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Fri, 2014-11-14 09:59Steve Horn
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Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's Warburg Pincus May Profit from Tar Sands Exports

Several environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and Secretary John Kerry over the permitting of a controversial border-crossing northern leg of a pipeline system that DeSmogBlog has called Enbridge's “Keystone XL Clone.”

The Keystone XL Clone is designed to accomplish the same goal as TransCanada's Keystone XL: bringing Alberta's tar sands to Gulf coast refineries and export market. It consists of three legs: the Alberta Clipper expansion as the northern leg, the Flanagan South middle leg and the Seaway Twin southern leg.

Green groups have called the northern leg an “illegal scheme” because the Enbridge Alberta Clipper expansion proposal didn't go through the normal State Department approval process. Instead, State allowed Enbridge to add pressure pumps to two separate-but-connected pipelines on each side of the border and send Alberta's diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) to market.

Enbridge dodged a comprehensive State Department environmental review, which involves public hearings and public commenting periods. The groups say this is illegal under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and have demanded a re-do for Enbridge's application process.

“The only thing worse than dirty oil is dirty oil backed by dirty tricks. This is the fossil fuel equivalent of money laundering,” Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “The Obama administration should be ashamed of itself for letting Enbridge illegally pump more dirty tar sands oil into the United States.”

The maneuver has a key beneficiary: former Obama Administration Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, who now serves as President of the private equity giant Warburg Pincus.

Geithner's connection to the lawsuit not only adds intrigue, but also reveals the purpose of Enbridge's Keystone XL Clone: an export fast-track to the global market.

Thu, 2014-10-23 06:00Justin Mikulka
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Rail Industry Fights Speed Limits, Brake Regulation in Quest for Profits

CP Rail train

Earlier this month Hunter Harrison, the CEO of Canadian Pacific told the Globe and Mail that he thought regulators have “overreacted” to the oil-by-rail disaster in Lac-Megantic that killed 47 people. 

Lac-Mégantic happened, in my view, because of one person’s behaviour, if I read the file right,” Harrison said.

As detailed by DeSmogBlog, he didn’t read the file right. The accident was directly related to lack of regulation and the railroads putting profits before safety.

Harrison’s choice of words echoed those of American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard commenting on the new proposed oil-by-rail regulations when he stated: “Overreacting creates more challenges than safety.” 

Yea, that’s right, according to Big Oil and Big Rail, the biggest threat to the 25 million people living in the bomb train blast zones is the overreaction of regulators.

Mon, 2014-10-06 07:30Emma Gilchrist
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Postmedia Could Soon Own Almost Every English Newspaper in Canada: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Newspaper boxes in Calgary

Postmedia has struck a $316 million deal to buy 175 of Quebecor’s English-language newspapers, specialty publications and digital properties, including the Sun chain of papers, according to a report in the Globe and Mail this morning.

If it passes regulatory hurdles, the deal will mark a step further down the path of media concentration in Canada.

What does this mean for Canadians in practical terms?

In Calgary, for instance, the Calgary Sun would be owned by the same company as the Calgary Herald. In Toronto, the Toronto Sun and 24 Hours would be owned by the same company as the National Post. In Ottawa, the Ottawa Sun would be owned by the same company as the Ottawa Citizen. And in Edmonton, the Edmonton Sun would be owned by the same company as the Edmonton Journal.

It’s Vancouver that takes the cake for media concentration though — Postmedia already owned the Vancouver Sun and The Province, but if the deal goes through it will take over the free daily 24 Hours as well.

Mon, 2011-12-05 23:15Jim Hoggan
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Denial Of Facts Is No Way To Understand Science

On Thursday December 1st, Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente declared herself a defender of scientific integrity by calling upon the scientific community to replace the “rhetoric” of climate change with open, honest debate.

According to Ms. Wente, the impacts of climate change remain a future fantasy, unquantifiable by data collected through “insanely complicated” climate science. Her perspective is informed by the omission of facts, falsehoods, and fake experts. In a dance with smoke and mirrors she creates issues where none exist and ignores others that do.

There was a time when I couldn’t understand what motivated writers like Wente to stand so firmly against such clear and solid science. The psychology of “confirmation bias” has provided the answer for me. 

Like all of us, Wente has her biases, and most of us, like her, like to have those biases confirmed. So we seek out the information that confirms what we already believe and disregard that information that might prove us wrong.

As a columnist, Wente presents the information which confirms her ideological beliefs as truths and facts to the readers of the Globe and Mail. She excels as a columnist in part because she mocks and jeers her detractors. This pleases the people who agree with her but makes her loathed by those who don’t.  It provokes reaction on both sides, and eliminates any possibility of civil conversation.

Fri, 2011-11-18 05:15Steve Horn
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ExxonMobil and Shell Eyeing North American LNG Export Deals

Yesterday, LNG World News reported that ExxonMobil Vice President Andrew Swiger announced, at a conference hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, that it was actively seeking LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminals throughout North America, including, but not limited to, in British Columbia and on the Gulf Coast.

