Toxic Sludge

Cameron directs attention to oilsands

Last Friday, U.S. satirist Stephen Colbert turned Washington on its ear by testifying before a Congressional subcommittee studying whether migrant farm workers should earn legal rights.

He appeared in character as the faux-conservative talk show host he plays on the Comedy Network which amused some representatives, bemused others and had a whole host of observers asking themselves, what does this television comedian know about migrant farm labour?

After promising to tell the "whole truthiness" and declaring "one day of studying anything makes me an expert," Colbert -- who had been invited by a Democrat committee member -- effectively turned his appearance into a Colbert Report skit: "This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American then sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."... Read more »

Cameron gets first look at Alberta oilsands

FORT MCMURRAY — James Cameron likened the destruction of Brazil's rainforest to the impact of oilsands development on Alberta on Monday.

The Hollywood mogul said the oilsands seem to be on a similar scale to Brazil when it comes to the area of land being used by the energy industry.

"The Belo Monte dam project is a $16-billion project, and it's one of about 60 big hydroelectric dam projects that are planned in the Amazon basin," said the world-famous, Canadian-born director after he landed in Fort McMurray for a tour of the oilsands.

"So it's the same sort of thing in a general sense, which is that you have this resource there, in that case it's energy. But the cost of harvesting it is enormous in terms of the forest."... Read more »

Photographer Edward Burtynsky spins oil as art: photos

Edmonton's new Art Gallery of Alberta has snagged an internationally acclaimed photographer for its first fall exhibition, with a subject near and dear to Albertans' hearts: oil. A collection of 56 photographs by Canada's Edward Burtynsky shows the effects of oil on our lives, from the natural environments altered by its extraction to the cities and suburban sprawl generated around its use. Oil runs until Jan.2nd.... Read more »

Cameron ready for Alberta tour

EDMONTON -- Environmental groups are hoping their message about Alberta's highly talked-about oilsands industry will be heard by a famous Hollywood movie director.

James Cameron, who's directed blockbuster flicks like Avatar and Titanic, will be visiting Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan and Edmonton between Monday and Thursday this week.

The movie director, who has openly criticized the controversial industry, has meetings slated with oil company executives and will be getting tours of oilsands operations. He will also speak with leaders in aboriginal communities in northeastern Alberta.

A Wednesday meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach, however, is still listed tentative, says Jerry Bellikka, a spokesman with the premier's office.... Read more »

Athabasca says revenue to start in 2014

Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. expects to start generating revenue in 2014 when its MacKay River project begins production, the company's chief executive said.

The project, in which Athabasca Oil Sands has a 40 per cent stake, is a joint venture with PetroChina and has the potential to produce 160,000 barrels a day.

The company, which has more than 685,000 hectares of oilsands leases and permits in the Athabasca area, has about six properties in the area, including Hangingstone, Birch, MacKay and Dover West.

Athabasca is looking for more joint-venture partners, mainly for the Birch and Hangingstone projects, said Sveinung Svarte, who has been CEO since the company began operations in 2006.... Read more »


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