Daryl Hannah arrested for protesting proposed Canadian oilsands pipeline
Actress Daryl Hannah, famous for her movie roles in Splash and Wall Street, was among dozens of anti-oilsands activists arrested Tuesday at the White House in ongoing “sit in” protests against TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

“Stop the Keystone pipeline,” Hannah shouted as she was being handcuffed by SWAT team officers. “No to the Keystone pipeline.” (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Is Canada’s oil sector harming the rest of the economy? According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the evidence points to yes. In a new report, the bank has come out squarely in favour of the “Dutch Disease” theory — the not…

This article is spot on.  While the oil and gas boom has had positive economic impact for Canada, it has caused pain for other sectors.

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Linda Duncan shows that the government’s fast-tracking of oilsands developments fails to respect aboriginal treaty rights and obligations to protect habitat of endangered species.

            The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry, the Conservative Party and the right-wing media has gone all-out in its attacks on Neil Young for his stance against their destructive policies and actions. One thing that these corporate wolves and subservient sheep overlook is that, of course, Neil Young is right.

The main arguments by the Conservative tarsands mob are that:

1)         Young hasn’t lived in Canada for a long time, so he has no right to talk about anything that happens in Canada.

2)         He’s a rich rock star, so he has no right to talk about anything, period.

3)         Young uses oil and oil-based products, so he has no right to say anything bad about the oil industry or the governments that subsidize and promote that industry.

4)         The Alberta tarsands industry is the only economic sector keeping Canada’s finances afloat, funding our social programs and preventing our have-not provinces from going bankrupt.

5)         The Alberta tarsands industry is the only economic sector offering good-paying job opportunities for Canadians, even for workers without much education, training or experience.

6)         The Alberta tarsands industry is actually ethical, environmentally friendly, doesn’t cause health problems, is good for Natives and doesn’t smell.

These talking points are bullshit, and here’s why:

1)         The environment is worldwide, the economy is worldwide, and politics are worldwide. We all have the right to talk about any issue we want to talk about (although the elites are increasingly cracking down on that right). We don’t all have to agree with each other, but we all have the right to express our views.

2)         Rich corporate parasites bombard us with capitalist propaganda 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and nobody questions their right to say what they want. Anything that counteracts the powerful, well-oiled propaganda machine is welcome and desperately needed – even if that challenge comes from a wealthy musician who lives in California most of the year.

3)         Blowhards who say that humans who use oil or oil-based products should never say a bad word about the oil industry are chock-full of shit. Using that logic, anyone who lives in society should never criticize anything at all, since we all benefit from society in some way. It’s the good ol’ “love it or leave it” attitude that’s popular amongst right-wing assholes when their team is in power, but mysteriously absent when their opponents have the upper hand.

             Besides, most of the tarsands oil is not meant for Canadian consumption, so it is irrelevant whether Canadians use oil and oil-based products. Alberta tarsands bitumen is to be shipped to China and the United States, where it will be refined and consumed, or sold back to Canadians as value-added finished products. If the tarsands oil was refined and consumed in Canada, then perhaps the pro-tarsands crowd would have a point, but until that day arrives (which will likely be never), they have no leg to stand on.

4)         The Alberta tarsands sector represents a tiny percentage of Canada’s GDP. Most of the Alberta tarsands projects are owned by foreign companies (mostly Chinese and American), and most of the profits go out of the country. Compared to the profits they funnel out of Canada, they pay very little in taxes and royalties in this country.

            As for the myth that Alberta supports the have-not provinces, that misconception comes from people not understanding how Canada’s equalization program works. The money for the transfer program comes from individual and business taxpayers across the country – not from provincial governments.

            Alberta, in fact, used to be a have-not province, supported financially by taxpayers in other Canadian provinces. Now, considering Alberta is sitting on lots of oil and natural gas, their provincial government should be running surpluses while maintaining the best infrastructure and public services in North America. Instead, Alberta’s back-to-back Progressive Conservative governments have been running deficits, growing their debt and allowing their infrastructure and public services to crumble. This is mostly due to keeping their taxes and royalty rates artificially and irresponsibly low.

            For the longest time, Ontario was a have province, but has recently become a have-not province, almost entirely due to federal Conservative and Liberal free trade/globalization policies that have decimated Ontario’s manufacturing sector (and other sectors in which jobs can be offshored). Even though Ontario is currently a have-not province in terms of government finances, much of the tax money that goes into the equalization program comes from Ontario workers and businesses in the first place! Ontarians are merely getting some of their own money back!

5)         Yes, the Alberta tarsands industry offers many high-paying job opportunities, but at what cost, and for how long? The Canadian and Alberta governments have spent billions of tax dollars directly and indirectly subsidizing the tarsands industry, with relatively low returns. If they had invested that money in green energy (or even in building a no-so-green oil refinery), the economic return would be much higher, and the environmental cost would be much lower.

