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Clean-energy group praises new Alberta Energy Regulator emission rules

CALGARY - A clean-energy group is praising a decision by the Alberta Energy Regulator to crack down on emissions from oilsands development in the Peace River area. The Pembina Institute calls it a positive step that recognizes health concerns about odours from processing plants. The regulator is bringing in new rules this year to reduce the potential negative effects of energy industry gas emissions, including flaring, venting and burning off gas.

Alberta Energy Regulator toughens rules to cut possible effect of gas emissions

CALGARY - Alberta's energy regulator is toughening rules to reduce the potential negative effects of energy industry gas emissions. The new rules will apply to industry practices such as flaring, venting and burning off gas and are to go into effect June 16. Jim Ellis, president of the Alberta Energy Regulator, said the changes will help ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of energy resources.

Alberta Energy Regulator toughens rules to cut possible effect of gas emissions

CALGARY - Alberta's energy regulator is toughening regulations to reduce the potential negative effects of energy industry gas emissions. The new rules will apply to industry practises such as flaring, venting and burning off gas and are to go into effect June 16. The change is partly the result of hearings into odours caused by oilsands processing in northwestern Alberta that prompted some families to move away from the area.

Canada posts trade surplus in February

Canada posted Thursday a Can$290 million (US$263 million) trade surplus for the month of February as auto sales ticked up following extended holiday shutdowns at US and Canadian manufacturing plants. Exports grew 3.6 percent, outpacing a 2.1 percent rise in imports in the month, Statistics Canada said. The surplus follows a January deficit, which was revised downward by the government statistical agency to Can$337 million (US$306 million).

Oilsands processing odours in northwest Alberta may cause health problems: report

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - A new report says odours caused by oilsands processing in northwestern Alberta should be eliminated as much as possible because they could cause health problems. The report released Monday from the Alberta Energy Regulator follows hearings into complaints from people near Peace River who say Baytex Energy Corp.'s operations are creating powerful gassy smells. The report said steps must be taken to eliminate gas venting, reduce flaring and conserve all produced gas where feasible.

Former Tory minister to head Alberta environmental monitoring agency

EDMONTON - A former Alberta Tory environment minister has been named to lead an agency intended to help monitor the impacts of rapid oilsands and other industrial development. Lorne Taylor will be the first chairman of the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency, which was set up in response to criticisms that provincial monitoring conducted when Taylor was minister was scientifically indefensible. "Only in Alberta would the government not get the irony of that," New Democrat critic Rachel Notley said Thursday.

Athabasca to update 2014 budget, says close to finding Duvernay partner

CALGARY - Athabasca Oil Corp. says it expects to table an updated 2014 capital budget in July, once there's a resolution to most of the uncertainty that's been dogging the oilsands developer and light oil producer. Calgary-based Athabasca (TSX:ATH) aims to announce a joint-venture deal for its holdings in Alberta's Duvernay shale around that time, after prospective partners have had a chance to look over new test results on four wells in the region.

Athabasca to update 2014 budget, says close to finding Duvernay partner

CALGARY - Athabasca Oil Corp. says it expects to table an updated 2014 capital budget in July, once there's a resolution to most of the uncertainty that's been dogging the oilsands developer and light oil producer. Calgary-based Athabasca (TSX:ATH) aims to announce a joint-venture deal for its holdings in Alberta's Duvernay shale around that time, after prospective partners have had a chance to look over new test results on four wells in the region.

Critics call Alberta's plan for Athabasca River 'pathetic,' not science-based

EDMONTON - Alberta's plan to protect the Athabasca River from the escalating pressure of oilsands development reveals how little the government understands about the environment it claims to protect, say prominent scientists and critics. "It's pretty pathetic," said David Schindler, a retired University of Alberta ecologist and a leading expert on fresh-water systems. "If you were to put this before a panel of international scientists, they would be incredulous."

Athabasca Oil founder steps down after Dover project gets government's OK

CALGARY - The founder and chairman of Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH) is stepping down a day after its Dover oilsands project received a long-awaited green light from the Alberta government. William Gallacher, who founded the company in 2006, has chosen to resign from the company's board of directors so he could "concentrate on his other endeavours," the company said in a release Friday. Gallacher will be replaced by current board member Thomas Buchanan, effective immediately.
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