Atmosphere & Energy

Tar Sands Giant Total stonewalls public inquiry into Tar Sands plans

OTTAWA – One week after French tar sands giant Total blocked local residents from testifying at a tar sands upgrader hearing northeast of Edmonton, the corporation is now trying to limit what questions third party intervenors can ask with regards to their plans for a new tar sands mine. Total has objected to the right for Sierra Club Canada, an official intervenor in Total’s upcoming Jocelyn mine hearing, to ask several questions including questions about the impacts of tar sands development on First Nation and Metis communities, that were deemed by Total to be unrelated to the issues at hand.
... Read more »

A Brief History of Oil Spills (And Our Uncertain Future)

by Larry Dobson

These days, Canadians watch in horror as the worst oil spill in US history plays out in the Gulf of Mexico. Many are unaware, though, of the many other large spills that have occurred over the years throughout the world (see Spill Size History). While the present fears and concerns relate to offshore drilling rigs, spills actually occur at several different points along the chain of operations (see Spill Locations and Causes). In a review of reports of 133 major oil spills since 1967 it was found that most spills are from tankers (78%) and pipelines (9%), while the remaining occur at the wells / rigs (8%) or terminals and storage locations (5%) (see Spill Locations and Causes). We all know, however, that a spill from a well can dwarf a spill from a tanker.
... Read more »

A Brief History of Oil Spills (And Our Uncertain Future)

2010-06-14

These days, Canadians watch in horror as the worst oil spill in US history plays out in the Gulf of Mexico. Many are unaware, though, of the many other large spills that have occurred over the years throughout the world (see Spill Size History). While the present fears and concerns relate to offshore drilling rigs, spills actually occur at several different points along the chain of operations (see Spill Locations and Causes). In a review of reports of 133 major oil spills since 1967 it was found that most spills are from tankers (78%) and pipelines (9%), while the remaining occur at the wells / rigs (8%) or terminals and storage locations (5%) (see Spill Locations and Causes). We all know, however, that a spill from a well can dwarf a spill from a tanker.

Many, including politicians, want to believe that with improvements in technology and stricter regulations we will soon be able to prevent all such disasters.  The above review, however, does not support this optimistic outlook. The majority of the accidents were not due to problems with technology and could not have been prevented by regulations or timely inspections. Of the spills that occurred because of shipping accidents, 29% involved ship collisions, 22% involved ships running aground, and the remaining 49% involved other combinations of  factors including inclement weather, fog, fires, explosions, and accidental damage to the ships. Human error, often coupled with insurmountable forces of nature, plays the biggest role in such disasters.
... Read more »

Gulf oil spill ‘wake-up call’ for Ontario, groups warn McGuinty

Thirty environmental, urban planning and health groups will deliver a letter to Dalton McGuinty today, urging Ontario’s premier to break the province of its addiction to oil.

The groups — including Earthroots, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club Ontario and the David Suzuki Foundation — say the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a “wake-up call” for Ontario.

They say McGuinty should work to wean people off their dependence on oil and move the province towards cleaner energy methods, such as electric vehicles.

Additional excerpt:

Environmental Defence, one of the groups that signed the letter, says Ontario consumes almost 200 million barrels of oil each year, mostly for transportation, and sends up to $20 billion out of the province to buy it.

Oil Spill a 'Wake-Up Call' for Ontario: Groups

Premier Dalton McGuinty is being warned the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a “wake-up call” for Ontario.

Thirty environmental, urban planning and health groups will deliver a letter to the Premier today, urging Ontario to break its addiction to oil.

Additional excerpt:

The groups include Earthroots, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club Ontario and the David Suzuki Foundation.

 
Subscribe to our E-Sierran Emails

User login