Oil - Pipelines

Jenny Uechi
Oil sands mine site

Reactions to the federal government's attempts to stop NAFTA's environmental oversight commission from investigating environmental damage caused by tailings ponds in Alberta's oil sands came fast and fierce from critics.

“There’s compelling evidence that [industry contamination] is happening," said Dale Marshall of Environmental Defence, "and that the federal government is denying it, and not allowing that information to be known to Canadians and the people who live in that area." 

Gord Hoekstra
A coalition of First Nations groups march in Vancouver on Dec. 2, 2010 to protest Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline

Another court challenge involving Enbridge’s $7.9-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline project was filed Tuesday, bringing the total to 19.

The suit in B.C. Supreme Court by the Coastal First Nations group (representing several First Nations including the Haida and the Metlakatla) and the Gitga’at First Nation was added to a growing list of court challenges over the controversial project, which received federal approval last June.

All the other court challenges have been filed with the Federal Court of Appeal.

Robyn Allan
James Moore

Industry Minister James Moore who represents the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam riding engaged in blatantly false fear mongering last week. He threatened a Lac Megantic disaster if we don’t accept Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In order to springboard from a disgusting reliance on a horrific tragedy to reach his ridiculous conclusion, he had to make stuff up.

Dirk Meissner

A proposed network of pipelines from natural gas fields in British Columbia’s northeast to liquefied natural gas export plants in the northwest will not be permitted to pump oil and diluted bitumen, the provincial government says.

The Natural Gas Development Ministry said a new regulation prohibits the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission from allowing any conversion of a natural gas pipeline supplying an LNG facility.

The Canadian Press
The Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick is the proposed pipeline's final destination.

Quebec's energy regulator is giving the thumbs-up to TransCanada Corp.'s Energy East pipeline, calling the plan "desirable."

The $12-billion pipeline between Alberta and New Brunswick aims to connect western crude with eastern refineries and new markets across the Atlantic.

It would make use of under-used natural gas pipe already in the ground for about two thirds of the way, with new pipe being constructed in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Peter O'Neil

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s B.C. lieutenant said he’s confident a new oilsands pipeline will eventually be built to the West Coast, and one of his key arguments for such a megaproject is public safety in the Lower Mainland.

Industry Minister James Moore raised the spectre of the deadly Lac Megantic rail disaster that killed dozens in an inferno of blazing oil that engulfed the Quebec town in the summer of 2013.

“The people of Lac Megantic wished they had pipelines instead of rail,” said Moore, who represents the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam riding.

John Cook and Andrew Heintzman
Oil goes into a tailings pond at the Suncor tar sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta

Recently, the first Canadian university joined a growing global movement to divest endowments from fossil fuels. Concordia’s $5-million was largely symbolic; it still has $95-million invested in oil and gas companies. But its decision was another signal that the divestment movement is gaining momentum.

In fact, divestment is creating a significant new challenge for an oil industry that is already fighting hard to maintain its pre-eminence in the world of energy.

Andrew Nikiforuk
Canada and Oil

What do the plummeting oil prices tell us not only about our near term economic future in Canada, but the political fragility of the world's petro states?

If Canada fully joins the petro state club, as our prime minister and his party desire, is oil's volatility just the cost of doing business, or a threat to our nation's well-being?

The ideal person to ask is Terry Lynn Karl, one of North America's foremost experts on the politics of oil. The Tyee recently caught up with Karl, who teaches at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco.

Bruce Cheadle

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper slammed the door on unilaterally regulating Canada's oil and gas sector Tuesday even as four provincial governments, representing almost 80 per cent of Canada's population, were pledging to go further and faster in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment ministers from British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec signed what they're calling a compact in Lima, Peru, where an international climate conference is underway.

Justin Ling
Protest at Burnaby Mountain

OTTAWA — A private member’s bill backed by the minister of justice taking aim at industrial thieves could be used to punish environmental protesters, lawyers say.

The bill, introduced by Conservative MP Wai Young on Wednesday, would slap harsh penalties on anyone who damages or interferes with “critical infrastructure.”


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