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2014-02-07  |  Janet Eaton

Ros Donald,  30 Jan 2014, 13:00. Photo Credit National Wildlife Federation.

Is the fuel that powers our cars set to get a lot dirtier? After 2020, the European Union is to drop the Fuel Quality Directive, a measure designed to help clean up transport fuels. Environmental and business groups have called the decision a coup for Canada's tar sands industry - but who really engineered it, and who really benefits? The answers may be subtler.

The fight to make fuels cleaner

While the EU's emissions in other sectors are going down, emissions from transport keep growing. The EU has introduced measures to tackle this trend, such as standards for new cars and including aviation in emissions trading.  But it also wants to make sure EU vehicles are using the least polluting fuels.

In 2009, the EU announced the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), which requires a...

2014-02-07  |  Janet Eaton

 By John Dillon,     KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Twenty-five years ago when I first scrutinized the text of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) I warned that the proportionality clause in the energy chapter posed a grave danger to Canadian energy sovereignty. When invoked it would require Canada to make available to U. S. importers the same proportion of our total oil or gas supply as we sold them over the previous three years. That same clause was later incorporated into NAFTA. Mexico wisely negotiated an exemption.

In 2008 I decided to test my concern that the proportionality obligation could actually lead to energy shortages in Canada. In a study entitled Over a Barrel, co- published by the CCPA and the Parkland Institute, Gordon Laxer and I explored three scenarios concerning what would happen if the clause were invoked.

Using data from Statistics Canada for the years 2004-2006, I calculated that our oil exports...

2014-02-07  |  Janet Eaton

Jonathan Stewart, who attended an anti-fracking meeting in the United Church Hall in Stephenville Saturday, signs petitions opposing fracking.
He especially liked the fact that the NDP environment and conservation critic talked about how Lone Pine Resources Inc., a U.S. fracking company registered in Delaware, which wanted to frack for gas under the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, has threatened to sue Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of Quebec's moratorium on fracking.
He said the company is saying this moratorium is violating the oil company's right to frack and it's demanding $250 million in compensation.
In October of 2013, groups such as the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club, For Love of Water (FLOW), Eau Secours!, and AmiEs de la Terre were gathering signatures for a letter to Lone Pine urging the company to drop plans to sue Canada.
It was at that time the groups discovered that Lone Pine had quietly filed...

2014-02-06  |  John Bennett

ACTION ALERT / February 5, 2014

Tell the Senate to Speak Out Against Neonicotinoid Pesticides

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry is now holding hearings on widely-used, bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. The committee has invited beekeepers, grain-farmers, and scientists to present evidence at the hearings.

The Senate Committee will undoubtedly hear a repeat of what the Ontario Bee Health Working Group heard last summer -- that something was wrong and the beekeepers want a moratorium on the prime suspect: neonicotinoid pesticides.

Noenicotinoids are sprayed on almost all the corn and soybean seeds grown in Canada (roughly 1 million bags of corn seed in...

2014-01-29  |  Janet Eaton

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 07:57 PM PST
Statement of Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
"Corporate interests were fiercely lobbying for President Obama to dedicate serious time in this State of the Union speech to pushing Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in order to try to overcome broad congressional and public opposition to both, but instead he made only a passing reference that largely repeated his past statements.
With almost no House Democratic support for Fast Track, a bloc of GOP "no" votes and public opposition making congressional phones ring off the hook, high-profile treatment of the issue was considered necessary to revive any prospect that Fast Track could be passed in this Congress.
"Opposition has been growing to the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Implementing this NAFTA-on-steroids deal would undermine Obama's efforts to battle income inequality. It would be like drilling a hole in...

            

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