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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.
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.
The powerful U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to be taking its mandate seriously. At least as far as the State Department’s recent evaluation of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is concerned.
In an official letter issued last Monday, the EPA trashed the State Department’s draft report, the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), released in March. It expressed grave concern that the report gave an overly-positive environmental assessment of the $7 billion project. That it bizarrely concluded that the 875 mile long pipeline was environmentally sound.
As you’ll recall, the State Department’s conclusions upset a lot of environmentalists. For many good reasons.
WASHINGTON – April 23, 2013 – Opponents of Keystone XL have submitted more than one million comments urging President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the State Department following the publication of the latest deficient environmental review urging that the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline be rejected. Across the diverse pipeline opponents who spoke in Nebraska and the one million people who provided comments, there is a common message: Keystone XL is all risk and no reward.
The one million comments were collected from more than 20 organizations, including: 350.org, Alliance for Climate Education, Avaaz, Bold Nebraska, CCAN, Center for Effective Government, Credo, Environmental Action, Friends of the Earth, FWW, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, League of Women Voters, MoveOn, NWF, Oil Change International, NRDC, RAN, Sierra Club, and SumofUs.org.
On Monday, three reporters from nonprofit online news site InsideClimate were honored with a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on Canada’s tar sands and rupturing oil pipelines. Elizabeth McGowan, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer were honored for their reporting on “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of“, a seven-month investigation into the spill of Canadian tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
A new national coalition against TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline launched in the U.S. on Monday with a cutting-edge TV ad. The All Risk, No Reward Coalition seeks to debunk Big Oil’s propaganda about jobs and related benefits. The coalition argues that “the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk, and no reward”, and urges President Barack Obama to reject it.
As I’ve blogged before, Canada’s tar sands cannot enhance U.S. energy security. There will be a lot more costly pipeline ruptures and oil spills if Keystone XL is allowed to proceed. The pipeline – and Alberta tar sands – would nuke America’s new energy economy. In fact, the Keystone pipeline would create no more than 35 permanent jobs.
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and oil executives have consistently claimed that the dirty Alberta tar sands oil, the Canadian petro state and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline are a boon to U.S. energy security. Here are seven reasons why this isn’t the case:
1. Tar sands cannot break the power of OPEC. The oil cartel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), controls the world market for oil, and this will remain true with or without tar sands. The International Energy Agency forecasts show that OPEC’s share of the market is set to increase with or without tar sands growth. Even if the United States were to greatly increase its consumption of tar sands oil, it would not change the dynamic of the market or challenge OPEC control.