Imperial oil sands plans dealt blow

CALGARY — The federal government has revoked a key water permit for Imperial Oil Ltd.’s proposed $8-billion Kearl oil sands mine, delaying work on a major new oil sands development as environmental scrutiny of the massive projects around Fort McMurray intensifies.Imperial, which is majority-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., has been granted an expedited court hearing, scheduled for early May, on its application to overturn the decision. The company says the lost permit could mean a delay of one or more years, according to an affidavit.

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Alberta firms pay to pollute

An analysis by the Herald reveals most of the large emitters haven’t met the government’s mandated 12 per cent reduction in their emissions intensity (per unit of production).

Instead, they’ll be forced to write cheques totalling tens of millions of dollars to meet their reductions — either by purchasing carbon offset credits or investing in the government’s technology fund, which is designed to make future energy production greener.

For consumers, one thing is clear: the millions of dollars in additional environmental costs will trickle down to Albertans at the gasoline pumps and on power bills.

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Canadians souring on Alberta oil sands

CALGARY, Alberta, March 25 (UPI) — Half of Canadians want Alberta’s oil sand development slowed over environmental concerns, a poll published Tuesday indicated.

The Environmental Defense group commissioned the poll of 1,014 people March 7-10, and 52 percent said expansion of oil production should not be given federal approval until “environmental management issues are resolved,” compared with 32 percent who said they should be “permitted so as not to curb economic growth,” the Calgary Herald reported.

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