2013 SkS News Bulletin #11: Alberta Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline

Al Gore tells Obama to cancel Keystone XL 

Love him or loath him, you can say one thing Al Gore at the moment. He is certainly winding the Canadians up into a right old rage.

Al Gore Tells Obama to Cancel KXL by Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, May 7, 2013

Alberta oil sands production likely to double by 2022

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board said on Wednesday it expects output from the province’s oil sands to double to 3.8 million barrels a day by 2022. 

Alberta oil sands production likely to double by 2022, Reuters, May 8, 2013 

Can carbon capture clean up Canada’s oil sands?

Alberta will serve as a test bed for large-scale carbon capture and sequestration.

Can carbon capture clean up Canada’s oil sands? by Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, May 9, 2013

Canada says it may take EU to WTO over oil sands dispute

Canada threatened on Wednesday to take the European Union to the World Trade Organisation over its plans to label Canadian oil sands as dirty, but promised not to delay a bilateral trade pact.

Canada says it may take EU to WTO over oil sands dispute by Robin Emmott, Reuters, May 8, 2013

Carbon dioxide approaching a new high

For the first time in human history, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will surpass 400 parts per million, according Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which has been measuring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii since 1958.

With Carbon Dioxide Approaching a New High, Scientists Sound the Alarm by Christopher F. Schuetz, International Herald Tribune, May 6, 2013

Foes suggest a tradeoff if pipeline is approved

President Obama’s first major environmental decision of his second term could be to approve the Keystone XLpipeline, profoundly disappointing environmental advocates who have made the project a symbolic test of the president’s seriousness on climate change. 

Foes suggest a tradeoff if pipeline is approved by John M. Broder, New York Times, May 8, 2013

House GOP prepares fast-track for Keystone XL

In memo, House Majority Leader declares: 'We will ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is built without any further delay'

House GOP Prepares Fast-Track for Keystone XL by Laren McCcauley, Common Dreams, May 6, 2013

Indigenous resistance grows strong

On cloudy days, heavy smoke fills the air of Ponca City, Okla., with grey smog that camouflages itself into the sky. The ConocoPhillips oil refinery that makes its home there uses overcast days as a disguise to release more toxins into the air. These toxins are brimming with benzene — a chemical that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, can cause leukemia, anemia and even decrease the size of women’s ovaries. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008 the ConocoPhillips refinery released over 2,000 pounds of this chemical into the air in Ponca City.

Indigenous resistance grows strong in Keystone XL battle by Crysbel Tejada and Betsy Catlin, Waging Nonviolence, May 8, 2013

Keeping the faith in carbon capture and storage 

Once touted a major answer to oil sands’ carbon emissions, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has seen setbacks in Canada and around the world that have prompted alarms about its potential to make a difference in the battle against climate change.

But in Alberta and Saskatchewan, governments remain committed to CCS projects, which they believe will allow their provinces to continued their reliance on a fossil fuel economy while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Keeping the faith in carbon capture and storage by Kelly Cryderman, Shawn McCarthy, Globe & Mail, May 6, 2013

Keystone XL could cost society over $100 billion per year

One of the missing pieces of information is an estimate of the damage – translated into dollars – that Keystone XL’s climate pollution would do to health, property, agriculture, ecosystem services, and more.

That estimate, provided here, ranges to over $100 billion per year. 

Keystone XL Could Cost Society Over $100 Billion per Year by Lorne Stockman, Oil Change International, May 7, 2013

Norway, Canada, the United States and the Tar Sands

Today 36 Norwegian organizations sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stoltenberg expressing opposition to development of Canadian tar sands by Statoil (the Norwegian state is majority shareholder of Statoil). Signatories include not only environmental organizations, but a broad public spectrum, including, appropriately, many youth organizations. It is encouraging that Norwegian youth press their government to stop supporting tar sands development, given the fact that Norway saves much of its oil earnings for future generations and given the fact that Norway is not likely among the nations that will suffer most from climate change.

Norway, Canada, the United States and the Tar Sands by Dr. James Hansen, The Huffington Post, May 10, 2013

'This Is Our Last Chance'

In a letter sent to President Obama on Friday, 150 high profile Democratic donors urged the president "to proclaim with clarity and purpose that our nation will transition away from carbon-based fossil fuels to job-creating clean energy" and take a stand once and for all against the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This Is Our Last Chance': Deep-Pocketed Dems Urge Obama to Reject Keystone XL by Jacob Chamberlin, Common Dreams, May 10, 2013 

U.S. decision on Keystone XL pipeline seen dragging past summer

The Obama administration is unlikely to make a decision on the Canada-to-Nebraska Keystone XL pipeline until late this year as it painstakingly weighs the project's impact on the environment and on energy security, a U.S. official and analysts said on Friday.

Exclusive: U.S. decision on Keystone XL pipeline seen dragging past summer by Timothy Gardner, Reuters, May 10, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Monday, 13 May, 2013

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