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The Dirt :: Act on Climate Edition

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - March 27th 2015

Blog Post: In this issue of The Dirt, Canadians want feds to take the lead on improving Canada’s performance on climate change, scientists and academics release policy prescription for shifting Canada to renewables by 2050, and Canadians come out in droves to protest the dangerous powers of Bill C-51.

Climate Impacts, Petrostate Politics

Provincial energy-climate agreement cannot trade climate for tar sands pipelines


Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - March 27th 2015

Blog Post: Environmental groups across Canada today responded to a new pan-provincial energy agreement cautioning that no climate progress can be made if tar sands pipelines are approved. "A pan-provincial climate deal that greenlights tar sands expansion is a complete non-starter to any serious climate discussion," said Mike Hudema of Greenpeace Canada. "The science is very clear that more than 85% of tar sands reserves need to remain in the ground if we want to stabilize the planet. It's time we listened to the science, said no to the pipelines and yes to the green energy that Canadians want."

NEB fight headed to highest court

Karen Mahon | Forest Ethics - March 23rd 2015

Blog Post: A group of landowners, business people, academics, and other concerned Canadians today filed a constitutional challenge with Canada’s highest court over the National Energy Board’s (NEB’s) review of projects like new oil sands pipelines. Their position is that the restrictive rules unfairly limit public participation in the debate and impede their Charter rights. “The NEB's claim that it cannot consider scientific evidence regarding the long-term impacts of the export of bitumen is simply wrong," explained David Martin, legal counsel. "Instead the NEB is making a misguided choice to adopt an unconstitutionally narrow interpretation of its jurisdiction."

IFG Report: Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb

March 20th 2015

Blog Post: Koch Assets in the Tar Sands Trade is a live, interactive mapping tool that identifies Koch investments along the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route and the broader tar sands trade to exploit the third largest fossil fuel reserve in the world. Koch investments in the tar sands industry range from their close to two million acres in Alberta to thousands of miles of pipeline and storage facilities to two Texas refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Petrostate Politics

Does RCMP anti-environmentalist rhetoric make us safer?

Andrew Gage | West Coast Environmental Law - March 18th 2015

Blog Post: If you are an advocate for climate solutions, if you oppose tar sands pipelines and supertankers, or aspire to have a more balanced Canadian energy policy, you may have recently learned that the RCMP characterizes you as part of a harmful “anti-Canadian petroleum movement” made up of “peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists.”Like many other “peaceful activists”, West Coast Environmental Law* was shocked to see our name in a recently released RCMP memo, and by the implication – with absolutely no justification or evidence – that our efforts to safeguard the environment from the impacts of runaway climate change and the threat of oil spills are in some way linked to “violent extremists”.

Climate Impacts, Creating a Low Carbon Future

You won’t believe how easy it is to join us in Quebec!

Editors | Tar Sands Solutions - March 18th 2015

Blog Post: We are excited to have you join us in Quebec City for the April 11th Act On Climate march, which organizers hope will be Canada’s biggest climate rally. Here is critical information to help you get to, and arrange your stay in, Quebec in just a few weeks time.

Air & Water Issues, Spills and Leaks

Alberta’s greatly anticipated tar sands tailings ponds framework falls short


Jennifer Skene | NRDC - March 17th 2015

Blog Post: A new Tailings Management Framework released by the Government Alberta unfortunately enables industry to sidestep taking meaningful action on one of the most pressing environmental issues of tar sands development. For years, Alberta's political leaders have promised to finally address the harmful legacy of the toxic tar sands tailings problem. But this latest framework is not likely to compel industry action to clean up the tailings in a meaningful way, especially given its lack of meaningful enforcement mechanisms.

Air & Water Issues

Government plan fails to protect lower Athabasca River when most needed

March 16th 2015

Blog Post: The lower Athabasca River will continue to be exposed to significant risks under the Surface Water Quantity Management Framework released today by the Government of Alberta. The long-overdue framework is intended to regulate water withdrawals by oilsands operators from the lower Athabasca River and achieves a number of objectives, but provides inadequate protection during the low-flow winter period, the river’s most sensitive time of the year. Instead, the plan gives precedence to water withdrawals of senior oilsands operations during these rare and sensitive low-flow periods.