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Even when rules exist for managing the environmental impacts of oilsands development, there is no guarantee they will be enforced.
In its rush to build new projects and ramp up production, the oilsands industry is driving an unfamiliar road with its foot jammed on the gas pedal — regardless of what turns or hazards may lie ahead.
Why public engagement in the oilsands regulatory process matters
Jennifer Grant, oilsands director, weighs in on the Government of Alberta’s decision to bar Pembina from participating in the regulatory process for a proposed in situ oilsands project.
No one can deny that oilsands development has brought significant economic benefit. But increased dependence on a volatile natural resource sector carries some risks to Canada as well.
This month, Ontario prudently decided that new nuclear reactors will not be part of the province’s forthcoming long-term energy plan. As Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli explained, “It is not wise to spend billions and billions of dollars on new nuclear when that power is not needed.”
That said, the government still appears to be committed to refurbishing the 10 existing reactors at the Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations. Is that a wise investment?
As Stephen Harper’s natural resources minister, Joe Oliver already spends a lot of time going to bat for Canada’s oil and gas industry.
But at a meeting of Canadian energy ministers in Yellowknife last month, Minister Oliver took his support to another level. There, he made an eloquent pitch that developing our resources is a new kind of nation-building and an opportunity we are obliged to seize.
We have reached a “pivotal moment” in our history, he said, one where “the easy assumptions of the past are giving way to new realities.” I think he’s entirely right about that — but not at all in the way he meant it.
One short decade ago, the oilsands were scarcely known of outside of Alberta. That seems impossible to imagine today.
If you’re looking for a case study about the environmental management of oilsands development, take a look at how water from the Athabasca River is used in oilsands extraction.
This case study tells the story of how our governments are failing to balance the needs of the river with the demands of a thirsty industry, though no single company or project is to blame.
It’s hard to believe five years have passed since 1600 hundred ducks died after landing on a Syncrude tailings pond. The incident made headlines around the world, and kicked off an era of heightened international scrutiny and concerns related to the environmental impacts of oilsands development. And for good reason — the tailings waste produced from oilsands mining contains a host of toxins and seeps as much as 11 million litres per day of wastewater into the surrounding environment. Tailings reclamation is a financially risky and uncertain prospect.
Amid debates on energy development, Nova Scotia has quietly emerged as a Canadian leader when it comes to reducing energy waste. As discussions about a national energy strategy continue across Canada, more eyes will turn to Nova Scotia for ways to reduce pollution, cut energy costs and drive economic development.
This summer’s deluge of extreme weather seems to have pushed Canadians over an important threshold: climate change is becoming widely accepted as part of the explanation for what we’re seeing outside.
It pays to be a good neighbour, especially when your neighbour is also your number one customer. Albertans who want to maintain a robust oilsands sector in the province would be wise to heed that advice.
Clare Demerse, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, unpacks the implications of U.S. President Barack Obama's latest speech for Canada and the Keystone XL pipeline.
We all know that climate change is impacting the arctic, but what about the people who live there? For the remote communities in Northern Canada and Alaska that rely on a steady supply of fuel and supplies, sustainability is a matter of survival. One area where the impacts of climate change are being felt the most is energy.
Clare Demerse, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, explains why Canada's reluctance to take leadership on climate policy makes Keystone XL a tough sell.
While last week was the one-year anniversary of the Redford Government, it’s also an anniversary of sorts for the Pembina Institute. Two years ago, we released a road map toward responsible oilsands development that identified 19 key areas where improved environmental rules and management practices need to be strengthened.
In a new report released today, the Pembina Institute laid out a set of recommendations for effective regulation on the oil and gas sector’s greenhouse gas pollution.
The resurgence of vocal opposition in the United States to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline this spring has left many on this side of the border wondering what all the fuss is about.
And it is surprising, considering the approval of pipeline infrastructure that would have been considered routine a decade ago has become a flashpoint for public action in support of stronger climate action.
The social, economic and environmental malady of gridlock in greater Toronto can be cured. This week, the Toronto Region Board of Trade prescribed a treatment to raise the $2 billion a year needed to fund the Big Move regional transportation plan: a combination of small regional sales and gasoline taxes, a commercial parking levy, and paid express lanes.
The release of a controversial U.S. State Department environmental impact assessment late last week signalled a new phase in the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. The already-tense process looks set to get even more fraught as the technical phase starts to wrap up and the decision shifts squarely into the political arena.
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