Shell Oil Granted Expansion in Alberta Tar Sands


B. McPherson
When you fill your gas tank, spare a thought for the consequences.

The Canadian Federal Government has granted permission to Shell Oil Canada to expand its oil sand extraction into its Jackpine holdings. This, in spite of the Minister of Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, acknowledging that it’s “likely to cause significant environmental effects”.
The move is “justified under the circumstance”. One wonders what the circumstance is that would further degrade the Northern Alberta environment, putting at danger the health of the fragile environment and the people who live there.  Perhaps the prospect of the multinational, foreign owned petroleum company pumping 100 000 barrels of oil a day from the area holds out the promise of too much money skimmed as taxes to pay attention to the damage done.

The local First Nation asked for and was granted an extension before the decision was made whether to grant Shell Canada permission to mine the area. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have pointed out that granting permission to mine will violate federal laws governing fishing and species at risk as well as violating treaty rights. The decision to grant permission was made before the extension ran out.
The local Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is crying foul. Chief Allen Adam is quoted on the CBC:

"They just kept us in the loop and strung us along and played games with us," he said. "To them it's all a game."
CBC News

Greenpeace spokespersons have come out strongly against further exploitation of the oily sands in the region. The government appointed panel warned of permanent damage to the area if the Jackpine claim was granted.
The review concluded that the project would mean the permanent loss of thousands of hectares of wetlands, which  could harm migratory birds, caribou and other wildlife and wipe out traditional plants used for generations. CBC News

Canada is a big country but the deliberate laying waste of a further 8 500 hectares(21 000acres) to fill the coffers of BigOil and contribute to world air pollution seems like a very bad act.

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