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BP oil spill: Not an argument to ramp up oilsands production

The Pembina Institute's Simon Dyer lays out the case against the oilsands as a "green" alternative to offshore drilling.

It's been more than two months now that oil from BP's blown out Deepwater Horizon rig has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. A man-made disaster of epic proportions, some people are now claiming that it makes Alberta's landlocked oilsands look safe in comparison. In fact, that statement couldn't be further from the truth.

Posted June 28, 2010 by AEN

AEN members react to Syncrude duck death verdict

AEN members weighed in on Friday's guilty verdict in the Syncrude ducks case. Both Sierra Club Canada and Ecojustice applauded the verdict, suggesting that the verdict further confirms the need to eliminate the toxic tailings ponds. The Pembina Institute's Simon Dyer, while calling the verdict "significant" and "positive", raises questions about the deterrent value and impact of the verdict in the broader context of the oil sands tailings ponds:

Since the incident, the amount of tailings (the toxic liquid waste produced by the oil sands extraction process) has steadily increased in volume by 200 million litres, or 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools, every day to now cover an area of 170 km2. It raises the question: Did the ducks die in vain?

Posted June 28, 2010 by AEN

ELC on Environmental Bill of Rights and proposed Wastewater Regulations

The Environmental Law Centre posts on a couple of recent developments. Adam Driedzic posts on Bill C-469: An Act to establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, which recently passed second reading in the House of Commons.

Laura Bowman comments on proposed wastewater regulations under the Fisheries Act.

There is no assurance from regulators that public health and the environment will be adequately protected while municipalities take 10-30 years to comply.  These timelines are not consistent with those ordered by the courts on the rare occasions when municipalities have been charged and convicted.

Posted June 22, 2010 by AEN

The lowdown on Alberta's Wetlands Policy

Water Matters posts a quick look at and a fact sheet on the leaked Draft Wetlands Policy for Alberta.

Imagine wetlands as a savings account for Albertans that stores carbon and pays compound interest by storing, purifying, and filtering water. According to a leaked draft obtained by the Sierra Club, Albertans may lose the benefits of maintaining wetlands because under the Government of Alberta's draft wetlands policy, Albertans not industry would pay the cost of restoring wetlands.

Posted June 9, 2010 by AEN

June is Bike Month in Edmonton

June is Bike Month in Edmonton!  Join in all the fun at countless events including bike movie nights, bike to work breakfasts, salons, rides and of course the Bikeology Festival on Saturday June 19th.  Visit http://www.bikeology.ca for all event listings.

Posted June 7, 2010 by AEN

New federal climate plan admits minimal action on emissions

Matthew Bramley, Climate Change Director of the Pembina Institute, critiques Environment Canada's recently released annual Climate Change Plan:

Sadly, this report confirms that the Harper government is neither implementing nor planning to implement any policies to substantially reduce Canada's greenhouse gas pollution. In the face of urgent calls for action coming from the world's most authoritative scientific bodies and ambitious policies in some of Canada's peer countries, this shows an astonishing failure to grasp what's at stake.

Posted June 3, 2010 by AEN

EBC Bikes to the Symphony

Kicking off Bike Month in the City of Edmonton, 50 members of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters rode to the June 1 performance of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Posted June 3, 2010 by AEN

Bill C-311 the Climate Change Accountability Act: action or aspiration?

The Environmental Law Centre's Laura Bowman writes that the Climate Change Accountability Act suffers from some of the same "problematic legal issues" that led to the failure of the earlier Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. In the case of Friends of the Earth v. Canada, (2008 FC 1183, (T.D.) appeal dismissed 2009 FCA 297) a Federal Court found that the earlier act, unenforceable and, in Bowman's words, "too general in nature to have the true force of law". Bowman argues that:

Parliamentarians and activists need to be bolder in addressing climate change, by putting forward specific measures instead of emission targets without any means of achieving them.

And that:

Bill C-311, riding on a wave of political apathy, represents a failure to take risks on real measures.  Targets are the ends, but legislators need to be prepared to provide the means, and soon.

 

Posted June 3, 2010 by AEN

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