by The Canadian Press Posted May 1, 2014 4:58 pm MDT LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – The mayor of a southern Alberta city says an oil and gas company’s decision to abandon plans to drill three exploratory wells within city limits is a victory for activism.Goldenkey Oil Inc. announced Wednesday that it will not be applying to the Alberta Energy Regulator to access its mineral rights in the Lethbridge area.Goldenkey says the decision was the result of public consultations, inquiry responses and numerous meetings with stakeholders.Project representative David Hill says it came down to the cost of being successful in the application process versus the prospect of technical success for an exploratory well.Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says the more than 13,000 signatures on a petition against Goldenkey’s plans and hundreds of letters was — quote — a victory in “activism over apathy” and a great example of democracy.But Spearman also says it’s still very important that Lethbridge and other Alberta communities push the province for an urban drilling policy.Goldenkey had proposed drilling through a sour geological formation, but would have produced from a non-sour zone.“Goldenkey has decided on a project basis that the barriers here did not justify the costs,” Hill said in a statement.The group that launched the petition, No Drilling Lethbridge, says it’s “thrilled” Goldenkey won’t be submitting an application to drill on the west side.The Alberta New Democrats also echoed the mayor’s call for the province to develop an urban drilling policy.“Though we are relieved for the citizens of Lethbridge, the threat of urban drilling in other cities and towns remains. Today, we repeat our demand that the provincial government ban all drilling in urban areas and commit resources to a study of the impact of drilling,” said Mason.“The people of Lethbridge forced a company to back down when the provincial government failed them. But what about another city or town tomorrow?”(CJOC, The Canadian Press) Oil company abandons plan to drill wells in Alberta city limits after petition
“There is growing need for humanitarian assistance with displacement, food insecurity, malnutrition, violence and economic decline taking a toll on the health, safety and livelihoods of people in need,” stated Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan in a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “Today, we are calling for $1.72 billion to continue providing life-saving assistance and protection for six million people most in need in South Sudan,” he said, emphasizing the plan’s focus on protecting vulnerable groups, especially women and children. Since the conflict in began in December 2013, about four million people have been forced to flee their homes, including nearly 1.9 million internally displaced and about 2.1 million in neighbouring countries. As the conflict continues in parts of the country, hunger and malnutrition rates have risen and, without early actions, thousands of people in multiple areas risk famine.The UN relief wing has more on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan hereAccording to the South Sudan Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, an earlier than normal start of the lean season will result in an estimated 5.1 million people, or 48 per cent of the population, being classified as severely food insecure between January-March 2018. Moreover, nutrition surveys reveal that approximately half of all South Sudanese children under five experience acute malnutrition. Despite these challenges, the South Sudan humanitarian operation continues to reach millions in need across the country. As of end-November, aid organizations had reached more than five million people since the year began. Mr. Noudéhou thanked South Sudan’s donors, who contributed over 70 per cent of the plan for 2017 and called on all stakeholders to play their roles in alleviating the suffering. He highlighted the enormity of the challenge and the collective efforts for a rigorous prioritization to ensure the effectiveness of the response. “With our collective and coordinated efforts, we will be able to effectively provide much needed assistance to the people in need. Children will remain in school. Many more will survive diseases. Livelihoods and hope will be restored. There is so much at stake,” stressed Mr. Noudéhou.