Water

Government Fiction Vs. Tar Sand Facts

This PDF document provides quotes which show misinformation and blatant government deceit around tar sands issues, such as the following quote:

“My scientists are telling me that the amount of compounds that can be detected in the Athabasca River at this point in time are not a concern and are of insignificant levels...The fact remains that there are naturally occurring substances in the water. And if we had never set foot in the region those kinds of results would still be there.”
– Rob Renner

Download the PDF here to read the misinformationa and the truth side by side.

Thanks to Greenpeace and all the quote providers for putting this together.

The Week In Review

A Time For Ethics

With Alberta Environment taking well over two years to charge Suncor for the storm water runoff incident, it reveals a half-hearted approach and bias by the Albertan government to conceal how the interests of tar sands corporations trump the need for action in the public interest.

The Albertan government needs to show accountability and transparency to the public in their actions by supporting independent monitoring of tar sands operations and tailing ponds, and rescind the policy that allows companies to police themselves.... Read more »

Alberta charges Suncor for waste-water violations

CALGARY -- The government of the Canadian province of Alberta said Thursday it has laid nine charges against Suncor Energy Inc, alleging the company failed to properly manage storm water runoff at a construction site in northern Alberta’s oil sands in May 2008.

Alberta said in a release that the company did not follow a water-management plan after storm water, a mix of water and dirt from the Voyageur upgrader construction site flowed into the Athabasca River.

Suncor, which could not be immediately reached for comment, is also alleged to have provided misleading information to Alberta’s environment department about the runoff.

The charges will be heard in a Fort McMurray, Alberta, court on Nov. 3. They carry a total maximum fine of $500,000.

Major conservation push afoot for oilsands region

CALGARY — Public consultations will begin next month on a sweeping plan for Alberta's oilsands region that could see 20 per cent or more of the landscape set aside for conservation purposes, government officials say.

"There will be a change in the acreage that's under conservation," Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight said Thursday.

In question is an area the government calls the Lower Athabasca and encompasses the northeastern part of the province, including Fort McMurray, the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Lac La Biche and Bonnyville.

Knight said he hopes cabinet will approve a legally binding plan for the region early in the new year. The plan is supposed to include details about where development is allowed to occur and what lands are protected.

But there is no doubt major conflicts will flare.... Read more »

Getting off oil a moral issue, top U.S. politician says

OTTAWA — Getting off oil and fighting climate change is a moral issue, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Canadian environmentalists and aboriginal leaders on Thursday.

In a private meeting hosted at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, the stakeholders said Pelosi listened carefully to their warnings about the impact of development in the Alberta oilsands, and assured them that energy and climate issues were a priority for the U.S. Government.

The comments follow a Wednesday night dinner that the U.S. officials hosted for several Canadian premiers and federal cabinet ministers.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said he also felt reassured after the dinner that the U.S. would not completely turn away from Canadian energy exports.... Read more »

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