Tue, 2014-10-07 10:41Justin Mikulka
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‘Wild West’ Approach to Regulation in Bakken Shale Means Bomb Trains Continue to Roll

Wild west Bakken

Prepare yourself for a rare moment of honesty from the oil industry.

It happened on Sept. 23 at a hearing of the North Dakota Industrial Commission during a discussion on ways to make Bakken crude oil less flammable for transportation.

The flammable characteristics of our product are actually a big piece of why this product is so valuable. That is why we can make these very valuable products like gasoline and jet fuel,” said Tony Lucero of oil producer Enerplus.

So, there you have it: making Bakken crude safer to transport by rail via oil stabilization, which removes flammable natural gas liquids such as butane, means making it less valuable to the refineries.

This profit motive is at least part of the reason why the American Petroleum Institute has made it clear it will not accept mandatory oil stabilization as part of the new oil-by-rail regulations.

Mon, 2014-10-06 12:02Brendan Montague
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Klein: Delay in Climate Action Means Ever More Radical Response

The failure of the political establishment to deal with climate change has meant “there are no non-radical options left on the table,” Naomi Klein told an audience of 2,000 people in London last night.

The author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate said Keynesianism was not enough to deliver climate policy during a sell-out Guardian Live event at the Methodist Central Hall near the Palace of Westminster, London.

She said: “We have procrastinated for so long and allowed carbon emissions to rise year after year so there are no non-radical options left on the table. We cannot do this without radical changes to our political and economic system. This was not always so.”

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.

Hey, you know what? There has never been a better time to support independent journalism in Canada. Can you give $10 or $20 to DeSmog Canada’s Kickstarter campaign today? We are more than half-way toward our goal of raising $50,000 and have six days to go.

Mon, 2014-10-06 01:10Brendan Montague
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Lib Dem Peer Asked Why Climate Denial Charity Needs Campaign Wing

Baroness Emma Nicholson, the Liberal Democrat peer, must explain why the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has set up a new campaign wing rather than simply comply with the limits set by the Charity Commission for educational charities, it was claimed today. 

Nicholson is well-respected within the Lib Dems, but her views clash with the party’s clear climate change policy. She has extensive personal experience working with charities over many decades. But she is also a trustee of the GWPF, the climate denial think tank founded by the Tory ex-chancellor Lord Lawson

The Lib Dems are today continuing their conference in Glasgow, where they have launched their election campaign for May 2015. Ed Davey, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, has told delegates the party has a proud record on global warming. However, after a controversial coalition with the Tories, the party could get massacred when Britain goes to the polls. 

Sat, 2014-10-04 01:19Brendan Montague
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Cameron, Climate Chameleon: A Tory Conference Special

David Cameron was the champion of climate change action during the 2009 Tory conference as the party appealed to concerned voters ahead of the general election. “If we don't act now, and act quickly, we could face disaster.”

But five years into a coaltion government with a Liberal Democrat party genuinely committed to climate change mitigation his promise to deliver “the greenest government ever” rings hollow. At this year's conference he all but ignored the issue of our age, saying only Britain is “leading and not following on climate change”.


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