Toxic Sludge

Stelmach promise to visit Fort Chipewyan unfulfilled

EDMONTON — Nearly three months after Premier Ed Stelmach publicly promised to visit Fort Chipewyan, he has take no steps to visit the remote Alberta hamlet.

In late October, Stelmach promised to visit the community where some residents insist they are being poisoned by oilsands contaminants.

He made the promise after a group of university students held a press conference to present him with a round-trip ticket.

Stelmach spokesman Jerry Bellikka said Monday that Stelmach has not yet arranged to fly to Fort Chipewyan in part because he has not been invited.

“We haven’t arranged a visit yet,” he said. “We haven’t been invited.”


Read the entire article at the link below.

Tailings ponds to be tackled by oil company collaboration

Canadian Natural Resources, Imperial Oil, Shell, Suncor, Syncrude, Teck Resources and Total E&P Canada all announced on Monday that they're going to begin collaborating on efforts to improve tailings management.

Shell Canada's John Broadhurst says this is an entirely new approach, by the industry, to the issue of tailings.


But Sheila Muxlow with the Sierra Club thinks the move is just a way to save some cash. She says oil companies are using the environment to mask what's really going on. [...]
"It's a bit of a slap in the face, it's a bit of a tokenistic suggestion that (oil companies) think they're doing something, but the turth (sic) is they're not. There may not be benefits to this move, is it going to be to mitigate the harm from toxic waste (near Fort McMurray), or is it being made to reduce (the oil company's) costs." [...]

Oil sands players join forces on tailings cleanup

Canada’s largest oil sands companies are banding together to tackle one of the industry’s most vexing challenges – the cleanup of their giant ponds of toxic mine effluent.

Companies with oil sands mining operations have struck a deal that will see them collaborate on ways to clean up tailings, a problem that has drawn billions of dollars of industry research spending.


Some, however, say the industry needs to do far more than collaborate if it is to decrease the volume of its tailings. With Imperial Oil Ltd.’s Kearl mine under construction, and other mines contemplated by Total SA and Suncor, tailings will likely grow unless the technology can be sorted out first, Sierra Club director John Bennett said.

“Maybe they should stop building new ones until they’re perfected the tailings technology, and until Canada and the U.S. have a plan to control greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.... Read more »

Ad criticized for comparing tailings to yogurt

Honesty in the public debate surrounding oilsands development is what Sierra Club Canada expects.

And it's that trait, John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada, says was missing from a recent Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers advertisement, prompting a complaint to the Advertising Standards Council in October.


Bennett flatly refutes CAPP's reasoning that the yogurt reference was to compare consistency of the two substances, saying the ad said tailings were essentially like yogurt.

"There's no reference in English ads to anything other than that. The intent was not to talk about it being gooey. The intent clearly was to make the tarsands less toxic and less scary."... Read more »

Comparing oil sands waste to yogurt is allowed in Canada

An unusual proxy battle in the green movement’s wider effort to slow Canadian oil sands development is over — and the industry won, more or less.

“The Alberta oil patch has avoided potential embarrassment after Advertising Standards Canada ruled that an advertisement that compared toxic oil sands effluent to yogurt did not mislead viewers,” The Globe and Mail reported on its website Tuesday.

“The Sierra Club of Canada had complained that the ad was a ‘greenwashing’ attempt to untruthfully make the oil sands sound environmentally benign. The ad featured a Suncor Energy Inc. ... employee named Shelley Powell, who in a spot about tailings — a key issue confronting the oil sands — said they are ‘essentially like yogurt,’” the piece adds.... Read more »


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