"One of the opposition parties has taken the treacherous course of leaving the domestic debate and heading abroad to attack a legitimate Canadian resource which is being responsibly developed and regulated," Kent told reporters.So what is Kent doing to any system of responsible regulation which might once have existed? Let's ask James Munson:
The federal government is quietly removing in situ oilsands operations from the list of projects covered by its environmental assessments branch.Now, I for one would have taken Kent's quote as a (however disingenuous) argument for the status quo rather than a perceived need for change. But he's now chosen to ensure that the vast majority of tar sands development proceeds without any federal environmental assessment whatsoever - meaning that he's definitely debunked any claim the Cons might have made to reasonable regulation.
The move is an extension of the overhaul of federal environmental regulation for resource projects that began with last year’s budget bill. The public had until last Monday to consult the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) on its decision to drop in situ projects from its Regulations Designating Physical Projects list, which spells out all projects under its jurisdiction.
The change essentially keeps Ottawa out of most future oilsands development, since the bulk of remaining resources are too deep to be extracted by strip mining. Around 80 per cent of all oilsands will be mined in situ, say industry sources...