Atmosphere & Energy

ACTION ALERT: Help appoint an independent commissioner of unconventional oil production


This is your chance to nominate an independent commissioner to review Canada’s unconventional oil production, including offshore drilling and the tar sands.

All parties voted to hold a review of unconventional oil production, but as of yet no one has been appointed. So we here at Sierra Club Canada thought this would be an opportunity to ask Canadians.

Send us your nomination. Click here.

Why is this important? With the BP spill in the Gulf Coast, governments around the world are reconsidering the leeway they have given to the oil industry. In Canada, there are a range of offshore projects planned in Newfoundland and Labrador and the Arctic. Most recently, the federal government has moved against a long-standing moratorium on offshore drilling and tanker traffic in British Columbia. Meanwhile, Alberta’s tar sands are expanding at an alarming rate.   

These developments reinforce the need for an independent commissioner to investigate the rules, regulations and practices of unconventional oil production in Canada, and examine the viability of available alternatives.

Canada has a long and proud tradition of appointing independent commissioners to study issues of critical national interest. Typically, the commissioner selected is well-regarded and has expertise on his or her assigned file.
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Calgary retailers plan program to cut back on plastic bag use

The province and major retailers are set to launch a five-year program to curb the use of plastic shopping bags in Alberta, a voluntary project that won't include a legislated ban that some argue is necessary.

The new program will have reduction targets and be industry led, according to the Alberta director of the Retail Council of Canada, one of the associations involved in the project.

Additional excerpt:

"We would like to see stronger measures being put forth that are comparable to Ireland and other countries, where there is a legislative insurance that these bans and reductions occur," said Sheryle Carlson, with the Prairie chapter of the Sierra Club.

Negotiating the Climate Change Web: A Community Vision

Negotiating the Climate Change Web: A Community Vision is an innovative gathering, bringing together Nova Scotian stakeholders - including government, NGOs and the public - to discuss the interrelationships between trade, environment, society and climate change. It is about engaging the abilities and experience of community members to strive toward true sustainability by conceiving recommendations and goals applicable to issues being addressed in the G8 and G20 meetings.... Read more »

Canada's off-shore oil procedure explained

By Isabelle Gingras; photo by Vicky Brock - The National Energy Board can issue licenses to offshore drilling projects in Canada that comply with both the Environmental Assessment Act as well as Canada’s Oil and Gas Operations Act. After issuing a license, The National Energy Board is responsible for monitoring off-shore activities through audits and inspections. These look for adequate worker safety measures, environment safety, and resource conservation plans that meet the acts’ obligations. The NEB started administering COGOA in 1991 or so. Since that time (actually since December 1989) there has been only one offshore drilling program in the non-Accord Frontier offshore (and that was in 2005). NEB has conducted several inspections on that project.
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Groups want to see green power

As part of an effort to better inform the people about just what an enhanced public policy on green energy sources could do for the economy, two environmental groups have come together to tour Alberta.

Greenpeace and the prairie chapter of the Sierra Club have teamed up in hopes that a better informed public will get them to go to the Alberta government and press them to implement a green energy strategy.

The tour, which began last week and stopped in Fort Saskatchewan last Thursday, featured speakers that focused on energy, jobs and the benefit to the province's economy of a shift toward greener energy choices.

Additional excerpt:

Sheryle Carlson with the Sierra Club focused most of her attention on the environmental argument for implementing a green energy strategy.
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