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More than 75 Alberta environmental regulators now paid by energy industry PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 14:20

By Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal December 23, 2013


More than 75 Alberta environmental regulators now paid by energy industry

The setting sun reflects off a tailings pond behind Syncrude’s oilsands upgrading facility north of Fort McMurray on June 18. The plant converts bitumen extracted from oilsands into synthetic crude oil, which is then piped to southern refineries. Alberta’s oilsands are the third largest proven oil reserve in the world.

Photograph by: Ryan Jackson , Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - More than 75 environment officers who watched over oil industry activities left the provincial environment department this fall, to take higher paying jobs with the new industry-funded Alberta Energy Regulator. Another 75-plus are expected to leave in the spring.

In mid-November, the department also began handing over to the regulator thousands of files on oil industry activity pertaining to the Public Lands Act, according to documents obtained by the Journal.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 14:27
Geothermal energy touted as alternative to Site C PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 21:43

By Erica Fisher

Site C Joint Review Panel members Jocelyn Beaudet, Chair Harry Swain, and James Mattison.
Site C Joint Review Panel members Jocelyn Beaudet, Chair Harry Swain, and James Mattison.Erica Fisher


The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association believes thermal energy stored beneath the Earth’s surface presents

a “cost-effective and low impact” alternative to the Site C dam, as presented at the project’s public hearing in

Fort St. John Tuesday.


Speaking via teleconference, Chair Alison Thompson maintains that B.C. Hydro and the provincial government have

decided that geothermal energy is “inconvenient” and dismiss the idea, while several other countries embrace it.

 She points to the United States and Mexico as being the first and fourth largest producers of geothermal energy,

and notes that Canada has similar North American geology. 

“The same resource that hosts greater than 4,300 Megawatts of geothermal power in Mexico and the U.S.

including Alaska north of us, clearly exists in B.C.,” she explains. “165 projects are being currently developed

in similar geology as B.C. has.” 

B.C. does not currently have any operational geothermal projects, but Thompson claims Canada and B.C.

have the potential to become a “powerhouse” on the world stage. She says the potential exists in three main

areas of the province: near the proposed LNG terminals on the north coast, new mines in northeast B.C.,

and gas projects in the Horn River Basin. 

“The northeast area of B.C. has recorded temperatures – by the oil companies themselves who operate

there – of greater than 140 degree Celsius,” Thompson maintains. “Certainly, this value is not in agreement

with ‘low temperature hydrothermal resources’ that B.C. Hydro has indicated exists in this region.” 

Thompson adds that geothermal energy seems to be overlooked and faces near impossible permitting processes,

when it could only take five to seven years for a greenfield geothermal project to be built. 

The Site C Clean Energy Project public hearing process continues Wednesday at the Pomeroy Hotel with a

general session featuring speakers from Treaty 8 Tribal Association, Steve Thorlakson and Senator Richard Neufeld,

and Area C Director Arthur Hadland.

Lago Agrio: Ecuadoreans can seek Chevron damages in Canada PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 06:40



17 December 2013 


Sign at a Chevron petrol station in Los Angeles, California 9 October 2012
A lower judge had ruled the plaintiffs had no access to assets of Chevron's Canadian subsidiary

Related Stories

An Ecuadorean indigenous group can seek enforcement of a $9.5bn (£5.8bn) judgement against US petrol giant Chevron in the Canadian courts, an Ontario appeals court has ruled.

Ecuadorean courts awarded the damages in 2011 and 2013 after the villagers sued over 18 years of pollution of the Amazon jungle in the Lago Agrio region.

The Moral and Criminal Case Against Canada's Climate Negligence PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 08:51


Taken from a brief submitted to the CBC and select Members of Canadian Parliament

altDoes Canada’s stance on climate change and our current economic development plan constitute moral negligence? (Photo: Tar Sands in Focus)It was several days before media reports and commentary on the havoc caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines finally began to acknowledge a possible connection to anthropogenic climate change. While no single hyper-storm can be positively attributed to human disruption of the global climate system, climate models predict that extreme weather events will increase in frequency and violence. Unprecedented natural maelstroms like Haiyan provide empirical evidence that the models are likely correct.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 08:59
Potentially damaging Jackpine oilsands mine expansion OK'd by Ottawa PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 07 December 2013 16:57


The Canadian Press Posted: Dec 06, 2013 9:04 PM MT Last Updated: Dec 06, 2013




Shell Canada's Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan has received the go-ahead from Ottawa, despite the environment minister's view that it's "likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects." 


In a statement late Friday, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq concluded that the effects from the 100,000-barrel-per-day expansion are "justified in the circumstances."

The project would be located north of Fort McMurray, Alta. The nearby Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has said the project will violate several federal laws covering fisheries and species at risk, as well as treaty rights.

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