Monday, March 05, 2007

Alberta Government Admits The Obvious

Specifically, that the tar sands projects around Fort MacMurray are stressing the Athabasca River. From now on:

All oil sands operators - whether new or existing - will have to work together to share water within prescribed limits. Companies are working closely with Alberta Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure they meet these new limits to water withdrawals.

Sucking up twice the water required to feed Calgary so you can run your oil extraction machinery is pretty obviously an unsustainable energy/environmental policy. Of course, if someone like Dion or Suzuki had suggested restrictions like those noted above, they would have been run out of the province.

h/t to Civitatensis.


Anonymous said...

Prarie Kid, the thing about Alberta is that they are the most vocal opponents of regulation or Kyoto. We've also been led by an ignorant premier who refused to acknowledge anything related to climate change. Furthermore, the oil industry continues to post exponential profits while still getting subsidies and paying only 1% royalties. Can you truly not see while it is so easy to dump on the oilsands? If you ask anyone, especially the older people in Alberta, they will be just as quick to take shots at Ontario. To top it all off, spending more money on reducing pollution instead of those shitty pro-oil and gas commercials that run overy 20 minutes would probably do more for their cause than anything.

If I had my own blog I would be crapping all over Alberta and the oilsands too, and I've lived here all my life. While Ontario is far from perfect, at least they are acknowledging that their pollution is a problem which is step one, as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Let's not talk about Ontario and it's coal fires. LET'S talk about the MONEY that was promised to Ontario,to deal with this, but the present government reneged.

bigcitylib said...

Which, Lizt, we may be getting back.

What bugs me is how the Alberta media condemns outsiders when they say what Albertans clearly know: that tar-sands development is quite literally out of control and has to be at least done according to a rational plan.

Who are they (the Alberta media) helping when they do that? Certainly not the people living around Fort Mac.

Anonymous said...

Didn't McGuinty forego the environmental assessments on his plan to expand nuclear plants in Ontario? Lead on.

bigcitylib said...

prarie kid,

I read almost every paper in Canada when it concerns storys I am interested in, including most of the Alberta ones, including For Mac today.

Are you claiming that everyone is happy with the way the oilsands are being developed?

Anonymous said...

So this restriction only applies to seasonally sensitive times, I would assume July, Aug and Sept or so. I wonder if they could create huge retaining ponds to take up some of that spring runoff. You know, like a man-made wetland area, and use that as a reservoir for fall water use. It would provide wonderful marsh habitat, and the annual water level reduction is healthy to a marsh environment - constant water levels kill marshes.

bigcitylib said...

Prarie Kid,

Nanticoke is considered the single biggest emitter because the tar sands are not considered a single source. Never the less, the tar sands projects considered as a collective account for an impressive tonnage of GHG emissions, and are the primary reason that Alberta accounts for 41% of all Canadian emissions.

I am all for helping China and India cut their own emissions with technology transfers and investment dollars. Kyoto actually has a mechanism for that. Some people, however, like Mr. Harper, pour scorn on the idea of "sending Canadian money overseas".

rockfish said...

Hey Prairie Kid, I'd like to see your argument go that next logical step: Damn those Liberals for helping develop these tarsands! Because of their investment in R&D (and tax breaks for private r&d) and their working with the provincial gov't to open the doors to development, reducing costs for the startup of such expensive exploration, now we've got all this stinking wealth! Heck, we sure wish it was those soft and cuddly Conservaturves in Ottawa during those days, because then at least we know they'd have told us: 'Wait! Don't touch that muck until you have done your environmental homework -- that footprint is going to change the line of history!'
Yeah, I think while there's plenty of room to be mad at the Liberals for not reacting quickly enough (seems Albertans could look at their provincial gov't for that, but hey you got your heating checks, right?) but at least admit the other obvious. Would it hurt so much?

Anonymous said...

That is what the Liberals did for 13 years. They acknowledged that there was a problem. Yet under their watch pollution increased 30%.

Well, we've lived under Ralph Klein for about the same amount of time and all he ever did was insult people and refuse to entertain the idea of controlled growth in the oil sands let alone climate change.

Neither situation is any good, but at least with the Liberals they have to explain why they made promises and done nothing for 13 years and they're really in the hot seat over it. Alberta promised nothing and delivered nothing and is thus unaccountable for anything.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing my part; I'm buying as much of my durable goods as possible from overseas. If it's made in Ontario or Quebec, I won't buy it. They just pollute too much.

Anonymous said...

Why should we give Ontario any money at all? THEY'VE been polluting Canada for the last 100 years, so let THEM take the hit for it. You know, just like how India and China are excused 'We're not responsible, it's you Western countries', so we're gonna play the same card.

I know where the gas pipelines are, and I know which way the valve closes ("righty-tighty").

Anonymous said...

but he is nevertheless following through on his commitment to replace the plants with cleaner alternatives.

I thought that McGuinty was expanding the use of nuclear, which is not a cleaner alternative, but pollutes in a different way.

Anonymous said...

But if we don't shut down coal and use nuclear, WE'RE GOING TO DESTROY THE PLANET WITHIN 20 YEARS!!!!!