Tag Archives: oil sands

More Ducks Land on Oil Sands Leases – News Sources You Should Follow

Well, the investigations are under way and the information is slowly making it’s way out about landings by waterfowl on multiple oil sands sites.

News sources to follow while this story continues to evolve are:

And while not a link to a news source, here is a link to the Federal Migratory Bird Act (if you were interested).

From a communications perspective, it’s going to be interesting to see how industry, government, non-government and the public react.

From a political/policy/regulations perspective, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

From my own personal point of view, this sucks.

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Did I miss some news sources you think should be on the list? Let me know, post a comment below or grab me on Twitter at @myoilsands

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A Response To A Reader

This is a response piece to “ditch_witch” on MyMcMurray.com, who replied to a post I made there. You can read the MyMcurray.com piece here.

Posted on MyMcMurray:

Thank you for responding Ditch_Witch – conversation around topics as important as the environment & industry need to happen. All opinions need to be properly expressed and shared in order for the right, and informed, decisions to be made. So thank you for sharing your thoughts – I can see that you are quite passionate about the topic.

I thought about ending my reply there…. but I did write some points down, and they can be found on my blog here: https://myoilsands.wordpress.com. Please take the points as you wish. Continue reading

$3 Million in Penalties to Syncrude Over 2008 Waterfowl Incident

 

Injured Duck on Syncrude Site

oiled duck - photograph by Todd Powell, property of EdmontonJournal.com

 

So if you’ve been paying attention to oil sands / energy industry / business / environmental news today, you’ll more than likely have heard Syncrude Canada Ltd. has been ordered to pay roughly $3 million in fines due to the Waterfowl incident in 2008 where approximately 1,600 ducks died on a tailings pond.

I’m not going to get into specifics, but you can read more about the fines from Canadian Business and from our own Fort McMurray Today.

Impact on Wildlife needs perspective

I would however like to point you to a post I did in April entitled “[Insert Bird Pun Here]: Oil Sands and Wildlife“. In it, I take a quick look at how two different areas in how they impact wildlife: the buildings we construct, and the vehicles we drive.

 

Impact Imprint

impact imprint - courtesy of Janet 59

 

I look at things like how just three buildings in Scarborough, Ontario, have killed over 7,000 birds in 10 years. Three buildings, 82 species, 7,000 birds dead.

How come Greenpeace hasn’t flown European zealots over to Scarborough to scale the buildings, raise a banner, and then get arrested? (A simple answer might be this: money)

Anyway, I just think we need to take a broader look at how we as a species are impacting the world around us. If we talk the talk, then we need to walk the walk and demand accountability from more than just “big oil” – we need to take a look in the mirror and demand it from ourselves as consumers.

Ten From the Tribe

Ten from the Tribe

Here are ten tweets that caught my eye within the last week… enjoy!

All I can say is “awesome” ] @rvthomas67 Tue Aug 10 2010 17:51:01 (MDT) via web Balding and rather pudgy community leader announces run for Council in Wood Buffalo. http://tinyurl.com/2g6532o#YMM

[ Very important to be open to all information – lessening the impact of the oil sands is a worthwhile goal – one that can be accomplished@abraaten 12:25 PM Aug 6th via web Reading: Canadian Oil Sands and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Facts in Perspective http://is.gd/e6kMq

[ Wasn’t sure if it was worth letting this twisted piece of propaganda rear its ugly head again, but if you haven’t seen it… @JDietz1 Wed Aug 11 2010 07:29:45 (MDT) via TweetDeck I get tht focus group reacted negtvly to Rethink AB, but I wnt to knw if tourism #s are actlly dwn. Much ado abt nthg? http://bit.ly/9kv3P3

That *is* a good way to celebrate…@McMurrayTourism Wed Aug 11 2010 10:32:25 (MDT) via Twitter for BlackBerry® Best way to celebrate the summer? Free Barbecue!! Aug 20 from 11 am – 2 pm at the Fort McMurray Tourism gazebo, 400 Sakitawaw.

