No Federal Review for New Oilsands Projects?

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Should oilsands projects skip federal environmental review?

Some people might say yes. People like, for example, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

McKenna told reporters she didn’t believe oilsands projects developed via in-situ methods should be included. She reasoned that because Alberta already has a hard cap on emissions, future oilsands projects would be exempt from federal environmental review.

That doesn't sit well with everybody given the growing significance of these projects: Between 2016 and 2040, in-situ is expected to double in daily production reaching 2.9 million barrels per day.

James Wilt has the story, which you can read here.

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We've got this and more for you this week. Read on.

As Arctic Opens to Shipping, Communities Scramble for Oil Spill Response Training

By Jimmy Thomson

Shipping and tourism are ramping up across the Canadian Arctic, and more incidents are inevitable. That has local communities looking askance at their meagre response plans and capabilities.

“I think it’s widely accepted and widely known that if there was a major spill in the Arctic, the consequence would be devastating,” Andrew Dumbrille, shipping specialist with the World Wildlife Fund, told DeSmog Canada. Read more.

Why Don’t Governments Limit Oil Production to Meet Climate Targets?

By James Wilt

The climate change component of Canada’s oil pipeline debate largely revolves around two big questions: should our country restrict the production of fossil fuels? And, if it does, does that mean other jurisdictions will just produce more and fill the gap?

This argument to restrict production is often called “supply side environmentalism” and it’s been pretty unpopular with economists and pundits who warn against restrictive supply-side policies as inefficient and overly moralistic.

But climate policy experts Fergus Green (of the London School of Economics) and Richard Denniss (of the Australia Institute) are questioning that. Read more.

B.C. Government Suppressed Details About Potentially Dangerous, Unregulated Fracking Dams

By Ben Parfitt

Early last spring, provincial civil servants cut off virtually all communication about what the government knew about a sprawling network of potentially dangerous and unregulated dams in northeast B.C. on the pretext they could not comment because of the impending election.

The coordinated effort meant there was virtually no comment until months after voting day from front-line agencies on how 92 unlicensed dams were built on the then BC Liberal government’s watch. Read more.

Sarah Cox's book is coming out — and DeSmog Canada readers get a discount on pre-orders! From award-winning journalist Sarah Cox comes the inspiring and astonishing story of the farmers and First Nations who fought the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that propelled it forward.
This book is for anyone concerned about environmental destruction, climate change, and social justice issues, and it is a must-read for students, policy makers, and government leaders working in these areas.
Discount code DESMOG is valid until April 30th. How Canada Could Prevent Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and Save the Porcupine Caribou

By Jimmy Thomson

A treaty, signed between the governments of Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan in 1987, requires that the governments “take appropriate action to conserve the Porcupine Caribou Herd and its habitat,” including considering effects of activities (like, for instance, drilling), avoiding disrupting migration and considering cumulative effects on the landscape.

Ian Waddell recently revived the treaty in an article for The Hill Times.

In an interview with DeSmog Canada, he explained, “If we’ve got a treaty with the United States, we could press that treaty — use that treaty — to raise a little hell.” Read more.

'Time Bombs': 92 Fracking Dams Quietly Built Without Permits, B.C. Government Docs Reveal

By Ben Parfitt

The number of unlicensed and potentially dangerous dams built in recent years in northeast British Columbia is nearly double what has been reported, according to one of the province’s top water officials.

At least 92 unauthorized dams have been built in the region, where natural gas industry fracking operations consume more water than just about anywhere on earth. That’s far more than the 51 dams previously identified in documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Read more.

That Time a Foreign-Owned Newspaper Called Out Environmentalists for Taking Foreign Money to Fight a Foreign-Funded Pipeline

By Emma Gilchrist

On a certain level, Vivian Krause and her cadre are right when they accuse Canadian non-profits of taking foreign money. American philanthropists do give money to Canadian non-profits.

There’s just one thing: it’s neither surprising nor clandestine.

The success of their argument comes down to one simple trick: strip away all relevant context and then replace it with conspiracy. Read more.

DESMOG CANADA IN THE WORLD Editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist went on the Lynda Steele Show on CKNW Radio to talk about her viral editorial on the endless foreign funding controversy. Shout-out to monthly member Quan Lee for helping set up that interview. You can listen to that interview here. WHAT WE'RE READING THIS WEEK Ready to blow someone's mind? Share this newsletter signup link with a friend and watch their expression when fresh news and analysis magically appears in their inbox. Every. Damn. Week. Copyright © DeSmog Canada, All rights reserved.
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