Petro Firms Seek Partial Oil-Sands Moratorium

Mon, 2008-02-25 11:17Terrance Berg
Terrance Berg's picture

Petro Firms Seek Partial Oil-Sands Moratorium

Apparently we polar bears aren't the only ones asking the Alberta government to “press pause” on breakneck oil-sands development. Even some oil companies believe that certain areas should be spared the teeth of their power shovels, a Globe and Mail report reveals.

According to the paper, last month an industry-led coalition of petroleum firms quietly asked Edmonton to halt oil-sands development in a handful of areas deemed worthy of conservation that together comprise about one-sixth of the Athabasca reserves. Two of the three parcels are south and east of Wood Buffalo National Park.

The private letter, signed by seven major oil-sands developers, as well as Environment Canada and the Pembina Institute, asks the province to halt land-lease sales in the regions until 2011.

An Alberta Energy spokesman told the paper that the province would not issue any official response until after the March 3 election.

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As expected, President Obama today vetoed the Republican bill attempting to allow TransCanada to finish constructing the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline. While the veto received praise from environmentalists, along with encouragement to reject the pipeline entirely, the veto provides little consolation to those in Texas who already have the southern route of the pipeline moving Canadian tar sands under their land. 

“Don't get me wrong. I’m thrilled that...

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