Pipelines, Tankers, and Tar Sands

This page is a compilation of our different resources from the web and publications related to supertankers cruising our coast  and the coastal environment.

Ottawa sit-in to protests federal support of oilsands

Environmental groups are hoping to trigger what they call the “largest civil disobedience action in the history of Canada’s climate movement”Monday in Ottawa — a sit-in on Parliament Hill to protest federal government support of Alberta’s oilsands.

“This isn’t about condemning anybody that works in the tarsands or oilsands industry. This is about presenting choices,” said Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema.

The Edmonton-based activist, who plans to be in Ottawa on Monday, said he hopes people do not see the protest as an attack on Alberta, but as a bid for a “clean-energy economy.”

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Federal government scraps PNCIMA funding agreement, NDP cries foul

The Federal government has decided to unilaterally withdraw from a funding agreement meant to provide money for the Pacific North Coast Area Management Initiative (PNCIMA), a process to create a comprehensive plan to manage the environmental and economic needs of the North Coast from the top of the Haida Gwaii to the top of Vancouver Island.

The move was announced in a letter from DFO – which represents the Federal government in the PNCIMA planning process – to other stakeholders. The decision has led the Federal NDP​ and other PNCIMA supporters to accuse the Conservative government of political interference in a program where most of the participants are likely to be opposed to Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

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Conservatives’ promise to restrict bitumen exports falls by wayside

The Harper government has quietly buried a controversial promise to ban bitumen exports to countries that are environmental laggards, as Alberta and the energy industry formalize plans to ship oilsands product to lucrative Asian markets.

One person familiar with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s surprise announcement during the 2008 federal election campaign said the pledge was simply electioneering at the time and was to be “buried and never seen again.”

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Environmentalists are opening a new front in their war on Alberta oil—attacking pipeline projects vital to the industry’s future

But this time, anti-oil sands groups aren’t focusing on the vast open pit mines near Fort McMurray, which one activist memorably compared to J. R. R. Tolkien’s fire-spewing and charcoal-covered realm of Mordor, but on a major pipeline project that the industry needs to move forward with its expansion plans.

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Cohen inquiry points to flawed response to oil spills

The Cohen Commission heard this week that when a spill occurs off British Columbia, the Coast Guard leads the response, with support from Environment Canada. But neither agency has the capacity to assess the impact of contaminants on fish or marine mammals, Peter Ross, a research scientist at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Institute of Ocean Sciences, testified.

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Regarding Barbara Yaffe: An Oil Industry Shill in Journalist’s Clothing

Yaffe’s job is to soften public opinion towards accepting the tar sands and the Enbridge pipelines/tankers scheme. Her articles are nothing but Big Oil infomercials posing as journalism. Enbridge is pouring millions into their manufactured consent PR effort.

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC:  The Great Bear Rainforest – A view from above

“Actually being in the air and seeing the landscape from above put it into perspective. This is what we are trying to save”, said Mike Ridsdale, of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

Concealed under the boreal forests and peat bogs of northeastern Alberta lies the world’s largest deposit of bitumen, an unconventional type of petroleum that is refined to produce crude oil. Known as the dirtiest oil, the tar sands have become a highly coveted source of fuel whose extraction methods are radically changing the natural landscape of the province.

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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC:  Pipeline Through Paradise – Why oil sands, a sunken ferry, and the price of oil in China have the Great Bear Rainforest in an uproar.

(This article will soon appear in the print version of National Geographic with a Spirit Bear on the cover)

The Queen of the North was the pride of the BC Ferries fleet—right up until the night she sank. On March 22, 2006, during a routine run from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, the ferry exited the narrow 45-mile Grenville Channel just past midnight. Then something went wrong. The officer at the helm, distracted by a conversation with another crew member, neglected to turn after leaving the channel, which points like a rifle barrel at the tip of Gil Island. At 12:20 a.m. the ferry’s bow met the island’s rock at a speed of 17.5 knots, ripping a hole in the hull. One hour and 20 minutes later, the Queen came to rest under 1,400 feet of water.

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Canada energy ministers push for export pipelines

“The support that has been expressed for Northern Gateway, particularly comments that it is in the national interest, is alarming given that pipeline has not undergone the federal environmental review yet,” said Gillian McEachern, climate and energy program manager for Environmental Defence.

Even before it started in earnest, numerous green groups criticized the national energy strategy process for being too focused on high-carbon oil sands and shale gas development and not concentrating enough on renewable energy sources.

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