NEB’s “Public Comment” Doesn’t Include Public or Climate Change

29 01 2015

Dear friends across Canada,

In days, the National Energy Board will start public consultations that could decide the fate of the eastern oil sands pipeline.But they want to freeze out discussion of climate change, and limit the number of people they hear from. Now citizens’ groups are coming together to build an enormous combined call for full and fair hearings — click now to join and tell everyone!


A group of energy sector insiders look set to rubber stamp the eastern oil sands pipeline, which will cross rivers and cut through communities from Alberta to Québec and New Brunswick — choking the climate, and risking spills of up to 2.6 million litres of oil. 

Shockingly, they say that climate change isn’t their concern.

The good news is that the National Energy Board is about to start public consultations before this crucial decision is made — but they only want to hear from a hand picked few, on topics that they choose.

Right now, citizens’ groups are coming together to make the biggest push yet for a fair and inclusive process that will look at all the issues — if we all add our voices, they will have to listen, or risk a complete loss of public faith.

We only have days before the process starts. Click now to tell these decision makers to put their rubber stamp back in their pockets, and instead protect our precious natural resources and the climate. When 100,000 sign on, Avaaz will bring all our voices right to the NEB’s doorstep in Calgary.

PM Harper’s government has tethered our economy to the oil industry, they’ve described the National Energy Board as an “ally”, and they advise on appointments to the board.

But the NEB is supposed to be independent, and they are required to hear from people impacted by these mega projects. This should include people impacted by the devastating effects of climate change too.

The NEB says that climate change isn’t its concern, and that the provinces, together with pipeline-builder TransCanada, should deal with it. But it’s taking a narrow look at only the oil transportation issues, and not at the pipeline’s role in unleashing carbon from the tar sands on the world. Building this pipeline means digging ourselves further into a downward spiral of oil dependency and its impact on our changing climate needs to be reviewed.

New studies show that the pipeline, which will transport over 1 million barrels of tar sands crude each day, is vulnerable to corrosion, cracking, and massive spills. The Ontario-commissioned studies also say that the pipeline doesn’t provide the economic benefits that have been claimed, and there could be impacts on drinking water.

The National Energy Board could decide that the project is simply too risky for Canadians to bear. As they prepare for public consultation, let’s make sure that they hear from as many people as possible, and look at all the impacts of this oily pipeline. Click now to take action:

Late last year, pipeline company TransCanada hired a giant PR firm that suggested targeting Avaaz and other organisations. We won’t be intimidated by this dirty war! By raising our voices together, we can show the NEB that thousands of Canadians demand fair and open hearings on this massive project.

With hope,

Jo, Ari, Danny, Emma, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team


National Energy Board’s pipeline focus isn’t climate change, CEO says (CBC)

Poll shows few Quebecers support Energy East pipeline (Montreal Gazette)

City raises pipeline concerns (Winnipeg Free Press)

More details needed on impact of Energy East pipeline, report says (Toronto Star)

Energy East pipeline benefits overblown, report says (CBC)

TransCanada pressuring opponents of Energy East pipeline, documents show (Toronto Star)


29 12 2014


Catholic Bishops From Every Continent Call For ‘An End To The Fossil Fuel Era’

Pope Francis and a group of bishops at the Vatican.

Pope Francis and a group of bishops at the Vatican.


A group of Catholic Bishops called on the world’s governments to end fossil fuel use on Wednesday, citing climate change’s threat to the global poor as the lodestar of their concern.

According to the BBC, the statement is the first time senior officials in the Church from every continent have issued such a call. The statement also drops in the middle of ongoing international climate talks in Lima, Peru, as countries continue to hash out what to do about climate change in the run-up to a summit in 2015, where observers and activists hope a new international agreement will be finalized.

“We express an answer to what is considered God’s appeal to take action on the urgent and damaging situation of global climate warming,” the bishops wrote.

