The December issue of the Just Investment newsletter focuses on an important trade policy reversal in South Africa. The government there is terminating bilateral investment treaties with 10 European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. As Fiona Dove, director of Transnational Insttute, explains:
The Canadian Press reports that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Commission for Environmental Co-operation (CEC) has asked the Harper government to respond to allegations that it failed to enforce the Fisheries Act with respect to tar sands tailings waste.
"Two environmental groups (Environmental Defence Canada and the Natural Resources Defense Council) and three individuals (in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories who live downstream of the tar sands) assert the federal government has failed to enforce provisions in the Fisheries Act by allowing harmful substances to leak from tailings ponds into surface and ground water sources downstream of the tar sands in northeastern Alberta."
CBC reports, "Shoal Point Energy, which has drawn public criticism for a fracking proposal near Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland, is losing an exploration licence and the $1-million deposit that went with it. Shoal Point said the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board rejected the company's request to extend an exploration licence for hydraulic fracturing by one year, to January 2015. The company disclosed the decision to investors after the close of business on Thursday. The C-NLOPB's decision was made Dec. 5, it said."
The Council of Canadians
We are a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, a non-partisan network of organizations and individuals who have serious concerns about the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing.
On December 6, Council of Canadians campaigner Emma Lui wrote the Wisconsin Ministry of Natural Resources to ask them to stop a proposed dock project that would allow for the construction of an oil terminal and the eventual transportation of crude oil on the Great Lakes.
Earlier this year Calumet Specialty Products announced it was considering an oil shipping terminal at the harbour in Superior, Wisconsin, which is located on the western tip of Lake Superior. That same week, Elkhorn Industries submitted a permit application for a $25 million upgrade to their dock which is connected by an existing pipeline to Calumet's 45,000 barrels per day refinery in Superior.
The Associated Press reports, "Three U.S. senators have asked a federal agency to check on the safety of an oil pipeline (Line 5) that runs beneath Great Lakes waters. Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan made the request Wednesday in a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation."
"They say Enbridge Energy Partners recently began pumping an additional 2.1 million gallons of oil daily (that's an additional 50,000 barrels a day) through the line, built in 1953 and passing beneath the Straits of Mackinac where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet."