Vista Coal – another federal betrayal of present and future generations (Part I)

On December 3rd, 2019, Canada opened their factum to the SCC in the Saskatchewan carbon tax reference appeal with;

1. Global climate change is an urgent threat to humanity. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere enable global warming, causing climate change and creating national and international risks to human health and well-being. GHG emissions cannot be contained within geographic boundaries. Their deep and urgent reduction requires an integrated pan-Canadian and international approach to prevent significantly worsening consequences of climate change.

In October, 2019, the same federal government declined a federal review of the proposed expansion of the Vista Coal Mine in Alberta. According to Global news the Minister of environment and climate change, Jonathan Wilkinson, said;

… the Coalspur Vista Coal Mine project just east of Hinton in western Alberta doesn’t need to be designated for federal review because it is subject to the provincial environmental assessment process.

He adds issues of federal jurisdiction will be covered through other regulatory processes and, if the project proceeds, it will be subject to federal regulation

Ecojustice called it hypocrisy, and that is exactly what it is. What can be done? Well, litigation, of course. And Ecojustice is doing that too.

This is the same argument that was used regarding TMX – that the fossil fuel will be burned elsewhere, and they can count and deal with the emissions. As Clark Williams-Derry, a Seattle-based energy finance analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis was quoted in the Narwhal, “It’s like getting a temperance lecture from the bartender,” “As he’s pouring the drink, he’s saying ‘you really shouldn’t be drinking so much.’ ”

Is there a better solution?


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