Striking a similar note to Naomi Klein’s recent book, “This Changes Everything,” the bishops’ statement also argued that global capitalism and its economic systems, as currently designed, are incompatible with long-term ecological sustainability: “The main responsibility for this situation lies with the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation. In viewing objectively the destructive effects of a financial and economic order based on the primacy of the market and profit, which has failed to put the human being and the common good at the heart of the economy, one must recognize the systemic failures of this order and the need for a new financial and economic order.”

The document calls on the international community to “adopt a fair and legally binding global agreement” to cut carbon emissions at the summit in Paris next year. Specifically, the bishops insist on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels — a considerably more ambitious goal than the 2°C ceiling that’s generally agreed on as the threshold beyond which climate change becomes truly dangerous — and on building “new models of development and lifestyles that are both climate compatible” and can “bring people out of poverty.”

“Central to this is to put an end to the fossil fuel era, phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in 100 percent renewables with sustainable energy access for all.”

The goal of reducing global carbon emissions to zero is already making the rounds in Lima, and the Associated Press reports that dozens of governments are on board with the idea. At its current rate of emissions, the world will actually use up its “carbon budget” — the total amount of greenhouse gases it can emit this century and still stay under 2°C — by 2040, though slowing that rate in the coming years will extend the deadline.

The bishops’ logic and their goal for restraining temperature increase is rooted in prioritizing “the immediate needs of the most vulnerable communities.” Indeed, precisely because of their lack of resources and infrastructure, many of the globe’s poorest populations — particularly those in Southern Asia and Africa — are especially vulnerable to the droughts, floods, rising seas, storms, and other forms of extreme weather that are part and parcel of climate change. Meanwhile, a report released by the United Nations this past Friday determined that the amount poor and developing countries will have to collectively invest in adapting to climate change will run between $250 and $500 billion annually by 2050 even if the world does keep to the 2°C threshold. There’s also at least some scientific evidence that the effects of climate change at a 2°C rise will be considerably more severe than generally thought.

The U.N. report also determined that there is currently a massive gap between what the developing countries will need and what the developed world is willing to pay — a point of considerable tension in the international talks. While China has overtaken the United States as the biggest cumulative emitter, the U.S. maintains are far higher level of emissions per capita. Furthermore, climate change is cumulative, meaning the bulk of the effects are still driven by the carbon the U.S. and the rest of the western world historically emitted in the course of building their wealth. That greater wealth per person also means advanced countries have far more room to invest in cutting emissions and in aiding the still-developing neighbors.

“Those responsible for climate change have responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing loss and damage and to share the necessary technology and knowhow,” the bishops continue, while insisting that 50 percent of all climate-related public funding go to meet the developing world’s adaptation needs.

While this is a first by some markers, the Bishops’ statement also continues a long tradition of engagement with environmental issues and climate change by the Catholic Church. Pope Francis himself has made the religious case for combating climate change, warning that “if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!” Earlier this year, the Church held a five-day summit bringing together scientists, economists, philosophers, astronomers, and other experts to explore ways the Catholic church could address climate change and its related challenges. Francis has also singled out the destruction of the rainforest as a “sin,” as is working on an official papal encyclical tackling the environment and humanity’s relationship to it.

Fracking Moratorium Could Force Corridor Resources out of NB

20 12 2014

Hundreds of jobs at stake near Sussex, government says mine has other options

CBC News Posted: Dec 20, 2014 1:11 PM AT Last Updated: Dec 20, 2014 1:11 PM AT

A fracking moratorium in New Brunswick could affect hundreds of jobs by forcing Corridor Resources to leave the province, according to the natural gas and petroleum company.

President and CEO Steve Moran says Corridor Resources is still gauging the impact of the moratorium, but says if it lasts for a long period of time, the company may have to relocate outside of the province.

“We’ll have to move our capital and our expenditures elsewhere. We really don’t want to, but we’ll have no choice,” Moran said.

 Corridor Resources has been fracking near Sussex for a decade. The company co-owns a pipeline with PotashCorp that carries fracked gas to the new potash mine in Penobsquis, where about 450 people work.

