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Articles on oilsands

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A pumpjack draws out oil and gas from a well head near Calgary in October 2022. There are thousands of inactive oil and gas wells in the province that have not been properly decommissioned. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Despite soaring profits, oil companies are not paying enough for their environmental damage

The Alberta government is failing to ensure environmental liabilities are adequately accounted for and that progress is being made to address the province’s massive tailings ponds.
Wet'suwet'en Chief Madeek reacts with his middle finger to protest the Royal Bank of Canada’s funding of the Coastal GasLink pipeline and other fossil fuel investments in Toronto in April 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A Canadian senator aims to end the widespread financial backing of fossil fuels

Sen. Rosa Galvez has called for ambitious and coherent government intervention to address the risks financial institutions pose to climate. Here’s why Canadians must rally around her.
Low-quality asphalt binder — the glue that holds roads together — can leave roads prone to cracking in cold temperatures. (Shutterstock)

How Canada’s oilsands can help build better roads

The quality of asphalt binder — the glue that holds roads together — influences their condition. Binder made from Alberta bitumen is low in waxes and could extend pavement lifespan.
Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is overhauling a methane-reduction program after a scathing report from Canada’s environment commissioner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada praised for climate leadership despite scathing watchdog report on climate-policy failures

As one of the few countries to have enshrined net-zero into law, Canada has earned praise for its climate leadership. Yet an independent report calls out its continued failures to reduce emissions.
Phasing out fossil fuels means that today’s production is the peak, and that from here on out extraction and infrastructure must decline over time. (Green Energy Futures/flickr)

How Canada can leave 83 per cent of its oil in the ground and build strong new economies

If Canada chooses to keep its oil in the ground, it doesn’t mean turning off the tap overnight. Skilled trades will be key to winding down the industry and building up new lines of work.
A tailings pond at an oilsands facility near Fort McMurray, Alta., in July 2012. The estimated cost of reclaiming oilsands mines is almost $31 billion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

How engineered bacteria could clean up oilsands pollution and mining waste

Solutions to some of the globe’s most daunting environmental challenges may be closer than you think. Scientists are harnessing nature to clean up toxic chemicals and mining waste.
Oilsands tailings are a mixture of water, suspended sand, clay and residual bitumen. (Dan Prat/Canva)

How plants can help clean up oilsands tailing ponds

A new nature-based approach to managing oilsands tailings shows promise in the lab and may soon be tested in the field.
Joe Biden speaks about climate change and wildfires affecting western states on Sept. 14, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

What Joe Biden’s climate plan means for Canada

Biden’s strong climate change position doesn’t appear to have hurt him in the key swing state of Pennsylvania or in the general election more broadly. Here’s what it means for Canada.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds his first news conference as leader on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in August 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The risk of ‘peak oil demand’ for Canada’s Conservatives

Recent industry reports indicate that we may be approaching peak global demand for oil. If that’s the case, the federal Conservatives may need to rethink their electoral strategy.
Scarecrows float in an oilsands tailings pond to keep birds from landing, in Fort McMurray, Alta., in June 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

New technology makes wastewater from the oilsands industry safer for fish

New regulations will allow oilsands companies to release 1.3 trillion litres of liquid waste into the Athabasca River in 2022. A new technology could clean the wastewater before it’s let go.
Oil from a ruptured pipeline is vacuumed from a creek near the near the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, July 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Why scientists intentionally spilled oil into a Canadian lake

No one wants an oil spill in their backyard. Yet to understand the real-world fate and effects of diluted bitumen — a Canadian oil sands product — that’s exactly what some scientists did.

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