Posted by: jmtoriel | September 9, 2010

Welcome to Canada, Pelosi — We’ll Follow Your Lead

Amazing how threatened certain leaders are to Ms. Pelosi’s visit. Much like the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)’s panicked response to enviro groups messaging, “Oh, there’s two squirrels chasing each other for a cone over here.” etc vs image-laden reality check — educating Americans and Euros alike of the sheer damaging scale of the tar sands with massive projected growth –presuming the US buys into the rhetoric that the industry has been spewing.
As the largest exporters of fossil foolishness hosting the single largest industrial emitter of CO2 on the planet, they’ll have a tough time explaining to US Congressional leader, Pelosi, and her entourage how a massive ramp up in size will mean improvements in environmental standards within the industry and social benefits outside of shareholders profits and 5% of Canadian jobs (many of which are part-time).
Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, who will be speaking to Pelosi and her entourage along with 3 other ENGOs (David Suzuki Foundation, Climate Action Network and Environmentla Defense), 2 First Nation leaders, and 4 industry leaders, stated recently that “between 1990 and 2008, Alberta was responsible for 52% of Canada’s emissions growth, despite being responsible for only 18% of GDP growth and 19% of the growth in population.” The hard truth is that the Canadian govt has repeatedly said that it will not lead, but follow the U.S. in matters of climate and energy policies. So, this is D-Day for both sides of the tar sands/oil sands PR vs science/ecological integrity.
The facts: Virtually every environmental indicator in the oil sands — GHG emissions, toxic waste generation, acid rain, habitat destruction and fresh water use — is getting WORSE because Canada and Alberta are failing to come up with a plan — ANY plan to establish or enforce absolute limits on the industry. Instead, our “leaders” rob over $2 billion in subsidies annually from taxpayers in subsidies! This cannot be hidden forever behind PR rhetoric coming from CAPP (or CRAP as I like to call it) despite claiming at G20 summit that such subsidies would be eliminated and Pelosi’s no idiot.
The federal and Alberta governments actively engage in denying the negative impacts of the tar sands — such as claiming that water pollution in the area is “natural,” a claim recently empirically reversed by Dr. David Schindler’s independent study on the Athabasca River. The industry has made similar claims and severely downplayed their extremely environmentally unsound extraction processes.
So, who will be listened to, I wonder?…

We will soon find out.

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