The moratorium will prevent Corridor Resources from fracking for more gas to continue supplying the mine, according to Moran.

Premier Brian Gallant introduced the moratorium on Thursday,explicitly outlining five conditions that must be satisfied before the moratorium is lifted.

The moratorium will not be ‘grandfathered’ for companies with projects already underway.

“It’ll be up to them to see if there’s other ways to be able to continue their operations without the process of hydraulic fracturing,” Gallant said.

Energy Minister Donald Arseneault says the mine has other options.

“PotashCorp has other means as well to access gas as they’re connected to the Maritimes Northeast pipeline, ” Arsenault said.

The Maritimes and Northeast pipeline connects natural gas from developments from offshore Nova Scotia to markets in Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States.

Arseneault also says Corridor Resources has several active wells that don’t need to be fracked in order to supply the PotashCorp mine.

Stanford: Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy

19 12 2014

Largest Tar Sands Pipeline to US Shut Down Indefinitely After Spill of 50,000+ Gallons

19 12 2014

Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, Alta., has agreed to pay about $6.8 million to settle a class action in one of the costliest onshore oil spills in U.S. history. (photo: AP)
Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, Alta., has agreed to pay about $6.8 million to settle a class action in one of the costliest onshore oil spills in U.S. history. (photo: AP)

By Scott Haggett, Reuters

18 December 14

nbridge Inc said on Thursday it has no restart date yet for its 796,000-barrel-per-day Line 4, the largest oil-export pipeline to the United States, after it was shut a day earlier after a spill of 1,350 barrels at its Regina, Saskatchewan, oil terminal.

Graham White, a spokesman for the company, said in an email the spill originated at a flange or valve within the terminal, so there were no problems with the pipeline itself. He said that could mean the problem is “a relatively easy fix”, but could not speculate on when the line would return to service.

UPDATED: Liberals imposing moratorium on All fracking activity

18 12 2014

T&T   DEC 18

ADAM HURAS Legislature Bureau
December 18, 2014

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant.Photo: James West/THE CANADIAN PRESS

FREDERICTON • New Brunswick’s Liberal government plans on imposing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

Premier Brian Gallant said the moratorium is on all hydraulic fracturing activity – water and propane included.

Gallant said that the move will require amendments to the oil and natural gas act, expected to be introduced in the legislature on Thursday afternoon.

He stressed the move is not a ban and that it could be lifted in the future.

But the moratorium has a series of conditions that need to be met before being lifted, including a process to consult with First Nations, a plan for wastewater disposal and credible information about the impacts fracking has on health, water and the environment.

“We have been clear from Day One that we will impose a moratorium until risks to the environment, health and water are understood,” Gallant said. “We believe these conditions to be very reasonable.”

Gallant said he also wants the development of a royalty structure and a “social licence’” ensuring that the public accepts fracking before the moratorium would be removed, though he acknowledged that has yet to be defined.

He said his government supports job creation but added that it needs to be done in a diversified and sustainable way.

“We’re not interested in putting all of our eggs in a single basket,” he said.

But the moratorium is strictly on hydraulic fracturing, meaning exploration for shale gas could continue.

Companies can continue work, as long as they don’t frack.

“We’ll certainly also always listen to businesses that may have concerns and try to mitigate some of the impacts if they believe (them) to be negative on their operations,” he said.

Fracking is a process whereby a pressurized fluid is injected into shale rock in order to crack the rock and release underground natural gas deposits.

In making the announcement, Gallant is carrying out another of its cornerstone commitments.

The Liberal election campaign platform pledges to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing “until risks to the environment, health and water are fully understood.”

“Any decision on hydraulic-fracturing will be based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence and follow recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health,” it states.

The move risks killing an industry that has already invested hundreds of millions in New Brunswick.

It also raises the danger of multi-million dollar legal action from the companies that were granted licences by both Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments in the province over the last decade.

But it erases the threat of environmental risks that have been hotly debated across the country and around the world.

