Press Clipping: Canada is not ready to unveil already long-delayed rules on curbing greenhouse gas emissions from the Alberta oil sands, the environment minister said on Thursday in comments that could boost U.S. resistance to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. President Barack Obama, who must decide whether to approve TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, said in July that Canada could be doing more to curb emissions. Some politicians in Canada took his remarks as a hint that the President wants to see the Canadian regulations before making a decision on Keystone next year. Green groups want Obama to veto the pipeline, which they say would speed up development of the oil sands and cause Canadian emissions to jump even more.
In the Media
Press Clipping: When I sat down Tuesday night to put some thoughts on paper about allegations of spying on Canadian environmental and pro-democracy groups, I never imagined those musings would end up being read by tens of thousands of people and spawn news coverage across the country. But that’s exactly what happened.
Press Clipping: Canada losing out because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure is an old story. The Chamber of Commerce released a very similar report last February—so essentially their new document is a recycled version of their earlier pamphlet. Last April, I tracked down the underlying logic and the source of all the numbers, and its clear there is no current loss to the Canadian economy because of a lack of pipeline capacity.
Press Clipping: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Association warn that two thirds of proven reserves of fossil fuels must stay in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous global warming. Rising to this challenge, our major trading partners have quickened the pace on emissions reductions. Europe and California have implemented fuel quality directives. U.S. states, such as New York, are developing border taxes to reflect carbon content. China will start regulating large carbon emitters and pricing carbon, and has entered into bilateral discussions on climate change with the U.S. Innovative technologies are unlocking unconventional oil supplies, which are being developed from Poland to Pennsylvania, and major investors are reviewing the risks associated with the oil sands. What if there is a way to grow and diversify the economy, and become a key player in global markets, all while significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions? This is entirely possible if Canada puts a price on carbon and integrates its low carbon technology industry with its extractive, manufacturing and industrial sectors.
Press Clipping: The government already shares weekly security briefings on threats to hydrocarbon infrastructure with oil executives. It has also branded Greenpeace a 'multi-issue security threat.' Canada's Auditor General recently noted the Harper government spent $3 billion on anti-terrorism initiatives, but couldn't explain how the money was actually spent. Accountability is not in fashion in Ottawa these days. I suspect a good whack of the money went into the Communications Security Establishment Canada, an Orwellian organization with a brand new $1-billion building. That's not only obscene, but dangerous. When governments and corporations work together in tandem for their own self-interest, you have fascism, pure and simple."
Press Clipping: American property owners battling to stop energy companies from snaking oil pipelines across their lands need only look to Mayflower, Ark., for a window into what can go wrong when pipelines burst in backyards. Eight months after an ExxonMobil pipeline leaked Canadian oil across an Arkansas subdivision, a cloud of uncertainty looms large over the young families, singles and retirees who chose the affordable, decade-old Northwoods neighborhood to establish roots. Nearly half of them have put their houses up for sale in search of a fresh start they never wanted.
Press Clipping: The International Energy Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other reputable groups say that if we burn all of our fossil fuel reserves, it will tip us into a climate catastrophe. That's why we, on behalf of two of the world's largest pension funds, along with 70 leading investors representing $3 trillion in assets, earlier this fall asked the leaders of 45 of the world's largest fossil fuel companies to assess how their business plans fare in a low-carbon future. It's prudent for investors, especially long term investors such as ourselves, to be asking what plans are in place for dealing with these trends. It's encouraging that many of the companies we have talked with so far are taking our request seriously, while opponents called our request "delusion and wishful thinking”.
Press Clipping: Three decades later, I wonder if Alberta – and Canada – have learned the risks of backing one industry at the expense of others. Exposing the Alberta economy, and to some extent the Canadian economy, to inevitable boom-bust commodity cycles is rather tedious and sporadically inflicts cruel damage on workers, bank loans and Canadian Tire sales. It’s a wonder that the Canadian government has been so gung-ho on the ever-expanding oil sands given the industry’s obvious shortcomings – the environmental damage, the rising potential damage from boom-bust cycles and the creation of a petro currency. It seems like Stephen Harper & Co. have decided that Canada has but one stand-out industry – oil sands – and that all policy will be skewed to work in that industry’s favour.