alberta oil sands

Sat, 2008-11-22 13:36James Glave
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Could Falling Oil Prices Stall Oil Sands?

Finally, some good news: The global economic slowdown might curb runaway carbon emissions in Northern Alberta’s oil sands—at least temporarily.

Oil dipped below $50 a barrel this week for the first time since May 2005, and according to a report in Thursday’s New York Times,

“some analysts predict oil could fall to $30 to 40 a barrel as the world economy worsens.”

That $30 is a magic number for many energy economists, who for years have argued that Alberta’s oil sands projects are only viable when petroleum is trading above it.

Taken together, the mining and processing megaprojects represent Canada’s leading source of the heat-trapping carbon emissions that cause global warming. According to Pembina Institute estimates, by year end the operations will have released around 46 million metric tonnes of equivalent carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere.

But there are already signs that the machinery may be slowing.

The Vancouver Sun notes that the ongoing market slide has placed a de facto “moratorium” on development in the oil sands.

Tue, 2008-11-18 15:35Mitchell Anderson
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Bad News for Big Oil

Oil industry operatives are sweating bullets over whether the incoming Obama Administration will be keen to buy “dirty oil” from Alberta tar sands. The early news for them is not good.

The president-elect last week sent Jason Grumet, a policy adviser mentioned for a possible energy post, to an environmental conference in Washington to offer reassurances that there would be swift movement on climate change legislation. Observers feel this is an early sign that Obama is taking a hard line on carbon.

Mon, 2008-09-08 13:20Kevin Grandia
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Polar Bear Army Deployed for Canadian Election

With the Canadian federal election off to the races, DeSmogBlog has deployed an army of polar bears across Canada that will be working to raise the profile of climate change issues, especially around the environmental impacts of Alberta's oil sands operations.

The campaign is called the Arctic Front, and many of our regular readers will remember that we began this campaign during the Alberta provincial election earlier this year. Since then we have expanded our capabilities and now have polar bears stationed across the country, ready to get out the message at town hall forums,debates, rallies and other events.
Fri, 2008-07-04 15:12Terrance Berg
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Top 10 Facts About the Alberta Oil Sands

We started a short and sweet resource page on the environmental impacts of the Canada Oil Sands operation. If you would like to add a link to further resources drop us a line at: desmogblog [at] gmail [dot] com or leave it in the comment section below.
Wed, 2008-07-02 14:05Kevin Grandia
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McCain and Obama Stand United on Canada's Oil Sands

Barack Obama made headlines across Canada last week over his proposed national “low carbon fuel standard.” Such a proposal, if implemented, would be a serious hit to Canada's oil sands operations, which emit about 3 times the amount of greenhouse gas to produce when compared to the production of a conventional barrel of oil.

Not nearly as prominent in the Canadian press was an article in the Washington Times the week before reporting that presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain's shares a similar view as Obama on a “low carbon fuel standard.”

Wed, 2008-07-02 11:46Emily Murgatroyd
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Dirty Oil Sands Ad Greets Alberta Premier in Wyoming

When Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach flew into Wyoming for the Western Governor's Association meeting this week he undoubtedly saw the full page ad in the Casper Star-Tribune decrying his province's massive oil sands operations.

Organized by Environmental Defence, and its partners ForestEthics and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the idea behind the ad was to reach out to U.S. Governors to expose the truth about Canada's dirty tar sands.

A full copy of the oil sands advertisement can be downloaded from the Environmental Defence website.

Thu, 2008-05-29 07:50Ross Gelbspan
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Time Out(ed) On The Tar Sands

I consider Time to be one of the more forward-looking periodicals when it comes to the environment.

But the editors messed up in this week's edition. The June 2 Time carries a breathless feature about the potential petroleum bonanza in Canada's tar sands.

The article's authors are so giddy with the testosterone rush of big-ass earth-moving machines that they forgot what a multifaceted disaster this “bonanza” would be. The magazine quotes tar men in Alberta as they marvel at their own ability to move mountains … literally

Thu, 2008-05-01 12:17Kevin Grandia
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Alberta Deputy Premier's "Mission Accomplished" Blog Missing In Action

Earlier today,we had a bunch of emails sent to us with a link to a blog set up by Alberta Deputy Premier Ron Stevens. The blog was set up to chronicle Steven's Alberta Oil Sands PR offensive in Washington, DC.

The post that had everyone so upset was one Steven's put up this morning entitled “Mission Accomplished” - a somewhat ironic and inappropriate pronouncement for the deputy minister. Ironic, in that today is the 5 year anniversary of US President George W Bush's “Mission Accomplished” speech in which he claimed that the war in Iraq was over.

Now the the Deputy Premier's entire blog has vanished… kind of.
Wed, 2008-04-30 10:45Kevin Grandia
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Alberta Oil Sands Pioneer Says Environmental Problems Must be a Priority

Former Imperial Oil scientist, Clement Bowman is one of the chemical engineers who helped unlock the commercial potential of Canada's oil sands and he's now saying that the Canadian government must urgently take the necessary steps to clean up the huge environmental impacts of the oil sands projects.

Unless they're solved, a number of us feel the oil sands have almost hit a wall,” says Brown.

Tue, 2008-04-29 23:31Terrance Berg
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Hundreds of Migratory Ducks Trapped on Toxic Oil Sands Pond

If the fact that the Alberta Oil Sands are the largest point source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada isn't enough to get you to stand up and take notice, maybe the ducks trapped and dying in the toxic tailing ponds will.

The oil sands are licensed to use more fresh water in a year than the entire City of Calgary (about the same size as Austin, Texas) and 90% of that fresh water ends up in massive tailing ponds, so large that that they are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world.

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