The Friday night trash dump is a well-known trick of governments looking to dispense with bad news as quietly as possible. Controversial announcements are made in the last hour of the last day of the week to avoid public scrutiny.
This year, the holiday season has served the same role, only on a much grander scale, with multiple environmental hearings and major resource project announcements occurring at the time of year citizens and media are least able to engage with them. The list is truly breathtaking – here are just a few of the presents we got in our stocking this December:
- The National Energy Board announced its conditional approval of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project
- The NEB also approved four massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licences in BC – comprising the gas equivalent of close to the entire bitumen output of the Alberta Tar Sands. The scale and ramifications of this one decision – from increased fracking to air pollution and climate impacts – cannot be overstated. They absolutely dwarf those of the Enbridge project.
- Texas-based Kinder Morgan chose the lead-up to Christmas to formally file a proposal to triple its oil pipeline capacity to Vancouver, turning the city into a massive oil port with over 400 tankers a year sailing through the Salish Sea.
- BC Hydro scheduled the public hearings for the $10 Billion Site C Dam over the holidays, and only in northern BC, deliberately limiting participation from the general public – even though they will pay dearly for the project if it proceeds. Making matters worse, Site C is not for the public – rather it is to help power the enormously energy-intensive, proposed LNG industry in BC.
- Port Metro Vancouver conducted its public comment period over the highly controversial, proposed Surrey Fraser Docks coal handling facility. The Port received some 3,500 submissions – all but 6 of them speaking against the plan – yet, it shows no real signs of listening to the public and experts, choosing instead to downplay the overwhelmingly negative response in its post-review comments last week.
The litany of such announcements and hearings makes it clear this is more than just a coincidence. It demonstrates a blatant disregard for the public interest in these hugely formative decisions for the future of our health, environment and economy.
If this bunch of Scrooges really believed in the value of their projects, they wouldn’t feel the need to hide them between office parties, holiday baking and eggnog with the family.
6 thoughts on “Canadians get lots of coal, oil and gas in holiday trash dump”
An Unusual Christmas Post:
The Anti-Fracking movement just received one of its greatest Christmas gifts ever, and simultaneously its harshest slap in the face. EPA Inspector General releases a report totally vindicating the Lipsky Family, featured in GASLAND Part II, as well as former EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz, saying that EPA was justified in investigating fracking contamination of water in Texas. But they release the report on Christmas Eve, knowing that the damning bombshell release will garner no news. Shame on this administration for not having the courage to admit when it was wrong in the harsh light of a normal news cycle. Fracking contaminates water and they know it. This determination further undermines our nation’s entire energy policy.
Let’s all pledge to spread this news far and wide over the coming weeks. This is just the beginning.
Thank you to the Steven Lipsky Fracking Victims, Sharon Wilson and Al Armendariz for your perserverance. And a great holiday to all of us, every one!
Inspector General Finds EPA Justified in Intervening to Protect Drinking Water from Fracking
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General found EPA Region 6 was justified in legally intervening to protect Parker County, TX residents’ drinking water from drilling impacts. At Sen. Inhofe’s (R
In other Friday news, Edmonton got word of a huge oil-by-rail terminal to be built at the Strathcona refineries. I’ve come to dread Fridays. Harper always saves his worst for that time, just before he shuts the door, as he’s walking away.
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