[Coral-List] tar sands oil and coral reefs

mtupper at coastal-resources.org mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Fri Mar 23 15:03:32 EDT 2012

   As yet another Canadian reef scientist, I will second Peter's message. The
   current Canadian government is bent on allowing the oil industry to ramp up
   production regardless of the cost to the environment. Their latest move is
   to  attempt to remove the teeth from the Fisheries Act by removing any
   reference to "habitat". Not having to protect fish habitat makes it easier
   to permit big projects like Keystone XL and Northern Gateway without having
   to  spend  the  money  and  time  on Fisheries Authorizations, habitat
   compensation, monitoring etc. The Fisheries Authorization process serves as
   a check and balance system to dissuade projects damaging to fish habitat by
   either denying the necessary permits or by requiring habitat compensation
   and  monitoring  requirements that  render  such  projects  no  longer
   cost-effective.  With  the requirements for protection of fish habitat
   removed, Fisheries Authorizations may no longer be needed to approve these

   While the loss of Canadian fish habitat may not seem directly related to
   coral reefs, the gutting of the Fisheries Act will allow more of these oil
   and gas mega-projects to be rammed through without effective opposition,
   which is certainly not good news for coral reefs.

   Mark Tupper

   Dr. Mark Tupper, Director of Environmental Science
   Coastal Resources Association
   16880 87 Ave., Surrey, BC, Canada V4N 5J4
   Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
   Tel. 1-604-961-2022
   Philippines Office: c/o Ruiza Mijares
   Poblacion, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines 9103
   On Thu Mar 22 21:12 , Peter Sale sent:
     I'm another Canadian reef scientist (wow! there are at least two of us).
     I support Mike Risk's description of tar sands oil and the situation in
     Canada.   I  have  not had the opportunity to speak directly to our
     government, although I'd love to take our Prime Minister on a dive on a
     coral reef.  I have previously commented publicly on this topic, first in
     my   book,   Our  Dying  Planet,  and  more  recently  on  my  blog
     (petersalebooks.com) specifically on the Keystone XL pipeline.  One point
     that Americans need to know is that the purpose of this pipeline is NOT to
     reduce US dependence on foreign oil -- that myth is part of the spin.  It
     is to permit a doubling of the output from the tar sands, because current
     distribution routes are close to maxed out.  This extra output will be
     processed in Texas, and exported to Europe to fulfill their need for
     diesel fuel.  The contracts for doing this are already in place (details
     in links on the blog).  There is a second pipeline, the Northern Gateway,
     that will take this product from Alberta across to the Pacific coast. It
     is currently undergoing environmental impact assessment.  Canadians have
     already been advised by our government that any opposition is one of:
     inappropriate  foreign interference, foreign funded misceivousness,
     traitorous or terrorist behavior by Canadians.  The purpose of this
     pipeline is also to boost the export of this product.  Together the two
     pipelines will permit the operators to triple output.  The benefits of
     this tripling of output, apart from a few jobs on the oil fields, flow to
     the shareholders of the multinational oil corporations driving the whole
     sorry mess.  The implications of the environmental crisis for coral reefs
     are immense.
     I  think it is time we asked why it is necessary to rely on the oil
     industry to plan our energy policy?  And also time to ask why it is
     necessary to extract every barrel of hydrocarbons from the earth as soon
     as we can?  But rest assured, there are Canadian reef scientists who are
     trying  to draw attention to the link between tar sands oil and the
     environmental crisis.
     Peter Sale
     Coral-List mailing list
     [1]Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


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