Ethical Oil? Puhleeze!

I just finished watching Inside Politics with Evan Solomon.  In this episode, he’s speaking with John Bennett of the Sierra Club and Kathryn Marshall of Ethical (sic) Oil.  I turned off the player about 8 minutes in.  Ms. Marshall was too much for me.  And I mean it. Too.  Much.  Arrogant.  Rude.  Repetitive.  As one Facebook commenter said, Clearly, she’s built so that when you pull the string that comes out of her back she says either “We’re a grassroots organization” or “This is a about foreign money.”  Talk about puppets, eh?

Interestingly, the Ottawa Citizen today revealed that Ethical Oil dial-a-quote Kathryn Marshall is married to Hamish Marshall, Harper’s former strategic planning manager.  Those rightwingers are very interconnected.  For a better rundown on that, check out this post at

Another interconnection came to my attention as I prepared this blogpost.  Former Conservative MP and Cabinet Minister, David Emerson, is currently employed by the Chinese government.  He’s working for the China Investment Corporation which, according to Reuters, purchased a 45 percent stake in oil sands properties near Peace River, Alberta … for $801 million about a year ago.  The Ottawa Citizen has more on all that.

A post over at Creekside the other day inspired me to do a bit of research on those corporations which have invested in the tarsands project.  It’s not pretty.  Their ethics are questionable, to say the least.  Their involvement in human rights abuses, the illegal arms trade and ecological destruction around the globe have been documented.  Check them out from the links below and then send a message to your MP, asking why Canada is open to doing business with these corporations:

Daewoo International
BP Canada
Total SA
Exxon Mobil Oil
Koch Industries


About that northern pipeline…

Poetic Justice!  Enbridge reports leak from U.S. pipeline as Northern Gateway hearings begin.  This is nothing new for Enbridge, the leak, that is.  They happen all the time.  From 1999 to 2010 Enbridge had 804 leaks, spilling more than 16,000 barrels of hydrocarbons into the environment per year.


New research indicates that oil is a lot more toxic than we’d previously believed.

Bad news for the Gulf of Mexico: a study released in late December sheds new light on the toxicity of oil in aquatic environments, and shows that environmental impact studies currently in use may be inadequate. The report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study, spearheaded by the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in collaboration with NOAA, looked into the aftermath of the 2007 Cusco Busan spill, when that tanker hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and spilled 54,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the bay.

The key finding involved the of Pacific herring that spawn in the bay. The fish embryos absorbed the and then, when exposed to in sunlight, physically disintegrated. This is called phototoxicity, and has not previously been taken into account when talking about oil spills.


Maybe that’s why the HarperCon spin machine has hit warp drive.


More likely, though, as David Suzuki suggests, it’s a matter of profit.  “The only real argument for Northern Gateway is that it will increase profits for the oil industry, and hand over more of our resources and the associated profits and jobs to China,” he says.  The only jobs we’ll get here will be short-term ones during the construction of the pipeline and maybe 30-40 long-term jobs in Kitimat.


So, wtf, Harper et al.  When ya gonna come clean?

My salute to Joe Oliver

This  one’s for you, Joe Oliver, Harper Government(tm) Minister of the Environment

an image of a hand with the middle finger raised

for your determination to kill Canada’s pristine wilderness