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Dec. 9, 2013
Editor’s note: A previous version of this statement indicated incorrectly that the Environment Minister recommended the Jackpine project for approval. Rather, the Minister noted there would be significant environmental effects; the Governor in Council determined those effects are justified, such that the project may proceed. You can read the full decision statement here.
CALGARY — Jennifer Grant, director of the Pembina Institute’s oilsands program, made the following comments in response to the release of the federal government’s decision statement for the Shell Jackpine oilsands mine expansion project:
“For the first time, the federal government has acknowledged that an oilsands project would have significant and unmitigated environmental impacts. Yet the government has decided those effects are justified, and has approved the project to proceed.
“Despite global concern about the climate impacts of oilsands development, the decision statement makes no mention of — and provides no conditions to require — mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project.
“The federal government’s decision also ignores many of the 88 recommendations made to governments by its own Joint Review Panel to address the significant environmental impacts of planned oilsands development in the region.
“As long as governments continue to approve oilsands projects while delaying or avoiding development of key regulations — to manage biodiversity, water flows, and tailings, and to reduce greenhouse gases — their message that oilsands expansion is being done responsibly has little grounding in science.”