            The high-paying Alberta jobs might not continue to be so high paying, for three reasons. First, more Canadians from across the country – and immigrants from across the planet – have been moving to Alberta to get those jobs, thus putting downward pressure on wages, benefits and working conditions.

             Second, the weakly enforced Conservative temporary foreign workers program is making this worse, by allowing employers to fire Canadian workers and replace them with poor, desperate, lower-paid temporary workers who are willing to accept substandard conditions. This brings down the wage rates and standard of living for everyone else.

             Third, the federal Conservatives and the Alberta Progressive Conservatives have been weakening unions and reducing all workers’ rights. They have been doing this for one reason and one reason only: to lower labour costs and increase profits for big corporations.

6)         Anyone who believes the talking points from profit-motivated tarsands corporations over  verified facts presented by scientists and people on the ground is either delusional or in on the scam. Don’t forget, “tarsands” is a word that the industry itself used for a long time, before their marketing and public relations experts told them to replace the word with “oil sands” and the even more innocuous “energy”.

            As for being environmentally friendly, the oil companies only do what governments force them to do. They follow the letter – not the spirit – of the law (unless they think they can get away with breaking the law).  Whenever corporations are forced to pay small fines, they just consider it the cost of doing business, since the profits from their violations far outweigh the penalties. Environmental laws have been gutted in Canada anyway; natural resources companies almost literally re-wrote Canada’s new environmental legislation for the Harper Conservatives.

             History shows that whenever there is a man-made environmental disaster, either those responsible pay a tiny portion of the cleanup costs or they declare bankruptcy and start up business again under a different name. Taxpayers are stuck with the tab.

             And yes, according to people who are willing to tell the truth, the polluted air in Fort McMurray does stink.

In summary, Neil Young is right, the tarsands Conservatives are full of crap, and we need to get off our butts and do something about it.

In the Cree language, the word “athabasca” means "a place where grass is everywhere." Here in Alberta, the Athabasca River slices through forests of spruce and birch before spilling into a vast freshwater delta and Lake Athabasca.

But 100 miles upstream, the boreal forest has been peeled back by enormous strip mines, where massive shovels pick up 100 tons of earth at a time and dump it into yellow trucks as big as houses.

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BREAKING!!!! SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

Secwepemc Women Warrior Society say no to Kinder Morgan pipeline

Their opposition is to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline proposing to cut through the heart of their Secwepemc Nation, crossing countless clean rivers, creeks and streams, carrying 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day, coming from the controversial Alberta Tar Sands. No Pipelines! No Surrender! No Compromise! This unceded Secwepemc and we speak for our Sacred Water! Our land is not for sale!

‪#‎tarsands‬ ‪#‎oilsands‬ ‪#‎cndpoli‬ ‪#‎IdleNoMore‬ ‪#‎Landdefenders‬

Secwepemc Women Warrior Society disrupt meeting, No to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

Posted on January 15, 2014 by giibwanisi

Originally posted on the No One Is Illegal (Vancouver) website.

Posted by admin on Jan 14th, 2014
Secwepemc Women Warrior Society disrupt meeting, No to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014, Tk’emlups, unceded, unsurrendered Secwepemc Nation, (Kamloops, Bc, Canada)

Secwepemc Women Warrior Society said a resounding No! to the Kinder Morgan pipeline today at an illegal engagement session between government and elected chief and council in Kamloops. The session was to push forward the federal government’s recent Eyford report on West Coast energy infrastructure and supposed “tanker safety”.

VIDEO:

The women’s opposition is to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline proposing to cut through the heart of Secwepemc Nation, crossing countless clean rivers, creeks and streams, carrying 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day, coming from the controversial Alberta Tar Sands.

According to Secwepemc Women Warrior Society, Defenders of Mother Earth: “We take this uncompromising stance of No Pipelines! No Infrastructure! that is threatening our Sacred Water. We need clean water for our future. Without clean water there is no life.”

Swelkwek’welt Comments(0)

Environmental and other “radical groups” are trying to block trade and undermine Canada’s economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Monday.

Oliver’s comments come one day before federal regulatory hearings begin on whether to approve Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which would deliver crude from Alberta’s oilsands to Kitimat, B.C., for shipment to Asia.

More than 4,300 people have signed up to address the proposed pipeline over the next 18 months.

"Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade," Oliver said in an open letter.

"Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams."

Oliver says the groups “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda,” stack the hearings with people to delay or kill “good projects,” attract “jet-setting” celebrities and use funding from “foreign special interest groups.”

[…]

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says running a pipeline through British Columbia’s northern wilderness is a bad idea that can’t be fast-tracked.

"Unfortunately, I think your role as minister of natural resources has been hijacked by the [Prime Minister’s Office] spin machine. The PMO is, in turn, hijacked by the foreign oil lobby," she wrote in an open letter in response to Oliver.

