Sunday, January 1, 2012

'Secret' Environment Canada presentation warns of oilsands' impact on habitat

Source: Vancouver Sun

Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate.

The warnings from the department contrast with recent claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Peter Kent that the industry is being unfairly targeted by environmentalists who exaggerate its impacts on nature and people.
"Bitumen extraction uses between one (in situ) and three to four (mining) barrels of fresh (i.e. Not recycled) water per barrel of oil recovered," said the document. "Industry demand for water is expected to increase."

A related Environment Canada document, also produced in May and released earlier this month to Postmedia News, warned the government that the industry's economic future was in jeopardy because of a lack of "credible scientific information" required to counter campaigns and foreign regulations or legislation that crack down on products and industries with poor environmental performance.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Vancouver Sun.

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