholders. Charest was working as a consultant for Energy East pipeline proponent TransCanada Corp. at the time of the meeting with the NEB panelists and was invited by Gauthier specifically to discuss the project....

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Montreal mayor, PQ leader call for emergency suspension of Energy East hearings

“As president of the CMM, and mayor of Montreal, with what I see now, we need to suspend the process and pay special attention to it,” the mayor explained in French.

The CMM is an umbrella group representing the 82 municipalities of the Montreal region, and the group’s mayors joined Coderre in opposing the pipeline this past January.

Coderre went further today, joining environmental groups and citizens in questioning the fitness of two of the board’s three commissioners to sit in judgement on the project.

“On Monday, the elephant in the room is going to be the question: Are these people fit to serve as commissioners?”

quote:

“This is a clear sign that Trudeau needs to step up,” argued Patrick Bonin, climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace in a telephone interview with Ricochet.

“Trudeau promised during the election campaign to reform the NEB. He said the NEB had no credibility and he promised to bring back the impartiality of the process. They’ve been adding layers, but the core of the process is rotten. We’re still operating under the same system Harper put in place.”

Unionist

I'm so shocked that the police are called to assault protestors and protect pipelines.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/neb-hearings-energy-east-protest-...'s Energy East hearings in Montreal cancelled after protesters storm room[/url]

Quote:

Three protesters were arrested, said Montreal police Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant.

Two men, aged 35 and 44, could face charges of obstruction and assault of a peace officer, while a 29-year-old woman could face a charge of obstruction of a peace officer.

But the Liberal government defends freedom of expression:

Quote:

News of the cancellation reverberated across the country, with federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr telling an Edmonton business crowd he's concerned protesters were able to shut down today's hearing.

"Not everyone's going to agree. But everyone should have a right to express themselves, and that's a fundamental Canadian value," he said.

Shoving dollars up the backsides of the oil barons is a "fundamental Canadian value", according to this government.

I'm so proud of people standing up to say "NO". This project will be stopped.

 

Unionist

[url=https://ricochet.media/en/1361/neb-indefinitely-suspends-energy-east-hea... indefinitely suspends Energy East hearings in Montreal[/url]

Quote:
As soon as Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, an erstwhile populist, joined his traditional arch-enemies — protesters — in calling for the National Energy Board’s hearings on the Energy East pipeline to be suspended, you had a feeling the Montreal hearings were limping along on borrowed time.

Tonight, the axe finally fell. Shortly after 7 p.m. EDT, Radio-Canada reported in French that the hearings on the Energy East pipeline proposal would be suspended indefinitely.

In a statement posted on its website, the National Energy Board blamed "a violent disruption in the hearing room this morning which threatened the security of everyone involved in the panel session" for the decision to postpone tomorrow's hearings. The board promised to "provide more information tomorrow about how it will hear from Montreal intervenors." At this time it remains unclear if the regulatory body will attempt to hold more hearings in Montreal.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

[url=https://ricochet.media/en/1361/neb-indefinitely-suspends-energy-east-hea... indefinitely suspends Energy East hearings in Montreal[/url]

Quote:
As soon as Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, an erstwhile populist, joined his traditional arch-enemies — protesters — in calling for the National Energy Board’s hearings on the Energy East pipeline to be suspended, you had a feeling the Montreal hearings were limping along on borrowed time.

Tonight, the axe finally fell. Shortly after 7 p.m. EDT, Radio-Canada reported in French that the hearings on the Energy East pipeline proposal would be suspended indefinitely.

In a statement posted on its website, the National Energy Board blamed "a violent disruption in the hearing room this morning which threatened the security of everyone involved in the panel session" for the decision to postpone tomorrow's hearings. The board promised to "provide more information tomorrow about how it will hear from Montreal intervenors." At this time it remains unclear if the regulatory body will attempt to hold more hearings in Montreal.

From the same article:

But that may not be enough to staunch the bleeding. For many Quebecers, nothing less than a complete overhaul of the NEB will be able to restore its credibility.

Nothing less than the NEB turning down EE will be able to restore its credibility. It will never be in the interests of Quebec (or Canada) to allow it through.

People no longer buy the logic that what is good for business is good for people.

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Wait until Monday, Husky tells oil-impacted First Nation

When Husky Energy officials showed up more than 40 minutes late to an emergency meeting with the James Smith Cree Nation, the band members thought it was rude.

When an unknown advisor was sent instead of the company's own manager of aboriginal and community relations, the elders though it was "appalling." But when a Husky official told the entire Indigenous community — whose territory may be poisoned by its catastrophic oil spill — to wait until Monday for answers, it was more than Chief Wally Burns could handle.

"In my heart, I think this meeting was just a waste of my time," he told National Observer, frustrated after a two-hour consultation with Husky Energy on Thursday evening. “You know the sad thing about it? We can’t wait until Monday because the river is going to come up four feet, and when it goes down it will have environmental impacts.”

Since early August, the James Smith Cree Nation has found foam and oil washed up on the shores of the North Saskatchewan River, which runs right through its territory in the heart of the province. Dead crayfish litter its river banks, and all of the summer wildlife — butterflies, grasshoppers, frogs, and more — have disappeared.

