April 17, 2023

RBC, The Tar Sands & Externalities

By admin

‘Externalities’ is another word for failure.

For the last 200 years or so, we have failed to internalize the cost of doing business on a global scale and so, we now face environmental, social and economic failure on a global scale.

I’m calling out the federal government for greenwashing this ongoing plunge of money into bad carbon as well as all the companies involved with allowing tailings ponds to continue to dump into the Athabasca River, affecting trillions of litres of water.

Prohibited for decades, the Alberta and federal governments are now considering regulations that would permit the discharge of the toxic byproduct of oil sands mining known as “tailings.”

Despite frequent promises from industry and government to curtail their growth, the artificial ponds that store the tailings now hold an estimated 1.4 trillion litres—the equivalent of 560,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Cardinal said Keepers of the Water wants the ponds removed, but not at the cost of impacts on the river. For industry, meanwhile, releasing the treated tailings is the cheapest and therefore preferred option.

Keepers of the Water has been at the forefront of a campaign to stop this from happening. Thanks in part to their efforts—and the growing power of Indigenous rights—the federal government is now including select Indigenous nations in Alberta in a process to develop the regulations and consider alternatives.

This is SO wrong on so many levels.

We’re repeatedly to ‘do as we say, not as we do’ and every time it happens, it marginalizes the message of ‘going green’ and frankly, it’s getting exhausting.

Last week, it was also announced that RBC is now the largest investor in fossil fuel projects.

I don’t find this shocking. In fact, I’d be disappointed if RBC wasn’t following the easy money.

They’re a bank. They’re going to do what banks do: maximize profits.

Wouldn’t you pump money into a dying sector that’s destroying the planet as long as our governments keep going out of their way to prop them up with public dollars with no questions asked?

So yeah, profits will continue to be maximized so long as we externalize – or dump – waste into the hands of others while consolidating profits into the hands of the few.

The rules and policies have to change drastically if we’re going to get the market to work the way it should.

That means (a) pay for EVERYTHING when you develop something and (b) stop pumping government money into the Tar Sands.