EDMONTON— Cutting through rhetoric that so often dominates debate over Canada's oil sands, a new report by a prominent academic group is a comprehensive snapshot of the failings and successes of all the industry's stakeholders and raises hope for a new era of oversight.
The peer-reviewed report, to be published Wednesday by the Royal Society of Canada, takes aim at oil companies, governments and environmental groups alike while recommending steps to improve environmental monitoring in the economically vital industry.... Read more »
CALGARY - Government oversight isn't keeping step with rapid oilsands expansion, and assessments o f new projects haven't properly taken into account disaster scenarios or the overall impact to the environment, say Royal Society of Canada scientists.
There's a need for quicker land reclamation after bitumen has been taken out of the ground, the scientists say in a review of Alberta's oilsands by to be released Wednesday.
Better monitoring of underground water systems and a growing stock of tailings ponds as intense development continues, the report says.
"If we were to stop oilsands mining tomorrow, we would still have an issue that was going to be associated with water -- both from the tailings ponds and from the potential threats on groundwater -- for many decades to come," said University of Guelph professor Glen Van Der Kraak, who specializes in aquatic toxicology.... Read more »
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." [...]
URGENT - Tell The Environment Committee To Pass Bill C-469, The Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights
URGENT - TELL THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE TO PASS BILL C-469, THE CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS
Bill C-469, the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights. is currently before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Unfortunately, this important bill is being stalled in the Committee by some committee members.
Environmental rights are recognized in 170 countries around the world and are enshrined in legislation in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Quebec. Environmental rights should be extended to all Canadians equally.
If you support environmental rights for all Canadians, please take a few minutes to write to the members of the Committee and let them know that you support bill C-469, the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights.
About the Bill... Read more »
The old debate over real versus artificial Christmas trees is one thing, but what about genetically modified trees?
A U.S.-based organization called the Institute of Forest Biotechnology has started talks on using technology to create trees that are easier to grow, yield higher-quality lumber, and are more resistant to disease, insects and climate change.
[...]John Bennett of the Sierra Club of Canada said he supports the idea in principle and is in favour of the incremental pace being proposed by the institute.
... Read more »