New Brunswick’s move follows moratoriums in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

It turns it back on joining provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan with a history of hydraulic fracturing having embraced industry development.


The arguments, reports, and studies for and against the well-stimulation technique are many.

The Fraser Institute has stated the environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing are real but manageable with existing technologies and regulation, noting that stopping shale gas development is squandering a good economic opportunity.

A group of university and private sector analysts released a report on shale gas that included an economic study that predicted New Brunswick could create between 5,900 and 7,900 full-time jobs, both directly and indirectly, if the industry annually drilled between 150 and 200 wells.

That would translate into between $1.4 billion and $1.8 billion in economic growth.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in September that a total of 44,266 oil and natural gas wells have been hydraulically fractured in Saskatchewan.

There were 1,380 wells fracked there last year, without incident.

“There are simply not the incidents that some who oppose fracking are pointing to,” he said.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark maintains that her province has “never had a single incident of water contamination reported in British Columbia after doing this for 50 years.”

The David Alward Progressive Conservatives went all in on the industry in a failed re-election bid that urged New Brunswickers to “say yes” to what the Tories said would be $10 billion in short-term investment.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Premier Philippe Couillard ruled out exploiting Quebec’s shale gas reserves.

Quebecers are largely against hydraulic fracturing and exploiting the natural resource in today’s market is not economically viable, he said.

Couillard made the comments shortly after Quebec’s environmental review board concluded the ecological and social risks associated with hydraulic fracturing outweigh the financial benefits.

Nova Scotia has moved ahead with legislation to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore oil and gas. Only three test wells have been hydraulically fracked in Nova Scotia since 2007, all of them in the Kennetcook area, where Denver-based Triangle Petroleum failed to make the natural gas there flow.

The government there won’t consider lifting the ban until it is convinced fracking can be done safely under a set of stringent new rules and regulations.

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, which represents 22 community organizations, called on the Gallant government earlier this week to “put people before politics” when it comes to the shale gas industry.

“We recognize that the government is under significant pressure from the oil and gas lobby, in both public and private, to reverse or weaken its decision (for a moratorium), and its promise to the electorate,” said alliance spokesman Jim Emberger at a news conference in Moncton. “This is no less than a direct attempt by industry to subvert the will and voice of the people and therefore, is also a direct attempt to undermine our democratic process.”

Putting a Price on Carbon Web Seminar Jan. 27

17 12 2014

Dear Climate Activists in Nova Scotia,

I have great news! Citizens’ Climate Lobby is co-sponsoring a Carbon Price Forum moderated by Stephen Lewis. This is an enjoyable way to fill in all the details regarding carbon pricing through attending or watching an interesting and eloquent event. The forum will take place on Tuesday, January 27 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.  in Toronto but livestreamed and taped so you can see it in Ottawa or at home. I invite you to mark it in your calendar.

As you probably know, there is mounting pressure from industry, media, the IMF and civil society groups like CCL for Canada to put a price on carbon. You may have caught the editorial in the Globe and Mail on Saturday: Why Stephen Harper should love carbon taxes –

Our carbon pricing debate will bring in top Canadian experts to discuss how to design an effective carbon pricing mechanism for our country. I encourage you to attend or watch. Here are the details:

Putting a Price on Carbon

sponsored by

For Our Grandchildren    Citizens’ Climate Lobby

School of the Environment – University of Toronto


What’s the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

while stimulating the economy?

Join Stephen Lewis and an expert panel

on how to effectively put a price on carbon in Canada.

Two methods are frequently proposed: Cap and Trade and a Carbon Tax

Our forum panelists will present the case for each of these methods.


Isabel Bader Auditorium,

93 Charles Street West,

Victoria College University of Toronto


Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.


Stephen Lewis,

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University


Nicholas Rivers, Chairholder, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy,

University of Ottawa

David Robinson, Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University

Katie Sullivan, Director, North America and Climate Finance, IETA

Gray Taylor, a leading climate change lawyer working in Toronto

Cost of Tickets:         

$20. Group Orders (5 or more) $10 each.

