Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “oilsands”

Obama Can Force Oil Sands to Clean Up Their Act

Keystone XL pipeline now awaits the decision from President Obama for the go ahead.

The pipeline, when completed would carry oil sands heavy crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. It is well documented that the extraction and consumption of the oil would significantly worsen global warming and contribute to increasing overall environmental and ecological damage to a vast part of northern Canada.

Governor of Nebraska Backs Route for Pipeline
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: January 22, 2013

WASHINGTON — The governor of Nebraska on Tuesday approved a revised route through the state for the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up a decision for President Obama that pipeline opponents say will be a crucial test of his intentions on climate change. Read more…

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Rants of a Christian Enviromentalist

I am an environmentalist. I believe all people have a role to play in protecting the environment and the eco-systems we live in. Even more so for us who claim a dedication to Christian principles. We were created by God to be stewards of all He created.

Earth

View from Space

Genesis 1: 28; And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.

It is that word, “DOMINION”, which means REGENCY. God granted us regency in His creation. We, mankind, are to, use the land, the seas and all God has abundantly supplied but, we are to watch over it, take care of it, and return it to Him unsullied. God has asked us to be conservationists, environmentalists, ecologists and take care of this earth. Perhaps, at least in part, it is our failure to look after this earth that the final act of the creation story is to create a new earth, one fit for His Holy Kingdom.

I will admit, I get very judgmental over environment issues, especially towards those whose authority is to look after the affairs of our Country, Province/State, or community. Yes, I am referring to politicians  I live in Alberta, Canada and I realize that even though I am retired, much of the benefits I enjoy come from the resource revenues created by the Oil Sands industry. Some call it the Tar Sands, probably a more fit name but, that is another debate.

The last thing I want in this matter is to have the Oil Sands shut down. That would serve no one. What I would like to see is proper management applied to this resource. Both the Federal and Provincial Governments know the problems with pollution, they have conducted numerous studies, they know the solutions and yet due to heavy lobbying pressure by the oil companies involved, they choose to do nothing environmentally constructive. They boast about the monies the project brings in, they spread economic fear that unnecessary meddling will create economic disaster.

What I don’t understand is why the laws to protect the environment and ecology which are already in place are not enforced over the industries involved with the oil sands.

Several months ago a government authorized study conducted by the Univ. of Alberta confirmed that pollution, directly attributed to oil sands operations, is having a detrimental effect on the environment and the ecology in a wide path, mainly east,(prevailing winds) surrounding the Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo region. These reports were not released to the public and scientists who worked on the report were put under gag order. The report was eventually leaked by a subordinate several weeks later.

I wrote to my Member of Parliament, Blaine Calkins, on this matter and received this reply:

Dear Mr. Tilley,

Thank you for your letter concerning the recent study done by Environment Canada that confirmed the studies done by Dr. Schindler.

As Environment Canada noted in their report, the levels of containments found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development. Consequently, Environment Canada has decided to do further tests in an effort to better understand the levels of contaminants in the Oil Sands area.

“…the levels of contaminants found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development.” Of course they are consistent – they are the same contaminants blown there by winds coming off the oil sands.
In other words; “We will continue to do nothing.”

I also asked him about the ‘Gag Order’ muzzling the UofA scientists, he replied:

With regards to your comments about monitoring reports being kept secret, and scientists being ‘gagged’, it simply isn’t happening. The process of making reports public is not new, and has not been changed by our Government.

OK, Let’s hear from the scientists themselves after the report was leaked. Watch the following news video.

Government Hides Proof of Oil Sands Contamination
http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=4450

Original Air Date: Monday, November 05, 2012
The public is learning Environment Canada knew of oil sands contamination and muzzled its scientists. What fallout will those revelations cause?

We speak with David Schindler, international acclaimed and outspoken environmental biologist from the University of Alberta.

Tar Pit #3

Tar Pit #3

This week a new report was released by Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario This time the report was published directly to major news sources. This report confirms the findings of the previous UofA reports of last November.

