Forests and Biodiversity
OCTOBER 7, 2010 EDMONTON — The Joint Review Panel should not approve TOTAL’s Joslyn North tar sands mine, said Sierra Club Prairie, in its final submissions today at the ongoing hearings. After days of expert testimony and cross-examination, Total’s proponents were unable to deny the negative environmental impacts of their new mine proposal. The evidence presented by NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen pertaining to climate change impacts, Petr Cizek pertaining to the gaps in accounting for cumulative negative effects, and Dr. Bill Donahue regarding water contamination were particularly condemning.... Read more »
Two Calgarians and one Ontario aboriginal will help decide the economic future of coastal B.C. They've been appointed to assess one of the most controversial energy projects in the province's history.
Their recommendations could determine whether federal policymakers approve plans by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to build a pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast, and then ship fossil fuels on supertankers to Asia. The proposal carries huge environmental risks. It also revives a fiery economic debate.
How do you develop a pristine eco-system? Or do you develop it at all?... Read more »
Drew Zieglgansberger politely shows off as he tours visitors around Cenovus Energy Inc.' s Christina Lake oil sands project, an operation the industry believes will define the future of energy developments in northern Alberta.
He challenges them to spot seismic lines that cut never-ending swaths out of boreal forest, which are there but harder to spot from the ground now that their paths are jagged and narrower than in the past. He boasts how the wooden mats his company uses for machinery roads when installing pipelines reduce environmental destruction. He points out dirt bridges that serve as wildlife crossings built over suspended snakes of pipeline.
Christina Lake, after all, is essentially a drilling project, rather than a strip mine.... Read more »
Standing on the lip of Suncor Energy's Millennium mine, the vista can take your breath away.
Fifty to 100 metres below, seven giant shovels positioned around the gaping, 15-square-kilometre pit fill a parade of 400-tonne trucks, each carrying the equivalent of 200 barrels of bitumen.
It's the kind of scene that makes dramatic photos: a surface mine before reclamation, a barren, rocky landscape interlaced with haul roads.
And it's an example of the image that shocked Hollywood director James Cameron into calling the oilsands a "black eye" on Canada's environmental record before his trip to the area this week.
But starting next year, the scene will begin to change as a river of sand begins to fill the mine from the outer circle, a virtual doughnut of material moving toward the centre.... Read more »
The day Hollywood heavyweight James Cameron came to Alberta for his oilsands tour, members of the European Parliament also had Alberta's resource on their agenda.
MPs in Brussels were debating a motion to classify the oilsands as a high-emissions fuel in the EU's fuel quality directive that promotes use of greener energy.
Ten days earlier, a new photo exhibit, called Tarnished Earth, opened on the banks of the Thames in London, showing the massive open-pit mines, tailings ponds and effect on native lands.
This new anti-oilsands campaign is sponsored by The Cooperative, a U.K. group of businesses, including banks, pharmacies and grocery stories, that is committed to European goals of reducing carbon emissions, spokesman Colin Baines said.
They want to halt expansion of the oilsands and move into renewable energy as part of the solution to avoid runaway climate change, Baines said from Manchester.... Read more »