CBC Censors Its Own Exxon-Mobil Oilsands Report

Posted on Monday, March 31 at 17:55 by sthompson
CBC Censors its own Exxon-Mobil Oilsands Report
By Kyle Havens - Please Forward

The CBC today revised and censored an article on their website describing a major setback for Exxon-Mobil subsidiary Imperial Oil's proposed Kearl oilsands mine in Northern Alberta.

Two hours after the original posting of the online article, titled "Loss of water permit threatens big oilsands project", a new article with a new title appeared - describing the same story, but with important details and the name "Exxon-Mobil" removed entirely. The new article, which is expected to remain the official report, is titled "Imperial to appeal loss of water permit for oilsands project."

The article's subtitle was also changed from "A setback for Imperial Oil's $8-billion Kearl proposal" to "Work to continue for now on $8-billion Kearl project north of Fort McMurray."

Details removed from the original are in quotations:

"The federal government has revoked a key water permit for Imperial Oil Ltd.'s proposed $8-billion Kearl oilsands mine as massive projects around Fort McMurray, Alta., come under intensified environmental scrutiny, the Globe and Mail reports."

"Imperial, "majority-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp.", has been granted an expedited court hearing, scheduled for early May, on its application to overturn the decision, the newspaper said Monday.

"The loss of water permit stems from a Federal Court of Canada judgment in early March that found that, in approaving the Kearl project, the Alberta and federal governments didn't fully explain why greenhouse gas emissions were not significant. That ruling didn't throw out the overall approval."

"The voided water permit is a victory for non-profit environmental groups, including Alberta's Pembina Institute and the Sierra Club of Canada, who brought the original federal court case against Imperial and Kearl and were fighting the validity of the Fisheries authorization."

Included as an appendix to this message are copies of both CBC articles, one time-stamped 10:46 AM MT, and the subsequent revised edition time-stamped 1:08 PM MT.

Enjoy!


Appendix

Loss of water permit threatens big oil sands project: report
A setback for Imperial Oil's $8-billion Kearl proposal
Last Updated: Monday, March 31, 2008 | 10:46 AM MT
The Canadian Press
The federal government has revoked a key water permit for Imperial Oil Ltd.'s proposed $8-billion Kearl oilsands mine as massive projects around Fort McMurray, Alta., come under intensified environmental scrutiny, the Globe and Mail reports.

Imperial, majority-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., has been granted an expedited court hearing, scheduled for early May, on its application to overturn the decision, the newspaper said Monday.

Imperial Oil three-month chart:
http://cbc.stockgroup.com/charts/newchart.asp?P1=T.IMO&P29=FFFFFF&P25=175&P8=3&P48=0&P31=000000&P33a=CCCCCC
The company says the lost permit could mean a delay of one or more years, according to an affidavit.

The mine had been scheduled to start producing 100,000 barrels of bitumen a day in 2011. Imperial's board of directors is expected to make a final decision by the end of September about whether to build the mine.

The loss of the water permit stems from a Federal Court of Canada judgment in early March that found that, in approving the Kearl project, the Alberta and federal governments didn't fully explain why greenhouse gas emissions were not significant.

That ruling didn't throw out the overall approval.

Still, citing the court judgment, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans told Imperial in a March 20 letter that the water permit issued Feb. 8 had been rendered invalid.

Imperial, the letter stated, "is not authorized to proceed with any works or undertakings that will cause a harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat or that destroys fish by any means other than fishing."

A Fisheries habitat biologist is set to visit Kearl in the next several days to assess the situation.

Imperial is "very disappointed" by Ottawa's decision, company spokesman Gordon Wong told the Globe. The water permit "is legally valid and that's the argument we will pursue in court," he said.

The voided water permit is a victory for non-profit environmental groups, including Alberta's Pembina Institute and the Sierra Club of Canada, who brought the original federal court case against Imperial and Kearl and were fighting the validity of the Fisheries authorization.

The Canadian Press, 2008

Imperial to appeal loss of water permit for oilsands project
Work to continue for now on $8-billion Kearl project north of Fort McMurray
Last Updated: Monday, March 31, 2008 | 1:08 PM MT
The Canadian Press
Imperial Oil plans to fight a government decision to revoke its water permit for the proposed $8-billion Kearl oilsands mine, a spokesman for the Calgary-based integrated oil and gas company said Monday.

"Obviously we're disappointed in the recent developments, but we do feel that the authorization that we have is legally valid," Gordon Wong said in an interview.

Imperial Oil three-month chart
Imperial has been granted an expedited Federal Court hearing for May 7, in which the company will seek to overturn the decision by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In the meantime, work at the Kearl site will continue, Wong said.

"We will eventually need this permit, but the work that's underway right now at the site, and which is continuing, is not dependent on this particular permit."

The mine had been scheduled to start producing 100,000 barrels of bitumen a day in 2011, eventually ramping up to 300,000 barrels a day. Imperial's board of directors is expected to make a final decision about whether to build the mine by the end of September.

Wong said it is not clear how long the project's start-up would be delayed by the DFO move.

"We'll have a better sense of timelines once we hear back from the Federal Court," he said.

The court ruled in early March that there was not enough information on Kearl's greenhouse gas emissions and sent it back to a regulatory panel for another look.

Lawyers for environmental group EcoJustice have been arguing against the project, which would eventually strip-mine about 200 square kilometres of boreal forest and wetlands north of Fort McMurray.

The Canadian Press, 2008

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