By Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
On Monday, January 21st, 2013
The International Energy Agency is warning that shooting past two degrees Celsius average global temperature will have “dire consequences.” And the World Bank is talking about 3.5 degrees of warming as being “devastating.” These are not environmental agencies. They are conservative, economically-oriented institutions. They are “establishment” with a capital E. Their language is increasingly alarmed, and yet nothing happens.
OTTAWA — Faced with uncertainty over its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would link Canada’s oil sands with the American Gulf Coast, TransCanada said on Thursday that it would build a pipeline to eastern Canada.
The pipeline company announced that it would proceed with a $12 billion pipeline that could move up to 1.1 million barrels a day to New Brunswick, to serve a region that now relies on imported crude oil for the overwhelming majority of its supply.
There are warnings the tidal bore in the Bay of Fundy will light up by itself if a plan to dump more than four-million litres of fracking waste water into the ocean goes ahead.
The water, which has some level of naturally occurring radiation in it, is in a holding tank right now, but Atlantic Industrial Services plans to dump that water into the Debert sewer system if it can get approval.
The district manager for the provincial environment department’s Truro office has given the dump the thumbs up, but nothing is official until the Municipality of Colchester says so.
The municipality is holding public hearings on the topic tonight and tomorrow.
There are concerns fracking companies don’t reveal all the chemicals used in their “special sauce” recipe that they use to get the gas out of the ground.
Southwestern Energy (SWN) Resources is suing New Brunswick citizens attempting to protect their land, air, and water from the impacts of fracking by protesting seismic testing. In addition to naming 13 individuals, SWN named “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” as being responsible for costs they are claiming are caused by protestors. This Wednesday in Moncton, Jane Doe will speak out in response to SWN’s suit.
Research is questioning the logic behind the federal government's move to streamline environmental assessments.
After tracking thousands of assessments over a decade, the peer-reviewed findings of Derrick de Kerckhove suggest a great majority of Fisheries Act environmental reviews over the last decade were completed well within recommended timelines.
Nor was there a bottleneck of projects being held up by a clogged review process, he said.
"We didn't find any. Even when the input was high, it seemed to be handled very well."
De Kerckhove, a University of Toronto PhD candidate, analyzed 10 years worth of data from Department of Fisheries and Oceans annual reports on the progress of environmental assessments triggered under the Fisheries Act. That legislation generates more such reviews than almost any other — anywhere from 7,700 to more than 12,000 in a single year.
Halifax, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic welcomes the ban of the import of dangerous fracking waste announced today in Nova Scotia. Last spring, Sierra Club launched a petition calling for the ban, and the NS Liberal Party promised to ban the import of fracking waste in the lead up to the provincial election last September.
“This is a relief for Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian municipalities who feared that we were going to be tasked with dealing with toxic fracking waste in the region,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic, “I am thrilled to see the leadership in this province demonstrate they are taking the threat represented by toxic fracking waste seriously.”
Howie Chong is the new National President of the Sierra Club Canada, and he is in Halifax this week to meet supporters, and to get input and ideas about organization priorities and direction.
He is here to introduce himself to members of the Sierra Club Atlantic, based in Halifax, and to encourage involvement and participation on important regional and national issues including: oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, opposition to fracking, and promoting renewable energy.