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Julia Kilpatrick
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February 2012


The path to improved oilsands monitoring: Pembina’s role


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The path to improved oilsands monitoring: Pembina’s role

The governments of Canada and Alberta recently announced a long-overdue joint implementation plan to monitor the environmental impacts of oilsands development. The announcement met with cautiously optimistic responses as critics welcomed the move to collect better data on oilsands impacts, but highlighted the need for independent governance of the program, and stressed that the new data must be used to drive decision-making about the pace and scale of oilsands development.

Interactive timeline: Pembina's contribution to the debate over oilsands monitoring

Click to view interactive timeline

Collecting more data alone won’t reduce any of the impacts to land, air, water or the health of people and species in the area, but we found the recent steps to improve oilsands monitoring encouraging.  Reflecting back on the many years the Pembina Institute has spent drawing attention to need for better data to inform science-based limits to oilsands expansion, the new monitoring plan is evidence we are making progress.

Read more.



Responsible Action? An assessment of Alberta's greenhouse gas policies

Alberta’s current climate change policies will deliver less than one-third of the greenhouse gas reductions the Government of Alberta has committed to. In the most comprehensive assessment of Alberta’s policies to date, Responsible Action? outlines the weaknesses of the province’s current approach and demonstrates how current policies could be strengthened to enable the province to meet its climate targets.

View more recent Pembina Institute publications online.


With over 1000 views each, these blogs were among our most popular of 2011.

Ottawa faces crucial test in the fight against coal

"Ethical oil" argument attempts to camouflage serious problems in the oilsands

What to look for in a new Toronto transit plan

Cancelling the Green Energy Act would have little effect on Ontario electricity prices: author of new report explains results

Fact: Green energy is good for Ontario


Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency policy at the Pembina Institute, explains why Canada needs more political support behind expanding cleaner energy options:

Whether it is the Keystone XL pipeline, the Northern Gateway pipeline or securing an export market in China, the oil sands have dominated much of the recent energy discussions in Canada. What might surprise many is that Canada is quietly emerging as a renewable energy leader, but it will take the same political focus currently being put toward oilsands to ensure we retain and grow the jobs that are being created in the country's emerging clean energy sector."

Read the full op-ed. Published in the Financial Post, February 10, 2012.


Jennifer Grant and Nathan Lemphers with the Pembina Institute’s oilsands program gave a tour of the Athabasca oilsands to German filmmakers Stefan Aust and Claus Richter of Agenda Media. The footage was shown in a two-part documentary on world oil issues, Das Blut der Welt (Blood of the World), that aired on German television channel ZDF in November 2011 to an estimated 1 million viewers.

The film is currently available on YouTube: Part I, Part II with Grant and Lemphers.

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