The chiefs are certain the damage spawns from Husky's devastating pipeline leak on July 21, which spilled more than 200,000 litres (roughly 1,570 barrels) into the North Saskatchewan River, prompting emergency water restrictions in several municipalities and killing more than 140 animals. But the First Nation has already depleted its $17,000 budget for flood mitigation on its own spill response, including independent water quality testing and the deployment of booms....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

With echoes of Wounded Knee, tribes mount prairie occupation to block North Dakota pipeline

quote:

Yet the protesters say they are creating something very different – new resistance against what they say is a seemingly endless number of pipelines, export terminals and rail lines that would transport fossil fuels across or near tribal reservations, risking pollution to air, water and land.

“Every time there’s a project of this magnitude, so the nation can benefit, there’s a cost,” Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, who was among those arrested, said in an interview. “That cost is born by tribal nations.”

Archambault and other native leaders have been caught off guard by the support they have received. What began with a handful of natives establishing a prayer camp along the river this spring has now drawn international environmental groups and prompted Hollywood celebrities, including Susan Sarandon and Shailene Woodley, to join them, whether here or in a protest last week in Washington, D.C., or on social media.

“Inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Leonardo DiCaprio posted on Twitter this week.

Lawyers from Earthjustice are representing the Standing Rock Sioux in a legal effort to stop construction of the pipeline. They claim that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Historic Preservation Act when it approved the project and that a more stringent environmental review should be done. They say the pipeline and its construction would damage ancestral sites of the Standing Rock Sioux and put the tribe’s water supply at risk.

On Thursday, nearly three dozen environmental groups wrote to President Obama, who visited the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in 2014 with Michelle Obama, saying the Corps approved the project using a fast-track process, known as permit 12, that was inadequate given its size and the many sensitive areas it would cross.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

No good options left for Energy East hearings

The Energy East pipeline hearings are in shambles. The National Energy Board has suspended the hearings until it decides whether panel members should step down over accusations of bias arising from National Observer’s investigation into the Charest affair.

On Wednesday, the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador called for the Energy East process to be shut down, setting the stage for a full confrontation between the feds and aboriginal peoples if the pipeline proposal proceeds.

Even the normally pro-pipeline editors of the Globe and Mail have called for the panelists involved in the Charest affair to be removed. But that’s almost certainly not enough to stop the bleeding. It’s the NEB itself that will decide what to do with its panelists. And the head of the NEB attended the private meetings in person.

quote:

This week’s meltdown comes at an extremely awkward juncture. The federal government has recognized that the pipeline regulator is broken and is in the midst of a process to “modernize” its mandate and structure. But the NEB is simultaneously in the midst of evaluating the biggest pipeline proposal in the country’s history.

Modernizing the NEB after the Energy East process seems a classic case of closing the barn door too late. Even a modified version of the current process appears destined for massive confrontation with First Nations as well as civil society in Quebec and beyond....

NorthReport
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Nice pro-oil puff piece in the Nazi Post. Thanks for sharing. 

NorthReport

It's only a matter of time for the energy industry to switch over to renewables but in the meantime I think more than a few Canadians want the jobs my hunch is the NEB hearings will soon be back on track if not already and that eventually the pipeline will go ahead

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NorthReport wrote:

It's only a matter of time for the energy industry to switch over to renewables but in the meantime I think more than a few Canadians want the jobs

There is that false dichotomy again. What Canadians need is massive capital expenditure in renewables. There are lots of jobs for workers in that scenario however our oil and gas oligarchy controls our capital and they are not willing to invest in alternatives to their planet destroying industry. You seem to think that we should just be bison and plunge over the cliff because the rich assholes and their media friends keep driving us in that direction.

NorthReport

It's the end of the world - typical left negativity
And what nonsense as the oil and gas industry giants are already moving into renewables if you bother to actually check out the facts
We don't need an equivalent to Fox News on the Left

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NorthReport wrote:

It's the end of the world - typical left negativity

So you don't believe that climate change is going to devastate the planet. Keep watching Fox and reading the Nazi Post. They seem to agree with your head in the sand views.

Pondering

NorthReport wrote:
It's the end of the world - typical left negativity And what nonsense as the oil and gas industry giants are already moving into renewables if you bother to actually check out the facts We don't need an equivalent to Fox News on the Left

It certainly seems you have fallen victim to propaganda:

NorthReport wrote:
It's only a matter of time for the energy industry to switch over to renewables but in the meantime I think more than a few Canadians want the jobs my hunch is the NEB hearings will soon be back on track if not already and that eventually the pipeline will go ahead

What "Canadians" want is immaterial. BC, Quebec, and Indigenous peoples will not accept pipelines for any number of jobs most of which would be temporary. It doesn't matter what the federal government says these pipelines will be stopped not because of climate change but because of the threat leaky pipelines pose to the land and water they cross. The oil industry doesn't even pretend their pipes won't leak anymore.

Pondering

NorthReport wrote:
It's the end of the world - typical left negativity And what nonsense as the oil and gas industry giants are already moving into renewables if you bother to actually check out the facts We don't need an equivalent to Fox News on the Left

Is that anything like the dire warnings from the oil industry that if we don't let them expand expotentially the Canadian economy will be ruined?

NorthReport

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