The Boreal Forest
The Alberta government is following through on a pledge made earlier this month to review data following damning reports of oilsands water pollution in the Athabasca River.
It announced Friday a committee of independent scientists will be selected from a list provided by whistleblower scientist David Schindler and Alberta Environment experts to review water monitoring data collected from Alberta’s oilsands region.
“Understanding the impact of the oilsands industry on the watershed of northeastern Alberta is absolutely critical. We need to have total and complete assurance in data before we make decisions on how best to balance environmental protection with development. Albertans deserve to have this assurance as well,” said Environment Minister Rob Renner.... Read more »
EDMONTON — A face-to-face meeting between Premier Ed Stelmach and Hollywood honcho James Cameron appears to be on track.
Cameron is planning a three-day visit to northern Alberta next week to help him form his own conclusions about the impact of oilsands operation, which he previously called a “black eye” on Canada’s environmental record.
In a letter to the premier’s office sent two weeks ago, Cameron asked for a meeting with Stelmach at the legislature between 10 a.m. and noon next Wednesday. But since the letter arrived, representatives for the two men have had trouble connecting to firm up details.
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EDMONTON —The Alberta Federation of Labour says spending on public-sector monitoring of the environment has dropped precipitously in the years that investment in oilsands developments has rocketed.
Their analysis found a 26-per-cent drop in spending on environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement and a 54-per-cent increase in spending on public relations since 2003.
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Fort McMurray — Suncor Energy marked an industry milestone Thursday when it became the first oilsands company to complete the surface reclamation of a tailings pond at its plant and mine north of Fort McMurray.
“It is a big historic event for the whole history of this industry and the history of Suncor,” Suncor CEO Rick George said at a ceremony marking the event.
Called Pond 1, the 220-hectare site near the Athabasca River was the company’s first storage pond for tailings when commercial production began in 1967.
George said the chief goal in the early years of Suncor’s operation was to efficiently mine the technologically challenging resource but that reclamation of the site was always part of the plan.... Read more »
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?
We'll find out next week when movie director James Cameron meets the Alberta oilsands.
Anyone who thinks Cameron isn't an irresistible force has never met a 15-year-old fan of the movie Avatar. And anyone who thinks the oilsands isn't an immovable object has never met Alberta's 39-year-old Conservative government.
The two are headed for a possible confrontation next week when Cameron begins his self-organized tour of northeastern Alberta to see for himself the world's largest energy development, the one he called a "black eye" on Canada's environment record last April.... Read more »