The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Karin Buss, Counsel |

Simon Dyer, Oilsands
Program Director | Pembina Institute

To arrange an interview
with Dr. Hansen, please contact:
David Dodge, Communications | Pembina institute

Environmental Groups Oppose Total Joslyn North 'Tar Sands' Mine


Environmental groups are challenging a new oilsands project application that threatens wildlife habitat, is rife with errors and represents a potential $12 billion liability to Canadians.

The Oil Sands Environmental Coalition, represented by Ecojustice, opposes the approval of Total E&P Canada's Joslyn North Mine and is arguing for a full assessment of the project's cumulative impacts on wildlife, fish and northern forests, as required by law.

Today the coalition's expert panel, which includes world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, will address wildlife impacts; undemonstrated tailings reclamation and reclamation liabilities for Canadians that could exceed $12 billion; and mistakes in Total's application that make its assessment inadequate.

Dr. Hansen will speak on the consequences of Joslyn North's contribution of global warming emissions. The project will significantly increase Alberta and Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.

No greenhouse gas reduction plan exists for Canada. "Indeed, it is implausible that Canada can meet any emissions scenario consistent with stabilizing climate if the tar sands development proceeds," said Dr. Hansen.

"We will present evidence that demonstrates significant declines in wildlife populations," said Simon Dyer, oil sands director of Pembina Institute. "The panel must reject this project until Albertans can be assured wildlife habitat is being protected."

"The assessment of the impacts of oil sands mining is flawed. It fails to take into account two known, disclosed oil sands mines, the additional effects of forest fires and logging, and already declining wildlife populations," said Karin Buss, Ecojustice counsel. "It is an unreliable assessment that does not provide essential information."

Hearings of the joint federal-provincial review panel for the project resumed in Fort McMurray last week and will continue through this week at Coast Edmonton East Hotel and Convention Centre in Sherwood Park (2100 Premier Way).