September 10, 2008

Harper’s Bird Gag, Dead Ducks in Alberta

By liam

More dead birds have shown up on the doorstep of Alberta’s oil industry, this time following a major leak at an operation facility in southeastern Alberta.

Here are some details from the Globe and Mail :

Alberta’s oil and gas industry is again in the environmental dock, as a spill at an oil well in the province has killed up to 500 ducks and swallows, according to reports from the scene.

The birds died after landing in the spill, which was found Monday at an out-of-service conventional oil well in the southwest corner of CFB Suffield, in southeastern Alberta. The well is operated by Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust.

The new deaths have occurred at a bad time for Canadian oil companies, whose public image was hit earlier this year when 500 ducks and other waterfowl strayed into a waste pond at the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands facility. Pictures of those oil-covered birds made international headlines, as environmental groups used the incident to illustrate the perceived hazards resulting from oil sands development.

The Harvest leak is from a conventional oil field, and not related to the oil sands. However, it’s still the latest "environmental catastrophe" to hit the province, said Greenpeace Canada spokesman Mike Hudema.

"It really points to the fact that the environment in Alberta is not under good hands or good management right now. Things are really spinning wildly out of control," he said.

If a legitimate government were in charge of Canada, an investigation would be brought down on the oil-patch in Alberta, but with the Republicans Conservatives, events like this are simply a cost of doing business.

Whether it’s animated pooping puffins or dead ducks in Alberta, the Conservative way is an ugly, destructive and neglectful way.

What I don’t understand is why Albertans are the greatest support base for the Conservatives.  Aren’t they concerned about the potential for massive environmental disasters sitting on your own back door?  Isn’t it time you took the initiative to look at what’s happening and ask ‘why’?