May says there are other ways to diversify Canada’s energy markets, other routes and other forms of energy.

"By characterizing this issue as environmental radicals versus Canada’s future prosperity you have done a grave disservice to the development of sensible public policy," she said.

That we are now characterizing environmental groups as “radical” is almost as disturbing to me as the fact that our government seems to view “socialism” as a bad word.

The federal Aboriginal Affairs department is seen as an ally, while Aboriginal groups are seen as “adversaries” in the public relations battle over the tar sands, an internal government document revealed.

The document also identified the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs as an ally in the Harper government’s quest to improve the image of Alberta’s controversial tar sands development.

[…]

The strategy document also identified First Nations as “influencers” in the battle over the tar sands, along with provincial and federal governments, energy companies and associations. The strategy also aimed to increase understanding among European “stakeholders” of Canada’s and Alberta’s consultation with First Nations and that both governments were working to “address” health concerns linked to the tar sands, the document states.

The decision to put Aboriginal groups under a list of “adversaries,” while the federal Aboriginal Affairs department was placed under a list of “allies,” however, reveals the true colours of the Conservative government, said Clayton Thomas-Muller, with the Indigenous Environment Network.

“It’s just another example of how the federal government went into (the Crown-First Nations Gathering) in bad faith,” said Thomas-Muller. “This government continues to try and erode the collective bargaining rights First Nations have as first peoples of this land and continues to label us as stakeholders when, in fact, we are priority rights holders.”

Thomas-Muller said the document also shows the government is concerned about the growing “Indigenous rights movement,” which he said has increasing clout.

“We have a generation of young people that are coming up that are more educated than any generation since colonization,” he said. “We have (AFN National Chief) Shawn Atleo sitting there at the meeting and negotiating how we as First Nations can participate in an economy that will result in the destruction and desecration of our homeland. We need to come up with a new path.”

Thanksgiving? Not so much

WARREN BUFFETT IS BETTING ON OIL SANDS   
Earlier this year billionaire-investor-philanthropist Warren Buffett boasted his company Berkshire Hathway’s commitment to renewable energy.

But in this last quarter the business magnate has developed an interest in a different kind of energy: oil sands. Based on the company’s most recent equity portfolio update, Buffett’s empire now controls 17.8 million shares of Calgary-based Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU), Reuters reports. That’s $524 million.

In fact, Berkshire has acquired a massive amount of stocks in the past few months – $4.6 billion worth. Purchases include General Motors, Dish Network Corp, Wells Fargo and US Bancorp. This is the most the company has spent on stocks in one quarter since 2011.

As news came out that Suncor had the billionaire’s backing, the energy firm’s share price jumped more than 3%, trading at $33.75 – the highest point since February.

"Suncor is one of the most heavily undervalued Canadian integrated oil producers," an equity analyst told Reuters about the purchase. "It is no surprise that a value investor like Berkshire Hathaway would view it as a phenomenal investment opportunity.

Hoping to get some industry insight, investors and analysts are often eager to see where Buffett – whose net worth is estimated at $53 billion – is putting his money.

Buffett’s moves are so closely watched and copied that in 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission – which usually shows no mercy when it comes to disclosures – allowed the businessman to keep secret his 5.5% stake in International Business Machines (IBM).

The billionaire is a big fan of the energy and transportation industry, from railways to cars to solar power to oil sands.

"Society will forever need massive investment in both transportation and energy," he said in a letter to shareholders earlier this year. "It is in the self-interest of governments to treat capital providers in a manner that will ensure the continued flow of funds to essential projects."

Suncor released Q2 earnings late last month showing a drop in earnings from $1.2 billion in Q2 2012 to $934 million. The company’s net profits for the quarter totalled $680 million compared with $324 million last year.

This article has been re-posted for sharing purposes.
To read it via the original source, click here.

Photo sourced from: www.reuters.com

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I know there are all sorts of stereotypes about country folk & cowboys, but ignorance doesnt equal fact. I know that my dad taught me to love & respect the land, to love & respect animals & to love where I come from.This province has been overrun with industry over the past few years, with fewer & fewer ranches left standing.

Corb takes a stance against the oilfield & coalbed methane industries who are ruining our beautiful land & poisoning our animals & people. I commend him for openly expressing these views in this ultra Conservative place, especially singing stereotypically close minded country music (ever hear of Toby Keith??)

CORB LUND: THIS IS MY PRAIRIE

This is my prairie, this is my home
I’ll make my stand here and I’ll die alone
They can drill, they can mine o’er my smouldering bones
Cuz this is my prairie, this is my home

The water is poison, my calves are all dead
My children are sick and the aquifer’s bled
They want a big pipeline right thru Pop’s grove
This is my prairie, this is my home