Details on tickets will be posted shortly here: .



Joanne Light

Group Leader

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Halifax

6339 Young Street, Halifax, N.S. B3L 2A2


Operation Alert Debert Dec. 28 1 PM

15 12 2014

Operation Alert Debert

Sunday, December 28 at 1:00pm
Debert, Nova Scotia in Debert, Nova Scotia

We’re heading to Debert to have a fun family friendly gathering to meet the locals and educate them on the risks of flow back frack waste. Side walk chalk and hot chocolate will be available. ❤

Fracking Waste Company Tries Again To Dump It In Colchester

AIS goes back to beginning after string of refusals

The main fracking waste holding pond at the Atlantic Industrial Services Debert facility

Colchester County approved last week an Atlantic Industrial Services application to discharge treated fracking waste water from Kennetcook to the Debert sewage treatment plant on a Bay of Fundy estuary.

If this give readers a sense of deja vu, it is probably because this is exactly the same approval process that was launched in early last year, ultimately ending in rejection by the County in May 2013. 

Two months after the rejection by Colchester County, AIS tried to shop the fracking waste water to the Town of Windsor. With Environment Department permission and supervision, the company had in 2010 and 2011 discharged over 7 million litres of untreated fracking wastes from New Brunswick. While initially attracted to the revenue stream, Windsor followed suit with Colchester and rejected the proposal.

Longer in the works was the AIS initiated proposal to evaporate the treated waste water in the cement kiln at the Lefarge plant in Brookfield. One year after the Colchester rejection, the Department of Environment gave it’s approval for that as a pilot project. The department recently approved the continuation of that project, after reviewing results from the testing of stack emissions and the cement product.

The Environment Department has declined to comment on why they did not require testing of the cement kiln dust, despite concerns about leaching from the tailings left around the plant, and used in biosolids spread on farm fields.

For reasons that are not known, while trucking wastes for disposal at the Lefarge plant, Atlantic Industrial Services has continued trying to find a municipality that would accept the discharge of the treated wastes into its sewer system.

The next attempt by AIS was to propose trucking the processed fracking waste water out of province to Dieppe. There it has rented the very small facility of a defunct waste water company, and seems to have essentially inherited the New Brunswick provincial certification for Acadia Waste Management. It appears that there is a two birds with one stone goal here: AIS solving its Nova Scotia problem, and at the same time establishing a precedent for processing New Brunswick fracking wastes that it is no longer allowed to transport to Nova Scotia.

At any rate, that AIS proposal is presently bogged down at the level of the provincial government. Municipal officials in Dieppe and Moncton do not yet have a formal proposal, but have displayed as much wariness about the prospects as have their colleagues in Nova Scotia.

So we come to the fifth stop in the saga of where does AIS unload the processed fracking waste water…. keeping in mind that we have yet to hear what the plans are for the solid form chemical and radionucleide contaminants removed from the waste water and now being stockpiled at the company’s Debert facility.

Seemingly from nowhere, the Town of Amherst emerged as the solution. The Mayor, the CAO, and several councilors were all supportive of the proposal, but the swift pushback from residents overcame the attraction of the $500,000 offered. Amherst ended negotiations with AIS 3 weeks ago.

For it’s next stop the fracking waste water saga returns to the beginning: AIS has applied once more for discharge from its facility into the nearby Debert sewage treatment plant. Council of Canadians regional organizer Angela Giles worked with Colchester residents during the 2013 process, and made a presentation at public hearings hosted by the municipality.

“How many times will the community need to fight this,” asks Giles. “And the timing of it all, with an appeals deadline during the holidays, makes it seem as though the County is trying to sneak this through.” She stresses that Colchester residents need to be contacting their Councilors, and that they consider registering to make an appeal submission before the December 29 deadline.

As with the 2013 AIS application, the current one has been approved by municipal staff. Unless Council chooses to also overturn the current approval, the company will be able to discharge the processed fracking waste water- 30 million litres at the Debert facility and at the two seven year old ‘temporary’ storage ponds in Kennetcook. Part of Colchester Council’s consideration will be reviewing appeal submissions accepted from residents and non-residents of the County, which can take any form.

