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Energy

New Technology Could Turn Tar Sands Oil Into 'Pucks' for Less Hazardous Transport

By Justin Mikulka

A new technology has the potential to transform the transportation of tars sands oil. Right now, the already thick and slow-flowing oil, known as bitumen, has to be diluted with a super-light petroleum product, usually natural gas condensate, in order for it to flow through a pipeline or into a rail tank car.

However, scientists at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering inadvertently found a way to make tar sands oil even more viscous, turning it into "self-sealing pellets" that could potentially simplify its transport.

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British Columbia Wine Institute

Canada Pipeline Feud Becomes Trade War as Alberta Boycotts B.C. Wine

By Andy Rowell

They say that oil and water do not mix. And now the proverb applies to oil and wine.

There is an escalating tension in Canada between the Albertan and British Columbian (B.C.) governments over the disputed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which is due to transport tar sands from Alberta to the B.C. Coast.

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Energy
Shutterstock

Will Shell Turn From Big Oil Into Big Energy?

By Andy Rowell

On the surface, the good times are back for Big Oil. Later this week, Shell is expected to unveil its biggest profits in a decade since the oil price crash.

As the oil price recovers to over $65 a barrel last year, so do Shell's fortunes, with reported earnings of nearly $16 billion.

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Climate
Christine Irvine / 350.org

A Climate Resistance Game Plan for 2018

By Jamie Henn

Let's talk for a moment about how the climate movement is going to fight back in 2018.

But first, a public service announcement.

This Jan. 31, movement leaders like the one-and-only Bernie Sanders, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP, and more, are coming together for an event called "Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance," to lay out a movement game plan for 2018.

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Chevron's KIC-1 post, seen in front of the Brooks Mountain Range in northern Alaska. Jonathan Rosenblum

Exposed: Chevron's Secretive Drilling Site in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

By Jonathan Rosenblum

It's the middle of the frigid, long midnight at Tapkaurak Point, a spit of gravel curling out into the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska. Up in the middle of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the largest remaining wilderness area in the U.S., the sun set weeks ago and won't peek above the horizon until the middle of January.

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Yaqui community gathering. Andrea Arzaba / CC BY-SA 4.0

Mexico's Standing Rock? Sempra, TransCanada Face Indigenous Pipeline Resistance South of Border

By Steve Horn

Since Mexico privatized its oil and gas resources in 2013, border-crossing pipelines including those owned by Sempra Energy and TransCanada have come under intense scrutiny and legal challenges, particularly from Indigenous peoples.

Opening up the spigot for U.S. companies to sell oil and gas into Mexico was a top priority for the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton.

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Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Canadian portion of the project not long after Donald Trump took the White House. Marc Chalifoux / Epic Photography for the Government of Alberta / Flickr

Enbridge Dealt New Setback After Judge Pushes Back Decision on Line 3 Pipeline

Environmentalists are cheering after an administrative law judge delayed approval of Enbridge Energy's controversial Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.

The decision from Judge Ann O'Reilly comes after state regulators deemed the environmental impact statement for the proposed multibillion-dollar project as “ inadequate" and directed revisions on the document.

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Climate

Exxon Mobil’s About-Face on Climate Disclosure: Is It Enough?

By Paul Griffin

Exxon Mobil Corp. has vowed to do a better job in disclosing the risks it faces from climate change starting "in the near future," after bucking pressure to do that for years.

Until now, shareholders and bondholders had no choice but to rely on informed guesswork by outsiders to divine how the nation's largest fossil fuel company was retooling for the future—a time when taxes, regulations and competition from renewable energy and other new technology alternatives are likely to thin consumers' demand for its products.

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General Motors Solar Tracking Tree car charging stations. GM

Renewable Energy Isn’t Perfect, But It’s Far Better Than Fossil Fuels

In their efforts to discredit renewable energy and support continued fossil fuel burning, many anti-environmentalists have circulated a dual image purporting to compare a lithium mine with an oil sands operation. It illustrates the level of dishonesty to which some will stoop to keep us on our current polluting, climate-disrupting path (although in some cases it could be ignorance).

The image is a poor attempt to prove that lithium batteries and renewable energy are worse for the environment than energy from oil sands bitumen. The first problem is that the "lithium mine" is actually BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine in Chile (the world's largest). The bottom image is of an Alberta oil sands operation, but it's an in situ underground facility and doesn't represent the enormous open-pit mining operations used to extract most bitumen.

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