Oilsands giant Syncrude loses court fight against rules on renewable diesel by Bob Webber, The Canadian Press, June 5, 2016, Calgary Herald
OTTAWA – Syncrude has lost its court battle against federal rules on renewable diesel in a case that some suggest could have handcuffed national efforts to fight climate change.
The oilsands company, of which Suncor owns the majority, had argued that it was unconstitutional for Ottawa to require that at least two per cent of diesel fuel be from renewable sources such as ethanol.
That demand interfered with provincial jurisdiction over resources by changing markets for non-renewables, Syncrude argued.
The company also argued the government was wrong to use criminal law to enact the regulations. “The production and consumption of petroleum fuels is not inherently dangerous,” it said.
[Little Reality check:
“I’m actually outraged.” With Alberta Court’s blessings, Energy giant CNRL derails full public inquiry into foreign workers’ deaths
MAJOR EXPLOSION KILLED TWO at Nexen tarsands SAGD steam injection site near Fort McMurray
“Abnormally dangerous and ultra hazardous activity.” Did TRC or Chevron’s fracing kill Robert David Taylor? What happened to California regulators’ vows to make steam injections safer? “Safer?” Why not make it “safe?”
HORRIFYING Bakken Oil Boom “Serial Killer” MUST READ: In North Dakota’s Bakken oil boom, there will be blood
Toxic oil and gas industry vapors suspected in deaths of three Colorado oil and gas workers; Why blame nature or the victims?
N.D. Supreme Court approves benefits in vapor death; Industry Group Issues Warning For Fracking Vapors: ‘One Breath Could be Death’
Sounds like Alberta (Again)! Utah energy boomtown turns on midwife who raised concerns over apparent spike in infant deaths: “Could the deaths be tied to the oil industry, the region’s economic powerhouse?”
What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal: A Fracking Boomtown, a spike in stillborn deaths and a gusher of unanswered questions
A lot too late: Federal officials warn about dangers of airborne petrochemicals blowing out of oil well tank hatches
Business Insurance: Oil boom and fracking cause spike in energy industry workplace deaths. Do you have copies of Commercial Liability Insurance Coverage for companies operating near your home and loved ones?
1 killed, 1 injured in Howard truck explosion; “Something in the load of the vehicle shifted and it compromised the compressed natural gas fuel system, consequently there was a detonation”
Fracking Injuries, deaths and dangers for workers and communities
Crossfield steer killed by Taqa North sour gas release
Workplace Deaths Drop – But not in the Oil Industry
Accident at Encana well in Colorado kills 1, injuries 3
1 dead in Bolivar well explosion
$750,000 Fine For Killing 7,500 Migratory Birds from Direct or Indirect Contact with Canaport’s LNG Burning Natural Gas Flare Stack in New Brunswick
If industry’s abandoned bitumen sites kill wildlife, what’s it doing to groundwater and humans?
Massive fish kill reported at Dalworthington Gardens lake after XTO Energy cited for taking water out for fracking; “All of us who’ve lived around here have been watching this lake go down for a very long time”
EPA Investigation report details toxic chemicals at Statoil Frac Site Explosion; Chemicals spilled into Opossum Creek – 70,000 fish killed
Texas Oil Field Explosion Kills 2, Injures 9; Buildup of pressure caused explosion as workers were changing wellhead
SemCAMS ULC gas company pleads guilty, fined $350,000 after pipeline leak released toxic waste water into Alberta creek and muskeg, killing fish and damaging the creek
Family of man killed in Texas oilfield truck accident wins $281 million negligence lawsuit, verdict included $100 million in punitive damages
Drilling mud entering creek through cracks in creekbed is a common occurrence, kills fish; 6,000 gallons drilling mud and water enters home, destroys it
U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Study Finds Fracking Fluid Spill in Kentucky May Have Killed Threatened Fish Species
Craig man killed in explosion attempting to offload frac waste
Syncrude to pay $3M for duck deaths
Ducks Killed In Alberta Oilsands Tailings Ponds Will Result In No Charges Laid
The bird deaths came just days after Syncrude agreed to pay $3 million in penalties after 1,600 ducks died on one of its tailings ponds during a storm two years earlier. … Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema said the ducks wouldn’t have died if the oilsands facilities hadn’t been there. “These ducks didn’t die because of bad weather,” he said. “They died because their natural habitat has been replaced by toxic tailings lakes. Syncrude and Suncor should have to answer for the tragic costs of the toxics they create and release into the environment.”
AER issues environmental protection order to Syncrude after deaths of 30 blue herons. When will AER issue Water Act Violation Order against Encana for fracing and contaminating Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers?
Sour gas from oil wells a deadly problem in southeast Saskatchewan, Human and animal deaths linked to hydrogen sulphide emissions
Federal Report Attributes Nine Worker Deaths to Oilfield Vapors, Excluding Two Fatalities Earlier in 2015 Linked to Well Vapors
Oil companies sued over man’s death allegedly tied to radioactive materials in drilling pipes
Hydrocarbon poisoning blamed for N.D. oil worker death
Federal judge rules against Encana’s efforts to avoid wrongful death lawsuit in tribal court
Encana sues top tribal judge to fend off Wyoming worker death suit
Chevron’s Ecuador Cancer Problem: 10,000 People at Risk of Contracting Disease in Coming Decades, Says Expert, Oil Giant Faces Up to $69 Billion in Liability for Potential Cancer Deaths
End Little (just a few examples) Reality Check]
A decision released last week from the Federal Court of Appeal found that fighting climate change is a legitimate federal goal.
“Protection of the environment is, unequivocally, a legitimate use of the criminal law purpose,” wrote Justice Donald Rennie.
Federal Court documents say Syncrude uses about 351 million litres of diesel in its operations. It produces about 204 million litres itself for the company’s own use.
The company argued the regulation, passed in 2011, will actually increase Syncrude’s greenhouse gas emissions by forcing it to transport biodiesel to its northern Alberta operations.
Rennie wrote that environmental protection is legitimate whether or not it affects markets under provincial jurisdiction.
“The environment and economy are intimately connected,” he wrote. “Indeed, it is practically impossible to disassociate the two.
“The existence of the economic incentives and government investments … do not detract from the dominant purpose of what the (rules) do and why they do it.”
The court also noted Syncrude’s admission that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change was inconsistent with its argument those gases couldn’t be regulated through criminal law.
“Syncrude’s position is problematic,” Rennie wrote.
Syncrude spokesman Will Gibson said the company is reviewing the decision.
“Syncrude has complied with the regulations since they were enacted and will continue to do so,” he said.
Greenpeace spokesman Keith Stewart said environmentalists are relieved.
“If (Syncrude) had won, it would have set back action on climate change for years,” he said. “That would have had huge impacts on everything else the federal government does.”
Stewart said the Syncrude decision should strengthen Ottawa’s hand in negotiating with the provinces over climate change and clears the decks for action.
‘”This would have been the last vestige of any argument as to why you would delay action,” he said. “The court has clearly said, ‘OK, government, you can do this.’
“The only thing left for the government to do is act on climate.” [Emphasis added]