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Alberta Diary: Welcome to Alberta, where, baby, these are the days of miracles and wonders…

Conservative political leaders distribute loaves and fishes, part of the school lunch program planned for the hundreds of new schools that will be popping up overnight out here in Alberta. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Premier Jim Prentice, Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and Education Minister Gordon Dirks, all of whom we can have faith will deliver.

It is no longer a metaphor when we say Alberta’s conservative politicians are performing miracles and wonders.

Leastways, yesterday, Premier Jim Prentice announced his intention to perform an actual, literal miracle – to create 230 new (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL: The Last Six Years, By The Numbers

On the six-year anniversary of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline proposal, highlights some of the facts and figures associated with the dangerous tar sands project.

The post Keystone XL: The Last Six Years, By The Numbers appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta tar sands claim the soul of Conservative MP Rob Merrifield

Conservative MP Rob Merrifield resigned his elected seat this week to work as Alberta Premier Jim Prentice’s leading tar sands lobbyist in Washington.

The post Alberta tar sands claim the soul of Conservative MP Rob Merrifield appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Who would you believe—Stephen Harper or Willie Nelson?

Apparently the $24-million of our tax money the federal government spent on an ad campaign to promote Canadian oil and the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington has gone down the drain. According to experts on Canada-U.S. relations, the campaign was a bust. “Buy our oil because we’re nice people—that doesn’t fly,” said David Biette, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson - Alberta politics: Alberta oil sands not welcome in South Portland, Maine

TweetWhat’s going on in South Portland, Maine? Elected officials in the port city are on the verge of banning crude oil from Canada’s tar sands from entering their port. With a large and busy port, South Portland is the home of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, which pumps millions of barrels of oil each year. According to […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Joe Cressy, The NDP, And Keystone XL

NDP candidate Joe Cressy is yakking it up at the #trinspa debate: Cressy: stop subsidizing oil patch, and start green energy; stop the Keystone XL pipeline, etc. #trinspa— Pundits’ Guide (@punditsguide) June 23, 2014

You know we all hate Keystone here in T.O. but I don’t see what making it front-and-center in their campaign is going to do for the NDP.  What practical effect does opposing a pipeline the fate of which will be decided by the government of another country have?  The entire party might as well drop its pants are fart in the direction of Washington.  It’ll (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Charge Protestors With Terrorism And Throw Them in Prison!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

This compelling video landed in my inbox this morning courtesy of a Cowichan Bay activist.

It claims that a Canadian corporation Trans Canada Pipeline, the force behind Keystone XL pipeline is training FBI and local law enforcement agencies on how to charge legal protestors with terrorism.

They say that in Oklahoma the cops and prosecutors are lapping it up.

This ’The Young Turks‘ video shines a light on the outrageous tactics of Trans Canada Pipeline corporation. The latest President Obama stall delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline to deliver bitumen from the Alberta Tar (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: How Ezra Levant Wrecked The Harper Government’s Energy Strategy

From Bloomberg:

Still, the prime minister was unhappy that depictions of Canada as a “dirty oil” nation were not being adequately confronted by the industry or his ministers. He had become enamored with an argument put forth by conservative commentator Ezra Levant in a book called “Ethical Oil.” It posited that many petro-nations used their oil riches to finance nefarious activities and subjugate their own citizens.[...]Canada, in the view of Levant, stood practically alone as an ethical producer. In a “mandate letter” setting forth his priorities, Harper instructed Oliver, his new Natural Resources Minister, to become (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Oil By Rail Just Got More Expensive

An account of the feds new rail safety improvements can be found here.  From it:

The federal government wants a three-year phase-out or retrofit of older tank cars that are used to transport crude oil by rail, but will not implement a key TSB recommendation that rail companies conduct route planning when transporting dangerous goods.As well, certain tankers that Raitt said have “no continuous reinforcement of their bottom shells” will be removed within 30 days, by ministerial order. There are 5,000 of these cars in North America, she said, but could not give a figure of how many are (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Jonathon Chait On Keystone XL

I’ve said it before, environmentalists aren’t focused on Obama regulations re existing power plants because their role in that fight is largely over.  They did their bit. They won.  Chait acknowledges  this vaguely.  He writes:

I’ve argued that the EPA regulations on existing power plants due to come out this summer are Obama’s chance to fulfill his original climate goals that seemed to slip away when the cap-and-trade bill died in Congress during his first term. That doesn’t mean Obama is destined to succeed. Several things have to go right. First, the regulations have to be good — 200 (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Keystone Delayed!!!

…until after the November U.S. mid-terms.  So probably into 2015!  Although I don’t see this as much of a Cdn election issue.  It doesn’t really matter what your position is on a decision that’s up to the yanks to make.  Which is why I am willing to cut Justin Trudeau some slack on this issue.  What’s far more important is where he ends up on the Trans Mountain line.

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-US president Jimmy Carter urges Obama to reject Keystone XL Pipeline

“History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” laureates remind President Obama as the world awaits his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline

by: Obert Madondo | April 17, 2014

To show leadership on climate change and leave a lasting legacy, US President Barack Obama must reject TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. That’s the message from Jimmy Carter.

The former US president joined South African anti-apartheid icon Bishop Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have signed a strongly-worded open letter urging Obama to (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Meet two ambassadors from Canada’s indigenous tar sands resistance

by Kristin Moe | First published by YES! Magazine on March 5, 2014

In 1885, a revolutionary leader wrote, “My people will sleep for one hundred years” and then wake up. In the “genocidal” wilderness of Canada’s tar sands, that renaissance has begun.

