Compare and contrast – Tarsands edition

Do di do…oooo…what do we have here:

A blueprint for a national energy strategy that emerged from a meeting of Canada’s energy ministers was good news for Alberta’s oil and gas industry. Among the key points that will resonate are regulatory reform aimed at cutting red tape, and the need to diversify Canada’s markets beyond the U.S.

Huzzah! I hate red tape!

Implicit in the latter is support for Enbridge’s proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline, which would transport 525,000 barrels of bitumen a day from the oilsands to Kitimat on the B.C. coast.

I see. Sounds good. What could possibly go wrong! Do di do….ooo..what’s this?

Pembina Pipeline Corp. is reporting a leak in its oil pipeline in the Swan Hills area, about 100 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Cleanup crews are at the site. No details are available, but there has been a media report that about 1,000 barrels have been spilled.

R’uh oh! Still…pretty rare, eh? Not something we’ll have to concern ourselves…ummm…what’s this?

The federal government will slash funding to the environmental agency that evaluates potentially harmful policies and projects before they get the green light….And if the trend in declining funds and employees continues, Canada could experience a series of environmental disasters, as government loses access to valuable information about proposed resource projects

Oh my! Why would you slash oversight right when you’re about to engage in a massive expansion?

The conference sold sponsorships to major energy companies and lobby groups, including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Oil Sands Developers Group, Nexen, TransCanada Pipelines, Cenovus Energy, Devon, Enbridge, Encana, Shell, the Canadian Electricity Association, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.

It was a major gaffe in optics, with sponsors’ names prominent at the news conference podiums Oliver and Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert used. This isn’t NASCAR, it’s a meeting of government ministers. The sponsorship issue only gave fodder to critics’ accusations that government is in industry’s pockets.

Paging Vivian Krause…paging Vivian Krause….there are foreigners and large corporations interfering in the Canadian political process! And by “interfering in” I mean “buying”.

I’m sure she’ll write some fair and possibly balanced questions about all this very soon.

Update: Victoria Times-Colonist op-ed “The unseemly premiers”