[ Can honestly say this passed me by…@tarsandsnews Sat Aug 14 2010 14:27:49 (MDT) via twitterfeed About 100 protesters march 13 kilometres past Alberta oilsands sites – Winnipeg Free Press: About 100 protesters m… http://bit.ly/94F4Hb

[ This event actually took place yesterday… @WhenIts40Below Thu Aug 12 2010 13:49:21 (MDT) via twitterfeed Legal and Greenhouse Gas Implications of Canadian Oil Sands Development http://bit.ly/bub2oK

$100,000.00 is a pretty amazing goal... ] @FortMacToday Wed Aug 11 2010 14:42:01 (MDT) via twitterfeed Community groups raise funds for Pakistan flood victims http://bit.ly/a7qqPj

[What kind of oil CEO wouldn’t? If efforts are in place to try and produce oil sands responsibly, then it doesn’t help if it leaks into a stream, ahem, downstream…@KyleHarrietha Thu Aug 12 2010 17:45:02 (MDT) via TweetDeck “Enbridge CEO downplays long-term effects of spill”« Michigan Messenger – http://bit.ly/bca3NT #oilsands #oilspill#enbridge

Unfortunately this is not a big surprise to me. Looking forward to seeing how “Unwrapping the Research Conference” will address this topic. @Jon_Tupper 1:41 PM Aug 16th via web Shepell-Fgi study on addictions and family issues in Oil and Gas sector: http://bit.ly/bxYrL0 #ymm #rmwb #oilsands #oil

Not sure if Deborah is still looking for input, but it wouldn’t hurt to flick her a message. @OilsandsEditor 9:44 PM Aug 11th via UberTwitter Hello #ymm! Special magazine for the 15 anniversary of RMWB. What is ur fave thing to do? Photos next week. Let me know. #oilsands #ableg

CEMA Online – A Social Website?

CEMA Logo - property of CEMA

property of CEMA

On the 5th of August, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association released a new website – http://cemaonline.ca.

What’s CEMA you say? Well, their mission statement says:

“CEMA is a multi-stakeholder society that is a key advisor to the provincial and federal governments committed to respectful, inclusive dialogue to make recommendations to manage the cumulative environmental effects of regional development on air, land, water and biodiversity.”

After the website announcement, a few tweets flitted back and forth amongst the oil sands tribe, and then the very next day, Carol Christian of the Fort McMurray Today published an article entitled “Environmental agency embraces social media”.

Oil sands plus social media? You have my attention.

Continue reading

Why This Blog (Part Two)

(This is Part Two of the “About” section… Read the whole thing, if you want to)

Ok. Part Two is less about rhetoric and more about me.

So hi. This is me. Matt. Nice to meet you.

This is a blog about the oil sands – an industry in which I make my living as a Human Resources Advisor.

Along with my wife, I moved to Fort McMurray from Victoria, BC, in Feb of 2006, and have had the right combination of hard work, education, attitude, luck and connections to establish a new and (so far) successful life in northern Alberta.

I have a communications degree, am currently in the process of becoming a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), and in a previous life I used to be an apprentice cook.

You can see more about my digital presence through my Flavors.me account at Flavors.me/MattYouens. I have a personal twitter account, where I tweet about non-oil sands related bits and bobs as @MattYouens, and once in a while I blog on …and stuff like that….

An Oil Sands Tribe: I Like It

Earlier today, Jeremy Dietz, a Calgary-based professional communicator, shed light on a recent trend. His post, Shifting Sands?, talks about the emergence of an Oil Sands Tribe –  an online community of people that are progressively  adding their voices to the oil sands / tar sands rhetoric. An online space that has been dominated by the anti-oil sands / anti-tar sands faction for a while now.

Jeremy Dietz

The first indication (at least to me) that this online debate was evolving beyond its lopsidedness was when I scanned through the comments on an NRDC anti-oil sands blog post. I was amazed to find that the vast majority of the people lending their voice to the debate were not NRDC supporters, but were pro-oil sands readers. Furthermore, these comments severely out-numbered those of the anti-oil sands online community.

I like this idea. I like this idea of an Oil Sands Tribe so much, that I wish I had posted about it first. Kudos Jeremy, kudos. Looks like we’ve both been reading some Godin.

I place myself in this camp, in this tribe. Yet as with all tribes, there are differences on the individual level. Some of us in the tribe try to use reason and facts to prove points, and some of us don’t. I prefer to think of myself as belonging in the former.

Those of us that rely on reasonable arguments are starting to have an impact, we are asking questions and probing lines of thought. This is needed.

Rational, intelligent debate is needed on issues of importance, and the oil sands are definitely important. They do after all impact the things that make the world go round: the economy, the environment, the transportation-slash-production-slash-everything- we-base-our-society-on sectors are all impacted by this industry, this community, this tribe.

So go read Jeremy’s post, and then come and interact with the tribe. You don’t have to share the same point of view – in fact, considering how complex the issue is, I can guarantee that you don’t. Heck, we don’t even all agree – it’s a complicated, multi-faceted topic, and informed discussion is a good thing.