Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Just How Many Emissions Would Come from Canadian Oil Sands? Don't Ask Canada!

So much news of late about the Keystone XL pipeline: disputes over the size of the D.C. demonstration.  The flap about the muffled media coverage of President Obama's golf outing in Florida with Tiger Woods while the demonstrators braved the D.C. cold. on-msn.com/WU0mIe And a lot of CYA stuff from the Canadian government about how it really does care about climate change. (Oh?)

But one thing missing is a credible plan to track the emissions associated with the oil sands extraction for the fuel that's supposed to slosh through the pipeline. 

And a good story in today's Canadian Press bit.ly/11SyvvW explains why:
The revamping of environmental monitoring of the oilsands was supposed to be the federal government's defence against suspicions of widespread damage.

Now, a full year after Alberta and Ottawa unveiled a three-year plan to set aside their differences and keep a closer watch on the air, water and habitat in northern Alberta, there are still no formal results.
The Conservatives are striving to shore up their environmental credentials in the wake of a public chiding from the federal environmental watchdog and weighty words about climate change from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The centrepiece of Canada's credibility is the oilsands monitoring program. But progress on that front has become caught up in federal-provincial negotiations about technical details.

"We're not yet at a stage where we can release the data and say 'here is what we currently know'," said Karen Dodds, assistant deputy minister of Environment Canada's science and technology branch.

The bottom line: Canada still has no commitment or ability to independently monitor its oil sands air and water emissions

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