Blog

September 4, 2017

Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute.

Bloomberg reports that "oil industry leaders" are "desperate" to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The news service highlights, "Energy companies that sat on the sidelines during other recent trade negotiations are getting more involved on NAFTA — securing formal roles on committees advising the process, unleashing lobbyists to influence it and outlining their priorities for the administration."

In terms of "securing formal roles on committees", last month Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland named Sophie Brochu (the president and CEO of Gaz Métro) to her NAFTA advisory council, while Environment minister Catherine McKenna appointed Lorraine Mitchelmore (the former President & Canada Country Chairman of Shell Canada Limited) to her NAFTA Advisory Council on the Environment.

September 3, 2017

Running away from taking the action needed to confront the climate crisis? A Justin Trudeau and Enrique Pena Nieto photo-op in Ottawa, June 2016.

The second round of NAFTA negotiations is happening now (September 1-5) in Mexico City. Reuters reports, "U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators are zeroing in on ways to enshrine Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s sweeping energy reforms into a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico’s chief negotiator said on [September 2]. The 2014 reforms wrung control of the country’s oil and gas sector from state hands, opening it up to private investment, and incorporating them into the 23-year-old NAFTA is seen as a way to help preserve them for the long term."

September 2, 2017

Lorraine Mitchelmore

Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna has named a ten-person advisory council on NAFTA and the environment that includes a former president of Shell Canada (who has publicly stated her support for the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East tar sands pipeline), the president of a logging company, an insurance industry executive, and a former Canada-European Union free trade agreement negotiator.

A Government of Canada media release claims, "The council will advise the Minister as Canada looks to strengthen environmental protections in a modernized NAFTA."

September 1, 2017

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter.

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter participated in two WaterWealth Project-organized 'happy hour' gatherings - on April 28 and April 29 - to encourage people to make submissions to the National Energy Board calling for a significant route change for the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

Chapter activist Suzy Coulter shared promotion for the gatherings on the chapter's email contact list: "Concerned about the proposed location of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline? The route is NOT finalized, and we can let the National Energy Board know that we want the pipeline moved away from Chilliwack's schools, wetlands, fault lines, homes, and drinking water! We have until May 7th to do so."

On May 6, Coulter told us, "The Happy Hours have been a huge success, hundreds of statements of opposition have been sent."

September 1, 2017

#PaddleToProtect

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline in November 2016, but resistance to it being built is growing.

The building of Line 3 would mean 1,600 kilometres of new pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior Wisconsin, which is situated on the western tip of Lake Superior. The original 390,000 barrel per day Line 3 pipeline was built in 1968 and would be decommissioned and left underground. The new larger pipeline would carry 760,000 barrel per day and would have the capacity to carry diluted bitumen for 50-60 years. Enbridge admits the pipeline would mean 19 to 26 megatonnes of upstream greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Construction on the pipeline has now begun in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Wisconsin, while the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will not make its final decision on the pipeline until April 30, 2018.

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