Corporate Watchdog Launches Campaign against Oil Industry Doubletalk
VANCOUVER, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Suncor is quietly seeking exemptions to rules that would require basic protections for the Athabasca watershed and Alberta environment, corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org has charged.
SumOfUs.org has launched a hard-hitting campaign calling Suncor out for lobbying against rules to clean up the oil sands and protect the Athabasca River. The website, video and petition ask tough questions about the company's refusal to take basic measures to protect the Athabasca and all communities downstream.
"Suncor's multimillion dollar public relations materials tell a rosy story about a company committed to protecting our environment," said campaign spokesperson Kevin Grandia. "You cannot just buy a green cape and call yourself an environmental superhero, you have to earn that through your actions. If Suncor is truly committed to 'what yes can do' they will say yes to new strong regulations that protect the Athabasca River."
The Alberta Government is proposing new draft rules in the Surface Water Quantity Framework. Those rules would prohibit Suncor from taking water from the river for oil sands extraction during catastrophically low-flow periods, which could damage and destroy portions of the watershed permanently.
Suncor has failed to abide by existing tailings regulations and so far, has not supported new rules that would prohibit releasing polluted water directly into the Athabasca. Industry, First Nations, and government have called for oil sands companies to store "process-affected water" on-site rather than release it directly into the river. Suncor has not yet committed.
"Suncor has an opportunity to show real leadership here," continued Grandia. "We call on Suncor to stand up for the Athabasca River and for all Canadians who love this great country."
Facts on water use in the oil sands and Athabasca River:
• Oil sands mining is the largest consumer of water from the Athabasca River, and industrial water demand is expected to increase by nearly 500% by 2020.
• In 2012, Suncor's total water consumption increased by 20% over 2011 levels, and is expected to increase another 47% by 2017 based on the company's current expansion plans.
Alberta water backgrounder: Water Backgrounder
SumOfUs.org is a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations. Join us on our journey as we seek to make the world a better place for ourselves, our children and all who share our planet.
For further information: Kevin Grandia, spokesperson for SumOfUs, Canadian Campaigns Associate, 778-878-6606