Stephen Harper: ‘I’m confident Keystone XL will proceed’ |

Tuesday 7 January 2014 10.13 GMT

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday he was confident that TransCanada Corp’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline would be eventually approved by US authorities. 

US President Barack Obama is set this year to decide the fate of the northern leg of the proposed project, which would carry crude from the Alberta oil sands in Canada to the US Gulf Coast. Obama is under heavy pressure from environmental activists to block the pipeline. 

“I am confident that in due course – I can’t put a timeline on it – the project will one way or another proceed,” Harper said during a question-and-answer session at the Vancouver Board of Trade. 

The event was disrupted when two climate protesters walked onto the stage and held up signs as they stood next to Harper. One of the placards said “Climate justice now.” 

Green groups say building the pipeline will speed up extraction of oil from the tar sands – a process that consumes more energy than regular drilling.

Full story: Stephen Harper: ‘I’m confident Keystone XL will proceed’ | Environment |

Spills revive U.S.-Canada waterway concerns | The Detroit News

Three environmental accidents straddling the U.S.-Canadian border during the past 15 months have revived longstanding questions about the ability of the two countries to protect water supplies in emergencies in Metro Detroit and elsewhere.

Officials from both nations agreed there was confusion last year when a dredge sinking in U.S. waters north of Port Huron leaked diesel fuel and another loading cargo in Sarnia, Ontario, leaked ethyl benzene into the St. Clair River. A rupture nearly five weeks ago in an underground pipe in Sarnia that released diesel fuel into the St. Clair also prompted criticism about post-accident communications.


Full story: Spills revive U.S.-Canada waterway concerns | The Detroit News.

Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines – Yahoo! News

In the news: Canadian and U.S. natives vow to block oil pipelines – Yahoo! News.

OTTAWA (Reuters) – An alliance of Canadian and U.S. aboriginal groups vowed on Wednesday to block three multibillion-dollar oil pipelines that are planned to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands, saying they are prepared to take physical action to stop them.

The Canadian government, faced with falling revenues due to pipeline bottlenecks and a glut that has cut the price for Alberta oil, say the projects are a national priority and will help diversify exports away from the U.S. market.

But the alliance of 10 native bands – all of whose territories are either near the crude-rich tar sands or on the proposed pipeline routes – complain Ottawa and Washington are ignoring their rights.

They also say building the pipelines would boost carbon-intensive oil sands production and therefore speed up the pace of climate change.

“Indigenous people are coming together with many, many allies across the United States and Canada, and we will not allow these pipelines to cross our territories,” said Phil Lane Jr, a hereditary chief from the Ihanktonwan Dakota in the state of South Dakota.

Full story

Decision expected this month in landmark B.C. cross-border pollution case |

In the news: Decision expected this month in landmark B.C. cross-border pollution case |

TRAIL, B.C. — On a beach in northeast Washington state near the Canadian border, Patti Bailey grabs a handful of what looks like sand and rolls the dark grains through her hands.

It’s slag, the grainy waste from the Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) lead and zinc smelter in Trail, B.C., about 10 kilometres north of the nearby Canadian border.

“They’re little time bombs and they’re releasing zinc, copper, arsenic and other metals into the environment,” said Bailey, an environmental planner for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

A Washington state judge has ruled that Teck is liable for the costs of cleaning up contamination in the Columbia River south of the border from decades of dumping slag and effluent from the company’s Trail operations.