On the surface, the announcement in Calgary this week that a dozen of Canada’s biggest oil sands companies will share their expertise to try to get that monkey known as environmental criticism off their backs is a good one.
And if the companies truly work together to form a “collaborative hub for innovation” and make inroads to clean up their environmental act, plus perform media damage control at the same time, it will be a win-win situation all around.
But, as usual, that is a big if. Most would admit that the track record with the oil sands and the environment is not a good one.
The new organization, we’re told, will have steering committees for four key areas: land, air, water and tailings, and the huge lakes of toxic wastewater that result from the oil sands extraction process.
When all is said and done, perhaps the broader question should be: Should Canadians trust environmental research by oil sands companies? Let’s wait and see.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE GREEN HUB IN CANADA
How Obama’s flip-flop on Keystone Plan B is angering green businesses … Why new proposal is exciting development for goose hunting in Canada … What traditional teachings, delicious First Nations’ cuisine and birch bark fashion have in common with eco-tourism … How McGuinty promises more rural say in green projects in Ontario … Are Canadians ready for $1.50-a-litre gasoline? … How a growing number of Canadian organizations that are taking their sustainability efforts to higher levels to boost employee, corporate and community health and well-being … Why Mike Holmes says building green is the only way to go … And why a construction group says green building practices have risk and liability issues … How GreenCentre Canada failing to cash in on innovative discoveries in the emerging field of green chemistry …
Last but not least: Canada places 7th in green-tech in world-wide survey, despite little support from the federal government. Of note: The study says that clean technology innovations will be scaling up quickly in the next 10 to 30 years, as the focus shifts from hydrocarbons to renewable energy.