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Canadian rock legend Neil Young has blasted the Harper government for “trading integrity” in its single-minded appetite for Alberta tar sands dollars.
By: Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian (UK) | June 15, 2013
Former vice-president says oil pipeline is ‘really a losing proposition’ and demands climate plan promised at inauguration
The former vice-president said in an interview on Friday that he hoped Obama would follow the example of British Columbia, which last week rejected a similar pipeline project, and shut down the Keystone XL.
“I certainly hope that he will veto that now that the Canadians have publicly concluded that it is not safe to take a pipeline across British Columbia to ports on the Pacific,” he told the Guardian. “I really can’t imagine that our country would say: ‘Oh well. Take it right over parts of the Ogallala aquifer’, our largest and most important source of ground water in the US. It’s really a losing proposition.”
Environmental activists protesting “petrocrat” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our dirty tar sands were arrested at the British Parliament earlier today, The Guardian (UK) and other media report.
The protesters, identifying themselves as Love Canada, Hate Tar Sands, were arrested after climbing the roof of the British Parliament building with T-shirts saying ‘oil out of politics’, ‘stop Harper’ and ‘stop the tar sands’. They also spilled molasses on the floor outside the building.
The activists criticized the UK government for inviting Harper to deliver the first speech by a Canadian PM to the British Parliament since 1944. Harper addressed legislators in the House of Lords.
While the Senate seizes the spotlight in Ottawa, another threat to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s agenda is unfolding in capitals on opposite coasts. In both Victoria and Washington D.C., governments are weighing in on the future of oil pipelines which hold the key to Western Canada’s economic and political destiny — and that of the federal Conservative party.
The two fronts are related, as the inability to control one could jeopardize the achievement of the other by torpedoing the Conservatives’ ambitions to displace the center of political power in Canada.
Source: The Hook
Evan Vokes, a pipeline safety whistleblower and materials engineer, told a Canadian Senate committee yesterday that TransCanada Corporation “has a culture of non-compliance,” but the company says it takes “great exception” to Vokes’ claims that it does not take safety and compliance issues seriously.
Calgary-based TransCanada is the proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline to ferry raw bitumen to the Gulf of Mexico.
The multi-billion dollar pipeline would accelerate tar sands production, which on a per barrel basis creates three to four times more climate-changing emissions than conventional oil.
Vokes, an expert on pipeline welding practices, worked for TransCanada for five years and was fired without cause in 2012 after persistently raising concerns about the company’s safety practices.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is demanding the resignation of Gerry Protti, the newly-appointed chair of Alberta Energy Regulator, a new agency charged with monitoring environmental issues. The ACFN is concerned that, under Protti’s leadership, the agency will prioritize advancing the interests of the oil, gas and coal industries, while compromising environmental protection and First Nations issues.
“How can Gerry Protti be diligent to First Nations concerns and uphold treaty rights when he clearly has no previous experience engaging First Nations and still has such strong industry ties?” said the ACFN in a press release.