Oil sands - Feb 9
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Oil sands pumping problems: report
Tom Wagner, The Gateway
In 2005, every Albertan received $400 in the form of a prosperity bonus after high oil prices and increased production created a surplus in provincial coffers. Although many people enjoyed the extra cash, some say that there was a heavy environmental cost behind the $1.4 billion program.
According to Simon Dyer, researcher for the University of Alberta’s Pembina Institute and co-author of the report, Death by a Thousand Cuts, Alberta is facing a serious environmental crisis due to oil sands development in the northern part of the province.
(8 Feb 2007)
Mixing oil and water - Alberta oil sands
Jon Harding and Claudia Cattaneo
This is the first in a two-part Series Examining The Growing Debate Between Industry And the province of Alberta over The Use Of Water For The Surging oilsands sector
...In dry Alberta, conflict over water has been going on for years, fuelled by an industry that, it's estimated, requires between two and 4.5 barrels of H2O to produce a single barrel of crude. Moreover, while Canada boasts 20% of the world's freshwater, Alberta gets by with only 2.2%.
But now with $100-billion in oilsands development on the table around oilsands hub Fort McMurray, up to a dozen upgraders in the works for the region around Edmonton, and big population growth, the issue has taken on new urgency.
Indeed, while the big struggle among energy-consuming areas of the world now is to save oil, in oilrich, water-poor Alberta, it's coming down to saving water.
(3 Feb 2007)
Oil patch girds for battle with Ottawa
Shawn McCarthy and Bill Curry, Globe & Mail
Fears grow Conservatives may unveil tough new policies on taxes, emissions
OTTAWA -- Canadian oil executives have moved to defend their industry as "a major driver of the Canadian economy" amid growing fears in Calgary that the Conservative government is preparing to unveil tough, politically motivated environmental and tax policies.
In a letter obtained by The Globe and Mail, Kathleen Sendall, the chairwoman of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, takes issue with suggestions that the booming oil sands developments are unfairly subsidized and that the highly profitable industry can easily afford tax increases and new environmental regulations that would drive up costs.
...But top of mind for the industry executives will be Ottawa's plans for the accelerated capital cost allowance, a controversial tax break that provides generous writeoffs for oil sands companies.
(8 Feb 2007)