Atmosphere & Energy

Sierra Club Canada Calls for a Moratorium on Offshore Oil Drilling

OTTAWA--Sierra Club Canada is calling on the National Energy Board to declare a moratorium on all offshore oil drilling in Canada after the BP disaster off the coast of Louisiana continues to devastate the region. Oil and gas companies, including BP, are currently pushing for an Arctic rule change that would allow offshore oil drilling without drilling relief wells.

“The oil spill in the Gulf is a catastrophe,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.  “Canada should fully understand the causes of the explosion in the Gulf and the failure of the clean up before allowing any more drilling in Canadian waters. In the meantime a moratorium should be put in place.”
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Syncrude conviction could unleash flood of prosecutions: lawyer

ST. ALBERT — A conviction on federal and provincial charges stemming from the deaths of 1,600 ducks on a tailings pond could unleash a flood of private prosecutions against oilsands companies, Syncrude Canada's lawyer said Thursday, after a judge rejected his motion to dismiss the case.

Robert White told reporters the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act makes tailings ponds illegal, so a conviction could open the door to environmental groups laying multiple private charges.

"If we're convicted because we have a tailings pond ... there's nothing to prevent Sierra or Greenpeace or anybody else from filing a prosecution," White said.... Read more »

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Biodegradable bags: a load of rubbish?

We shop, we throw things out. For the most part, we put it all in bags. So it makes sense to make a greener bag. But making sense of greener bags can make you feel ... well, bagged.

As biodegradable bags have hit the market, consumers have also been hit by confusing information. Because all bags aren’t created equal. Some bag manufacturers have been sued for making eco-claims that were not true, while some municipalities ban compostable bags because not all biodegradable bags are compostable … leaving consumers confused about which bags actually benefit the environment.

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Earth Day Special: Carbon trading no cure-all

Of all the systems pitched as environmental panaceas, few seem to be as mired in controversy and confusion as carbon trading.

At its core, carbon trading is an attempt to use market economics to reduce the world's output of carbon dioxide, one of the leading greenhouse gases that has been linked in scientific research to climate change.

Carbon trading, also known as carbon offsetting or a cap-and-trade system, allows companies and governments that produce a lot of carbon dioxide to mitigate the noxious impact of their activities by paying other companies and governments to reduce theirs by a corresponding amount.

It sounds great in theory, but detractors say it's riddled with inconsistencies in practice.

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