Oil sands development polluting Alberta lakes: study 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/oil-sands-development-polluting-alberta-lakes-study/article7014184/

Oil Sands Polluting Area Lakes 
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/393673-report-oilsands-polluting-area-lakes

Oil sands pollution ‘clearly evident’, government-funded study says 
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/07/government-funded-study-concludes-toxic-hydrocarbons-from-oil-sands-pollute-lakes/

Margaret Munro, Postmedia News | Jan 7, 2013

Leading federal and academic scientists have uncovered “compelling” evidence that Alberta’s oil sands operations have been sending toxins into the atmosphere for decades.

Industry’s role as a decades-long contributor of PAHs to oil sands lake ecosystems is now clearly evident
The team has found “striking” increases in contaminants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the bottom of six lakes up to 90 kilometres from the massive oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta.

PAHs began to climb in the lake sediments in the 1970s and are now up to 23 times higher than 1960 levels. It says the increased PAHs coincided with oil sands development and the compounds have a distinct “petrogenic” fingerprint different from PAHs generated by natural phenomenon like fire.

Levels of the toxins have almost tripled since the 1960s in Namur Lake, the most remote lake tested. It is about 90 kilometres northwest of oil sands operations in a provincial park known for its fishing. The PAHs are up to 23 times higher in the other lakes, which are within 35 kilometres of the oil sands operations.

“Given the planned expansion of the oil sands, the trend will likely accelerate in future,” says co-author John Smol, a Canada research chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University.

Government and industry response is; “that many pollutants found in the lakes and rivers of northeastern Alberta are naturally occurring and leached from the bitumen deposits themselves.”

In other words; “We choose to do nothing.”

Chinese Control Oilsands

In a December 10 column, “Nexen sale decision-making seen through different prisms” Andrew Coyne asks:
“Would someone please explain just what it is they think the Chinese are plotting to do to us? Starting with: How does China acquire this death grip on the oilsands in the first place?”

Here is a possible scenario of how China does just that:

The US is in dire financial trouble and much of that is the trillions in debt they owe to and borrowed from China.

Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of PetroChina Co. Ltd. is already in partnership with TransCanada Corp. to build a new $3-billion, 900,000 barrel-a-day Grand Rapids Pipeline System south to service the US market. Couple that with the existing pipelines, supplies the US all the oil they need. This pipeline is a guaranteed “GO” by Harper and co.

In five years, the US, under a Republican administration, will broker a deal with China which will ease the burden of debt China holds over the USA. Why not forgive a large portion of the debt? China will never collect on it anyway. Besides, they need their biggest trade customer to remain fiscally solvent.
Part of that deal is to supply the US with cheap bitumen crude from Canada which will force the barrel price of oil sands crude to below $50.
At this price, Chinese companies will be the only producers who can afford to continue oil sands operations.
In exchange for cheap Canadian oil, China will import crude oil from Alaska, also at a discounted price; better oil, shorter distance.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline through BC is started but never completed. Many investors abandon the oil sands for lack of profitability.
Golden opportunity for China to take over under Harper’s “exceptional circumstances.”
Safety will decrease, pay will decrease, exodus of Canadian workers, Chinese workers brought in as “temporary”.
New energy technology will replace majority of fossil fuels within 20 years, possibly nuclear and thermal.
Over $400 Billion projected costs to clean up after the oil sands bitumen demand runs out in 20 years.
The only promise that the Conservatives will be able to say they kept is the 20 year promise to reduce fossil fuel greenhouse gases.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1095775–aboriginal-groups-stand-against-canadian-oil-pipeline

“A group of First Nations in British Columbia says it will do “whatever means necessary” to stop exports of crude oil from Alberta’s oilsands through their territories — including the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline.

Stop tankers from entering Northern BC waters

Say NO to tankers

The $5.5-billion project, which is currently being assessed by a review panel in Ottawa, now faces yet another public relations setback in its quest to open up a new supply route to Asia.”

The pipeline would move 525,000 barrels a day of oilsands crude 1,177 km from Edmonton to the Pacific port of Kitimat, B.C.
“Access to the Asian market, which is growing very quickly, is extremely important,” said Travis Davies, spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know all the facts about oil production and distribution.  I have thought about energy and environment and these thoughts run through my head.

The Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline could lead to an environment disaster, true. There is a bigger more ominous problem, economic reality. The reality is that Canada imports roughly 60% of its crude oil requirements.

Canada is a net energy exporter, Crude oil, natural gas and coal, 99 percent of its annual oil exports to USA, but, Canada also imports large amounts of these energy products. The fact is its major coal and oil fields are located in Western Canada, mostly in Alberta. The main population and industrial centers are located in Ontario and Quebec. Also many of its oil refineries cannot handle the types of oil produced in Canada.

Canada is being held hostage by the oil industry. Not just Canada – the world. Canada exports near all of Canadian production, money in oil company pockets, and they want to export more, and then import more than half of Canadian needs. Ummm, who does the Tar Sands oil belong to?

If Enbridge can build a pipeline to the Pacific, they can build a pipeline to Ontario. If it means using Tar Sands oil, then update the refineries to do so. They won’t because Canada would become oil independent and would then be in the position to get out of OPEC and have lower crude pricing and energy costs would go down. The oil producing companies would cry.

It is not enough just to extract and export or to extract, refine and export. If the end user is over contributing to global warming, not using the best technology available, the end results will remain the same and the Kyoto Protocol will become of no effect, in actuality it probably already is. Should Canada allow exports to countries with insufficient pollution standards? Canada can no longer play the resource game just for profit. Curbing emissions in Canada is of no account if Canada allows other countries to use Canadian resources and products in environmentally detrimental ways. China and India are the top environment offenders.

Simply put, we cannot allow our environmental obligations to be traded away.

Emphatic NO to exporting oil to Asian countries. Canadian oil for Canadians first. The USA will import all the rest Canada can produce. That is good for Canada, good for the USA. If Canada can help the US in their energy crunch, the global economies will become more stable. That is if the USA has the balls to solving their financial crisis.

Blogs on this topic I am following:
David Suzuki, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and the dollar

The battle lines are drawn, and Northern B.C.’s pristine wilderness is the latest front. With hearings underway into the proposed $5.5-billion, dual 1,172-kilometre Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project to transport bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat and imported condensate to dilute it from the coast back to Alberta, the fossil fuel industry and its supporters have stepped up the rhetoric. Environmentalists and people in towns, rural areas, and First Nations communities in B.C. have lined up in opposition.

SolarIMG – GIC Vulnerability of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Canada

Many Canadians are not happy with the proposed “Northern Gateway” pipeline from Alberta to B.C. and understandably so.[1] Fears of oil leakage, secondary environmental impacts, attacks and other concerns are most definitely reasonable and valid and should be raised. Hats off to all of the people who are expressing their opposition to the plan!

BC Natives fear disastrous oil spill inevitable?

The Gitga’at First Nation has been saying no to the Northern Gateway pipeline project since 2006. The project will bring more than 200 huge tankers annually through the waters next to their tiny community of 160 in Hartley Bay at the entrance to Douglas Channel on B.C.’s northwest coast.
The risks and effects of an oil spill are simply not worth any economic benefits, which the First Nation view as nil, says Marvin Robinson, a spokesman for the community.

Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance

BC Environment Minister admits Gulf of Mexico oil spill raises additional questions about Enbridge Northern Gateway project

Canada’s Faustian Bargain: The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Rhetorical mudslinging has dominated Canadian environmental news this week, with conservative politicians and environmental activists coming to verbal blows in the wake of the commencement of the environmental assessment of the Enbridge Inc. Northern Gateway pipeline.
The proposed pipeline will run from the Albertan Tar Sands to a long protected channel in Kitimat, BC, where the harvested oil will be loaded onto ‘super-tankers’ and transported to Asia. The pipeline project is estimated by Enbridge to generate at approximately $5.5 billion dollars, and is set to span a whopping 1,172 km.

Stop the Gateway Pipeline which will bring Mega Tankers to the BC coast. Oil spills are inevitable.
Dogwood Initiative, Petition
The most effective thing Canadians can do right now would be to sign and share the No Tankers petition. The more people who sign the petition the better able we are to exercise the power of Canadians who stand up for their values.

Stop tankers from entering Northern BC waters

Say NO to tankers

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