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Oil Sands Environmental Coalition calls on panel to reject Total oil sands mine application

Project not in public interest due to mounting environmental effects, flawed environmental assessment and missed government deadlines for environmental protection

27 Aug 2010

CALGARY, AB — The Oil Sands Environmental Coalition — composed of the Pembina Institute, the Toxics Watch Society of Alberta and the Fort McMurray Environmental Association, and represented by Ecojustice — today filed a submission calling on the Joint Review Panel to reject Total E&P Canada's Joslyn North Mine Project application due to significant environmental impacts, a deficient environmental assessment and insufficient progress on government regulations to address oil s Read more »

Posted August 27, 2010 by AEN

Environmental groups challenge Syncrude tailings plan approvals

ERCB acted contrary to the law in approving tailings plans, groups say

24 Aug 2010

CALGARY – The Energy Resources Conservation Board’s approval of Syncrude’s tailings management plan is unlawful and must be revoked immediately, Ecojustice said today.

Ecojustice, acting on behalf of the Pembina Institute and Water Matters, has filed an application (see attached) with the ERCB requesting approval be withdrawn until management plans are brought in line with ERCB’s tailings management directive. Read more »

Posted August 24, 2010 by AEN

Environmental groups echo First Nations call for caribou protection

Ecojustice files application for emergency protection, is prepared to go to court for caribou

17 Aug 2010

CALGARY — Three environmental groups have joined with four Alberta First Nations to urge the federal environment minister to provide emergency protection for caribou herds in northeastern Alberta, Ecojustice said today. Read more »

Posted August 17, 2010 by AEN

Pembina and Water Matters React: Noncompliance with tailings Directive 074 a growing concern

11 Aug 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA — Simon Dyer, oil sands program director for the Pembina Institute, and Joe Obad, associate director of Water Matters, responded to today's announcement that the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has approved Imperial Oil’s Kearl oil sands tailings plan:

“While the ERCB has rejected certain elements of Imperial’s deficient approach to addressing tailings (the toxic liquid waste produced by oil sands mining operations), the approval of the plan is troubling,” Dyer noted, adding, “since it does not appear to be compliant with Directive 074 until eight years from now (2018).”

"It seems like environmental compliance remains flexible in Alberta, which should be a concern to all Albertans and Canadians,” Obad said. “Directive 074 was a meaningful step taken by the government to reduce toxic tailings, and now we have companies negotiating their way through extensions and exceptions of various kinds.”

"Imperial Kearl is a new project that received regulatory approval in 2007. Given how far Imperial is from implementing a plan to address its tailings waste, it raises the question: Why did the ERCB approve such a deficient project in the first place?” Dyer wondered. “The bottom line is, we need to clean up existing tailings lakes at a much faster pace and halt new oil sands approvals until successful tailings reclamation has actually been demonstrated.”

For more information contact:

Joe Obad, Associate Director
Water Matters
Cell: 403-322-3937 | Email: joe [at] water-matters [dot] org

Simon Dyer, Director, Oil Sands Program
The Pembina Institute
Cell: 403-322-3937 | Email: simond [at] pembina [dot] org

Posted August 13, 2010 by AEN

Groups weigh in on Alberta's Oil Sands PR Campaign

As the Alberta government ramps up its oil sands public relations campaign, AEN member groups weigh in, and call on the government to focus on action rather than advertising. The Pembina Institute's Danielle Droitsch suggests that Alberta should pay heed to the mistakes made by BP and direct its energies towards aggressive action rather than public relations:

In the case of oil sands, public relations will go only so far to countering a growing image problem. It will likely take a dramatic gesture as suggested by the premier's council for the public in both Canada and the U.S. to take notice.

John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada, suggests that:

If the Alberta government really wants to change public perception it will take a lot more than an ad campaign and a website. Actions speak louder than words.

Posted August 5, 2010 by AEN

The truth about tailings

The Pembina Institute's Jennifer Grant sets the record straight on some facts in Pembina's recent report, Northern Lifeblood: Empowering Northern Leaders to Protect the Mackenzie River Basin from Oil Sands Risks.

Downplaying, or ignoring unresolved tailings risks is not helpful at a time we need stronger policies and more publicly available information to inform responsible management.

Posted August 5, 2010 by AEN

Pembina Briefing Note: Canadian Oil Sands and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Facts in Perspective

This briefing note outlines key information about greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's oil sands today and in the future. Recent attention to the issue of greenhouse gases in Canada and the U.S. prompted the Pembina Institute to outline key issues in more detail. Read more »

Posted August 5, 2010 by AEN

First in-depth analysis finds federal greenhouse gas regulations may have little or no effect

29 Jul 2010

OTTAWA, ON —Proposed federal regulations to cut emissions from cars and trucks may have little or no effect, according to the first in-depth analysis of the regulations, conducted by the Pembina Institute. Read more »

Posted July 29, 2010 by AEN

Capital Power and broken promises

The Pembina Institute's Chris Severson-Baker posts on Capital Power's application to renege on a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions at their Genesee 3 coal-fired power plant. The commitment was part of the original approval to build the power plant.

…allowing companies to renege on environmental commitments made at public hearings once projects are operating would be set a dangerous precedent and completely undermine the credibility of the Alberta approvals process.

Read more »

Posted July 23, 2010 by AEN

Lack of tailings dam transparency highlights increased risk to downstream communities

21 Jul 2010

YELLOWKNIFE, N.W.T. – Two weeks after a parliamentary committee quietly cancelled its report on water and oilsands pollution, a new report reveals that oilsands development continues to create risks for communities downstream. Read more »

Posted July 21, 2010 by AEN

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