Blog Post: The Edmonton Journal editorial board has just published an editorial that must read like anethema to tar sands supporters. Entitled "The risks of rushing the oilsands," this opinion piece asks Albertans to think about the intractable environmental problems that tar sands development has not been able to solve, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and toxic tailings lakes. It acknowledges that the promise of technology as a panacea has not played out and that it's risky to allow development to continue without it, and then suggests that it's time to slow things down until we have the solutions in hand. This may sound like common sense, but it is a position that has been missing from the debate about the future of Alberta's bitumen reserves, so bravo for the Edmonton Journal to put it one the editorial page for all Canadians to read.
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The Latest Buzz
Press Clipping: A new activist group wants to get in on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline debate and has started with a warning that oil spills and pipeline ruptures can devalue property, according to a report issued by the organization that calls itself Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED). The group claims it is not opposed to pipeline development, according to a spokeswoman, but its members feel that potential risks from the Trans Mountain pipeline’s expansion have not been discussed well enough. “The economic benefits are being discussed pretty well, Kinder Morgan is doing a pretty good job of making that case,” Liz McDowell said. “We just want to look at the full (picture of potential risk) in this case.”
Visual: It’s been seven long years since Canada committed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector, including tar sands producers. And so far Canada has done exactly nothing. Really? And now you want to pipe your filthy tar sands oil through America with no emissions requirements? Really?
Publication: A new report from Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), "How do pipeline spills impact property values?", reveals that an oil spill in Burrard Inlet or along BC’s south coast has the potential to negatively impact property values and cost jobs in real estate and property development, in areas both adjacent to spill sites as well as the surrounding region. The research concludes that oil spills have direct and lasting impacts on property values. In particular, the report finds that: In eight documented cases, properties directly impacted by spills were significantly devalued; nearby properties lost up to 8 per cent of their value; where homes relied on well water and the groundwater was contaminated, the value loss was permanent.
Press Clipping: Christopher Ragan, associate professor of economics at McGill University and the David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute, argues that Harper’s distaste for a carbon tax is not only preventing Canada from achieving its GHG-reduction goals, it’s also an expensive ruse that defies the logic of the market-based policies most economists and environmentalists support.
Press Clipping: Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., an outspoken advocate of the Keystone XL pipeline, isn't thrilled to hear that prominent Democratic strategist John Podesta has formally joined President Obama's inner circle at the White House. Podesta's think tank, the Center for American Progress, has been battling the proposed pipeline, and Podesta himself has been critical of the project for years. "It creates a concern," Hoeven told National Journal in the Capitol. "The White House has delayed this for now more than five years. It looks to me if they can find a way to turn it down, that is what they are going to do."
Press Clipping: At first glance, I was all, "Awww cute animals! Charming landscape!" But when I heard what TransCanada is planning to build right through that charming landscape, my reaction was more [angst]. Be sure to stick around past 0:46 to ... hear about the farmers' inspiring story of resistance. Seriously though. It's fantastic.