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Mon, 2013-01-07 10:14Ashley Arden
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W&T Offshore Fined $1 Million for Using Coffee Filters to Doctor Water Samples

W&T Offshore Oil & Gas Logo

Bizarre new details of just how W&T Offshore Oil & Gas contractors doctored water samples came to light last Thursday when W&T officially pled guilty to criminal charges under the Clean Water Act for tampering with water samples and failing to report a spill back in 2009 off of their Ewing Banks Block 910 platform, 175 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico.

W&T admitted that their contractors ran contaminated water samples through coffee filters to remove oil and other pollutants before turning them over for testing.

While the company had secured a permit to dump waste water back into the Gulf, W&T Offshore was required to monitor and report the oil levels in the liquid.

W&T also admitted to failing to report a sheen of oil around the 910 platform that they tried (but failed) to clean up for several weeks after another incident in which an angry worker shot off a flare in November of 2009, which they also failed to report to the Coast Guard.

David Hammer at Eyewitness News reported that when Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Officers inspected the platform, they still found oil staining on the platform deck and a visible sheen in the water, all of which W&T failed to report as required.

As part of the guilty plea agreement, W&T Offshore was ordered to pay $1 million (a fine of $700,000 and $300,000 for community service), will be under probation for three years and will be required to implement an environmental compliance program.

W&T Offshore is headed by founder and CEO Tracy Krohn and operates some 107 platforms in the Gulf.

Sat, 2012-11-24 13:28Ashley Arden
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Wolf Kill Contest Prompts BC Gaming Investigation after Flurry of Complaints from Conservation Groups & Concerned Citizens

Wolves in Snow (c) McAllister / Pacific Wild

The BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch opened an investigation on Wednesday into a controversial wolf-kill contest in the Peace River region of northern British Columbia in response to a flurry of complaints lodged by conservation groups and concerned citizens.

Wolves in Snow (c) McAllister / Pacific Wild

Contests in BC are required to obtain a license when they have the three elements that constitute gaming: entry fees, chance, and prizes. Contests that are primarily skill-based are exempt from provincial gaming regulations.

Hunters pay a $50 entry fee to participate in the contest, with a chance to enter up to three wolves before March 31. Prizes for hunters who bag the biggest wolves include cash awards of $250 to $1,000 as well as rifles and taxidermy services. The hunter who kills the smallest wolf wins a $150 booby prize.

The wolf photo used to promote the contest obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

  

Photo used to promote the wolf-kill contest obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

The annual contest is co-sponsored by the Peace River Rod and Gun Club and Fort St. John realtor Rich Petersen, formerly on the Board of the BC Wildlife Federation. “It’s not a contest to exterminate wolves, not an organized thing where we go out and shoot every wolf in the country,” Petersen argued in an interview with the Vancouver Sun. “If you are driving down the road and see one and you happen to shoot it and you’re in this contest, you have a chance to win something.”

The Vancouver Sun reported yesterday that the BC Gaming closed its investigation in less than a day, deciding not to intervene in the contest because “in this instance, the … branch has determined that since the entrants must present a wolf to be eligible to win a prize, the event is skill-based and does not require a license.”

Sat, 2012-05-12 10:25Ashley Arden
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Canadian Environmental Groups Black Out to Speak Out Against Government Threats to Nature & Democracy

"THE FUTURE OF OUR LAND, WATER, AND CLIMATE IS AT RISK. AND SO ARE THE VOICES OF

With full page ads in the Globe and Mail and La Presse national newspapers, a major coalition of Canadian environmental non-profits have come together to launch the Black Out Speak Out campaign (Silence, on parle! pour la Francophonie.)

CPAWS, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Equiterre, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, and WWF Canada – groups representing millions of Canadians – are appealing to all who care about nature and democracy to join them in blacking out their websites on June 4th in protest against the federal government's efforts to weaken many of the country's most important environmental protection measures and silence Canadians hard at work defending the public interest.

Canadian environmental non-profits point to changes in the most recent federal budget, which leaves Ottawa playing a much smaller role in protecting people from harmful projects, while at the same time granting politicians the power to overrule the National Energy Board’s experts if powerful industry interests don’t like its decision - irrespective of fish habitat destruction or threats to species at risk.

The coalition argues that the Federal government will now be able to rubber stamp big projects that powerful oil interests want behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny.

Their core contention is that the Federal government has circumvented the usual process of democratic debate by introducing sweeping change by shoehorning the gutting of environmental protections  into the massive budget without discussion.

Sun, 2012-03-04 12:38Ashley Arden
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Canadian Environmentalists: Tree Hugging Terrorists or Just Concerned Citizens?

Super Evil Tree, Shawnimals LLC, ninjatown.com

The Canadian Federal government’s new counter-terrorism strategy has been ruffling feathers in the environmental community since it was released by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews on February 9.

The report says that the Federal government will be vigilant against domestic extremism “based on grievances – real or perceived – revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism.”

Admittedly, Blake Bromely and Syed Hussan are right to complain that the media coverage has been swamped with the report’s single mention of environmentalism, largely overshadowing concerns around the document’s actual emphasis: the threat of “violent Islamist extremism.”

However, the characterization of the environmental grievances of Canadian citizens as extremist and somehow akin to the violent, hate-based ‘white supremacist’ ideology is not something that Canadians can or should take lightly.

Sun, 2011-03-20 12:46Ashley Arden
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Yes Men Take On Enbridge With Creative Activism

A flurry of cryptic emails last weekend brought out the usual crowd of Vancouver environmental activists to Enbridge’s doorstep, but something is different. There’s no angry chanting, no snide slogans – not a fighting word within earshot. At the height of lunch hour on suit row, protesters are clogging the street and the atmosphere is, well, light. With free haircuts and mock reporters, the community has come out to help set the record straight. The message? An oil spill is inevitable and Enbridge doesn’t have a plan.

The Yes Men–inspired MyHairCares Initiative invited salons across Canada to donate their hair clippings to help Enbridge prepare for future oil spills with “super-absorbent hair booms.” Greenpeace’s Rex Weyler responded by slamming Enbridge for the paucity of the [fake] initiative. The story was initially picked up by major media outlets across Canada, but as the haze of confusion cleared, the stories were pulled from their websites.

Will the real Enbridge please stand up?

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