Politicians say progress made in making oilsands environmentally friendly

CALGARY — A new report released by an energy consulting group in the United States suggests the Canadian government will have a tough time trying to balance environmental responsibility with the energy security increased oilsands production can provide.

CALGARY — A new report released by an energy consulting group in the United States suggests the Canadian government will have a tough time trying to balance environmental responsibility with the energy security increased oilsands production can provide.

Provincial and federal politicians say they’re fully aware of the concerns, but will keep trying to persuade the world that Alberta is doing all it can to make the oilsands environmentally friendly.

“One can only achieve environmental progress if you have economic progress. Frankly, I think as a country we’ve done a pretty exceptional job in striking that balance,” said Environment Minister Jim Prentice while attending an event in Calgary Tuesday.

“There’s always room for improvement and we’ll continue to do that.”

The IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) report says technological advances in the oilsands have made Canada the world’s second largest holder of recoverable oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

The report said the oilsands have moved from the fringe to the “centre of energy supply”.

The industry produces 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, up from 600,000 a day in 2000.

As a result, the report said that Canada has become the biggest foreign oil supplier to the United States, accounting for 19 percent of imports in 2008.

The study acknowledges total greenhouse gas emissions from oilsands — from extraction and processing through combustion of its refined products — can be approximately 5 to 15 percent higher than conventional crude oil processed in the United States.

But the report said sometimes emissions from the industry are on par with conventional oil processing.

“We aspire to be on the cutting edge in terms of being environmentally responsible as producers of energy and we’ll continue to do that,” said Prentice. “In particular here in Alberta with some of the technological innovations that are coming — carbon capture and others — Canada will continue to lead the way.”

The report comes as Greenpeace failed to force Norwegian energy-giant StatoilHydro out of Alberta’s oilsands.

The environmental group brought a motion before Statoil’s annual general meeting Tuesday in Norway for the corporation to withdraw from it’s Alberta project.

Statoil bought into Alberta’s oilsands in 2007 and has said it plans to develop an area that contains an estimated 2.2 billion barrels of tar-like bitumen.

The company, which is largely owned by the Norwegian government, maintains its Alberta oilsands project is environmentally sound.

The move by Greenpeace shows just how sensitive the world has become about environmental concerns, including water quality, in areas such as the oilsands.

“The oilsands happens to be located at the headwaters of the largest intact aquatic ecosystem features on the continent,” said Robert Sandford, chairman of Canadian Partnership Initiatives, United Nations Water for Life Decade. “Public sentiment about what’s happening here indicates just how serious people are taking water issues on a global basis.”

Just Posted

Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Culprits smash truck into store in failed attempt to steal ATM

Suspects reversed truck through doors of Eastview IGA early Sunday morning

UPDATED: Flu immunization now available in Red Deer

Free vaccine to Albertans six months and older

Update: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read