Last week, NDP leader Adrian Dix announced his commitment to a "made in B.C." environmental review of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. As an adviser to Dix on this issue, I wish to explain the legal considerations behind this decision. In 2010, the B.C. Liberals signed an "equivalency agreement" with Ottawa, which said, in effect, that an environmental assessment of the Enbridge pipeline and tanker proposal carried out by the Harper government's joint review panel would constitute a B.C. environmental assessment as well.
Enclosed are three news articles that review the challenging prospects for Alberta’s tar sands producers. They face a daunting future as rival U.S. oil production surges and opposition grows to the three pipeline routes which they and their pipeline allies are struggling to construct–Keystone XL to the south, Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain to the west, and Energy East to the east.
A new map (scroll down to view) reveals the full scope of oil and gas pipelines proposed to criss-cross BC. Compiled by Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Skeena Wild, the graphic depicts the planned routes for a staggering six new pipelines – five designed to carry natural gas to proposed liquefaction (LNG) plants in Kitimat and Prince Rupert, plus the twin bitumen and condensate Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge. Plans for an additional six gas pipelines have yet to be formalized.
Hundreds of Vancouver students, parents and teachers have signed an angry open letter to Canadian Geographic complaining that the magazine has been sending a giant energy industry-sponsored educational map and materials to local schools. So far nine Vancouver schools have requested a copy of the “Canada’s Energy Mix” vinyl floor map and related trunk of materials, which encourage students to engage in exercises such as mapping out pipeline routes.
A train that derailed and exploded in rural Alabama was hauling 2.7 million gallons of crude oil, according to officials. The 90-car train was crossing a timber trestle above a wetland near Aliceville late Thursday night when approximately 25 rail cars and two locomotives derailed, spilling crude oil into the surrounding wetlands and igniting a fire that was still burning Saturday. Each of the 90 cars was carrying 30,000 gallons of oil, said Bill Jasper, president of the rail company Genesee & Wyoming at a press briefing Friday night.
Canada’s tar sands are emitting more greenhouse gases per barrel now than they did five years ago, according to a new environmental report card. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers found per barrel greenhouse gas emissions for tar sands and other unconventional oil sources — like oil shale — have grown by 21 percent, and total emissions have grown from 90 million metric tons in 2008 to 109 million metric tons in 2012.
Yesterday I met with the premier of Alberta, Alison Redford. I am happy to report that in the course of our brief chat we were able to reach a historic accord in support of the Northern Gateway pipeline. It is possible you may be wondering what on earth any of this has to do with me, and why my support should make any difference to the pipeline's chances one way or the other. You might well ask. Indeed, you might well ask the premier the same question. While you're at it, you might ask the premier of British Columbia.
British Columbia’s “sacrosanct” Agricultural Land Commission will be effectively dismantled and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission will assume new responsibilities for land use decisions if a proposal prepared for cabinet is adopted, according to confidential government documents. Information obtained by The Globe and Mail shows that B.C. Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm is preparing to ask cabinet to endorse a plan to “modernize” the ALC, an independent Crown agency, which has overseen and protected about four million hectares of farmland for 40 years.