“This appears like a scramble by AIS to find any community to take the waste,” said Giles. “People working on this issue are asking, why are communities being forced to find their way out of a mess someone else made? Our provincial government obviously failed us at regulating Triangle Petroleum’s operation in Hants County, and failed again at oversight when AIS was enlisted to get rid of the waste water mess. Provincial oversight has finally improved. But where is the leadership in finding an end to what Environment Minister Delorey has called our legacy issue?”

Colchester Co Allows AIS to Dump Frack Wastewater in Debert

13 12 2014


(CP) – Approval has been granted by the County of Colchester for Atlantic Industrial Services to dispose of millions of litres of treated fracking water into the municipal sewer system.

Under the approval the public has been given until Dec. 29 to submit an appeal.

For the past several years Atlantic Industrial Services has been storing millions of litres of flowback water from hydraulic fracking operations in Kennetcook.

Earlier this year, the company disposed of two million litres through a pilot project at the Lafarge cement plant near Brookfield, where the treated water was used as a coolant in the kiln, heated to 700 degrees Celsius and disposed of through evaporation.

The company also recently attempted to negotiate a deal with the town of Amherst with an offer of $500,000 to dispose of the water stored in Debert, along with another 20-million litres still remaining in holding ponds in Kennetcook, but that was turned down after objections from the public.

Some 10-million litres remain in the Debert holding tanks.

(Truro News)

$100 million Alton gas project delayed over Mi’kmaq concerns

25 11 2014

N.S. government intervenes seven years after environmental approvals

By Paul Withers, CBC News Posted: Oct 29, 2014 4:54 PM AT Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014 5:08 PM AT

The provincial government has halted work on this portion of the $100 million Alton Gas Storage project.

The provincial government has halted work on this portion of the $100 million Alton Gas Storage project. (CBC)

The Nova Scotia government has halted part of the construction work on the $100-million Alton Natural Gas Storage Project until Calgary-based AltaGas carries out further consultation with the Mi’kmaq, CBC News has learned.

Nova Scotia is enforcing the consultation by withholding provincial permits. The bureaucratic time out was revealed Wednesday at a seminar on aboriginal environmental consultation in Halifax.

“We have altered timelines… to accommodate further consultation,” says Peter Geddes of Nova Scotia Environment.

The Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs demanded a halt to the project last week claiming its concerns over the project’s impact on fish have not a beenaddressed.

“The commitment we’ve heard is there won’t be any further permits or approvals delivered on this particular project until meaningful and adequate consultation has happened,” says Twila Gaudet, consultation liason for the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative.

On Wednesday officials with the Department of Environment, the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs and AltaGas confirmed that permits are being withheld.

AltaGas plans to drill into large underground salt caverns to store natural gas near Stewiacke, N.S. It will flush large quantities of salty water generated during the construction process out with the falling tides at the confluence of the Shubenacadie and Stewiacke rivers.

The project received its required environmental assessment in 2007. Construction work to breach a dyke — which was part of the original approvals — has been halted because Nova Scotia Environment has refused to issue a permit. The drill site is still active.

Premier Stephen McNeil says his government is arranging a meeting between AltaGas and the Mi’kmaq in the expectation common ground will be found.

“But listen, there is a responsibility in this province to consult and we’re going to continue to consult until our partners are happy,” McNeil told CBC News.

AltaGas allowed CBC on site Wednesday, but declined comment.

Nova Scotia’s decision to halt the project threatens construction timelines and raises questions about when a company with a seven-year-old environmental assessment can expect to clear regulatory hurdles.

Bureaucrats said Wednesday in Halifax that securing an environmental assessment does not end a proponent’s requirement to consult.

The Mi’kmaq agree.

“The EA isn’t the end of it. There is still a lot more needed,” says Gaudet. “The consultation process supersedes that.”