The debate over the tar sands has heated up once again in the United States, with nearly 400 students arrested in a protest at the White House last weekend. The arrestees were demanding that the Keystone XL pipeline be stopped.

But First Nations groups in the heart of Alberta, the Canadian province where the tar sands are (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Timely Reminder

In light of the National Energy Board’s rubber stamping of the Enbridge Line 9 reversal with very few safeguards, here is a timely reminder of the inherent dangers of pipelines:

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Post by West Coast Native News. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Not Everyone Has Drunk The Kool-Aid: A Doctor Speaks Out On The Health Effects Of Tarsands’ Development

As reported in The Vancouver Observer, grave health risks from the Alberta tarsands are both statistically significant and deeply disturbing.

A northern Alberta doctor, John O’Connor, was invited to Washington to brief two U.S. Senators who are against the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that would carry bitumen from Alberta to Texas. O’Connor told them there have been the devastating health impacts of the tar sands on families – effects, he says, that have been willfully “ignored” by the Canadian and Alberta governments.

He sighted statistics for rare cancers – of the bile duct for example – that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Supporting Keystone is supporting the Kochs

Criticism of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline focuses, understandably, on the threat it poses to the environment, both in its construction and in its enabling more production from the tar sands. Too often overlooked is the political mischief that approval will contribute to.

According to an article in the CCPA Monitor, “Petroleum Coke from Oil Refineries Polluting the Atmosphere,” the pipeline

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Justin Trudeau On Pipelines

From his interview with Calgary Metro News:“Because of that I have been a strong promoter of the Keystone XL pipeline and also a harsh critic on the way the prime minister has approached pushing the Keystone XL pipeline. To my mind, the only thing that has prevented Keystone XL from getting approved already in the United States – and what has allowed it become such a polarizing issue, with celebrities weighing in and all sorts of people having very strong opinions even though there is not necessarily all that many facts going around in many of the conversations – (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s 13 most under-reported political news stories of 2013

Another aircraft takes off from Fort McMurray International Aerodrome loaded with CO2 captured from Alberta’s Athabasca bitumen sands. The gas will be stored in the basements of Russian buildings as part of a deal worked out through the province’s $2-billion “carbon capture” program. Actual Alberta carbon capture boondoggles may not operate exactly as described. Below: A Lethbridge student continues studying as hydraulic fracking operations take place next to her school; why is this doctor smiling? Hint: He runs a Family Care Clinic.

Soon it’ll be 2014 and the mainstream media can get back to doing what it does best: panicking (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: A Couple Of Polls On CDN Pipelines

From Forum, so FWIW:

A bit surprising, or at least other polls in B.C. have shown support for NG drifting upward.  And, nterestingly enough, opposition to the Keystone XL line is and remains much higher in Canada than in The United States.

The Canadian Progressive: Dents, Sags, Structural Flaws Plague Keystone XL: Report

A new report by Public Citizen says the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is riddled with structural flaws that could spark dangerous leaks and spills.

The post Dents, Sags, Structural Flaws Plague Keystone XL: Report appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Halloween 2013: a meditation on power

Prime Minister Stephen Harper just one year ago. Actual Canadian prime ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Senator Mike Duffy and former Harper cabinet member Jim Prentice.

Last Halloween, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper went trick ’n’ treating, he was monarch of all he surveyed.

This year, he’s a ghost.

Oh, Mr. Harper is still corporeal enough. He passed through security Wednesday on his way to Calgary, I suppose, although one imagines prime ministers don’t have to take off their shoes and shuffle along in their stockings, or answer to why they failed to stow their toothpaste is (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Jonathan Chait’s Puzzling Defense Of Keystone XL

He writes:

Keystone is at best marginally relevant to the cause of stopping global warming. The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention.

My view, which I laid out in a long feature story last spring, is that the central environmental issue of Obama’s presidency is not Keystone at all but using the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate existing power plants. That’s a tool Obama has that can bring American greenhouse gas emissions in line with international standards, and thus open the door to lead an international climate treaty in 2015. The amount of carbon emissions (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Some NDP hypocrisy on oil pipelines

I want to remark on an online/social media phenomenon I’ve seen, (mostly on Twitter) the past couple of days, where NDP activists, particularly ones who are active in the Toronto Centre by-election, are going after Justin Trudeau on his spoken support at a US conference (attended by ex-Australian PM Julia Gillard and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, among others) for Keystone XL and the proposed oil pipeline running south (yet to be approved by the US). This is not a new position he’s taken, though its being played up by some as that (and to be fair, a lot (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Justin On Keystone

People may have been surprised, but shouldn’t have been.  Justin’s position on Keystone XL has been on record for awhile know.  And though I personally oppose Keystone and all other pipelines coming out of Mordor, that is not a tenable stance for a politician looking to win a few seats in Alta. or Sask.  Indeed, of the three pipelines currently under consideration, Keystone is the easiest to get behind because its fate is entirely out of Canadian hands.  There’s nothing that need to be done, or can be done at this point, but add a few cheers from the (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Canadians Are "Concerned" About A Lotta Stuff

If “a majority of Canadians say they are “concerned” about potential negative financial impacts on their families if proposed pipeline projects fail to get the go-ahead” is the best they can suck out of the results of the latest Ipsos-Reid poll, then I imagine the details are even worse news for team tar-sands.  I wonder if Ipsos asked a straight up-or-down question re approval/disapproval of the individual projects under consideration?