In terms of exports from North America, whether it is the Gulf Coast or whether it is Western Canada, it’s something we’re actively looking at,” said Swiger.

So, where are these prospective export terminals located, what are the key pipelines carrying the unconventional gas produced from shale basins, and what are the key shale basins in the mix? Hold tight for an explanation.

Golden Pass LNG Terminal and Golden Pass Pipeline

The LNG World News article explains that ExxonMobil “has a stake in the Golden Pass LNG Terminal in Texas,” but does not explain exactly what the “stake” is.

A bit of research shows that ExxonMobil is a 17.6% stakeholder in the Golden Pass LNG Terminal, according to a March 2011 article publshed by Platts. It is co-owned by ConocoPhillips and Qatar Petroleum, who own a 12.4% and 70% stake in Golden Pass LNG, respectively.

Mon, 2010-07-19 11:00Richard Littlemore
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Canadian journalism: sublime; ridiculous

The Post gets one right;

the Globe chooses cowardice over context

Two recent newspaper pieces throw a peculiarly Canadian slant on the scandalously unprofessional job that many in mainstream media have been doing in covering climate change.

The most shocking - and wonderful - contribution came last week from the National Post, the home of some of Canada’s silliest and most beligerent climate change deniers, including Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster, Lawrence Solomon and Rex Murphy. In an excellent critique of blindly ideological climate change denial, Post Comment Pages Editor Jonathan Kay says flatly that, Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause. Kay then dismantles several laughable positions championed by journalists he does not name - but whom he will now have to avoid in the Post lunchroom.

The second article appeared last Saturday in the Globe, under the heading: The Endless Summer. Noting that it’s “the hottest year in recorded history, the Globe offers 659 mostly well-researched words on the details of our planetary fever without once mentioning the phrases “climate change” or “global warming.” At one point, the writers, Anna Mehler Paperny and Patrick White, say, “International climate experts are at a loss to explain why these local phenomena are happening all at once.”

Really?

Tue, 2009-11-17 20:11Richard Littlemore
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Globe and Mail: Ad campaign takes aim at climate change

Spurred on by a speech that Jim Hoggan gave to the Canadian Empire Club in Toronto (talking about our new book, Climate Cover-up), Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, started asking questions today about who is paying for the big Friends of Science radio ad campaign that has been annoying Canadians from coast to coast for the last week or so.

The Globe’s Martin Mittelstaedt had no success finding a live representative from the Friends of Science to deny their oily connections, but Marty Ball told Mittelstaedt this about her infamous husband, the truth-challenged Tim Ball: “He’s not paid by the oil companies. He’s never had anything from them and neither [have] the Friends of Science.”

Alas for the Balls’ self-delusion, Mittelstaedt’s own paper has reported quite the opposite in the past, quoting a Friends official, Albert Jacobs, as saying that the oil and gas industry is exactly where they got their money.

Fri, 2009-07-31 14:02Richard Littlemore
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Rex Murphy: The Titanic didn't arrive - No story here!

No Records Broken Today: Climate Change Called Off

It is legitimate to criticize people who use a single weather event to bolster their case for concern about global warming. But how much more bizarre is it to seize upon a single soggy summer (this one) in a very narrow part of the world (Toronto) to argue the opposite?

The purple proseur Rex Murphy did just that in his Globe and Mail column (“So where’s the global cooling alert?”) a week ago. He wanted to know why we had not all cancelled the climate change alarm on account of Toronto’s unusually wet and chilly summer weather. Noting the likelihood that record-breaking hot weather moves people to discuss the risks and evidence of global warming, Murphy says:

Now, however, Toronto in July is cool and I am waiting in vain for the lips of just one forecaster to ask how can this be. Waiting just once to hear the familiar phrase “global warming” in a sentence that even hints that the theory behind it is so much more tentative than we have been urged with such fervour to believe.

It’s a little like ending an uneventful motorcycle ride with the conclusion that there is - quite apparently - no longer any danger to cycling and that helmet legislation should be repealed.

Sat, 2009-01-10 15:06Richard Littlemore
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Rex Murphy Offers Another Superlative Column on Climate Change

There are few Canadian journalists as resolutely stupid about climate change as CBC editorialist and Globe and Mail columnist Rex Murphy. Rising above science, soaring over the petty limitations of facts and logic, Rex regularly delivers us from the threat of global warming - if only in figurative flourish.

His most recent outing is a spectacular example. In it, he announces that because it has snowed in Vancouver, we no longer need to take seriously the scientific warnings about future climate change.

Thu, 2008-09-11 10:59Richard Littlemore
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Sex, Drugs, Oil and U.S. Government

A group of U.S. bureaucrats who collected billions of dollars in royalties from energy companies operated in a culture so bereft of ethics they regularly consumed cocaine and marijuana at industry gatherings, had sexual relations with oil company representatives and routinely received gifts from energy firms, including divisions of Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BP, according to an internal investigation.

And thanks to the Globe and Mail there's more.

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