After more than a year of hearings, the National Energy Board panel reviewing Enbridge’s oil tanker and pipeline proposal completed the community hearings phase of its review in Vancouver on Friday. The final tally in the largest National Energy Board hearings in history was 1,159 speakers opposed to the proposal and two in favour.
Monday, 01 April 2013 14:19
Like every other country in the world, Canada has promised to help keep global warming to less than 2 degrees C. However Canada's political and corporate leadership are committed to turning the country into a fossil-fuelled “energy superpower.” With a drug lord's just-providing-a-service hypocrisy Canada has openly declared it's future is tied to the profits from dumping hundreds of millions of tonnes of climate-heating carbon into the atmosphere every year.
Published in Global Environmental Connections
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 18:37
Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. It looks like the gods are doing just that with the Premier and her government.
What I’ve seen the past several weeks forces me to ask, Madame Premier: Is that thing on your shoulders just for photo-ops?
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:18
Blame Canada is a four part series revealing how Canada has become a fossil-fuelled energy superpower that's going to wreck its future and the global climate.
What's happened to Canada? To the dismay of many a country with an international reputation for relatively progressive environmental policies (at least compared to the United States) is rushing headlong to dig up all the oil, gas, and coal it can. The country’s leaders can scarcely muster the effort to pretend to want to limit climate-heating carbon emissions. And the Canadian business establishment and media have largely gone along with the program. Put it all together, and you have a country that has become a full-blown “petrostate.”
Published in Global Environmental Connections
Thursday, 14 March 2013 12:14
Gary Mason’s column in the March 12 edition of The Globe and Mail, on Christy Clark, is very interesting. The premier is complaining about the lack of precision in the NDP’s plans and calls upon Adrian Dix to spell it all out.
What is most interesting is Ms. Clark’s position on issues and what she deems those issues to be. (Remember that the Liberals have raised the provincial debt and other taxpayer obligations by some five fold, which should limit the generosity of both leaders).
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 16:11
Take Action before March 11! Do you think there should be federal environmental assessment hearings on the proposed liquidfied natural gas project on our north coast? The Environmental Assessment Agency needs to hear from you at:
Thanks to The Common Sense Canadian and Damien Gillis for the following article:
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is seeking public input on whether or not to hold a federal environmental assessment process for a proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) mega-project on BC's north coast. The plant, dubbed Pacific Northwest LNG, is designed to turn natural gas from northeast BC into super-cooled liquid so it can be shipped to new markets in Asia, currently paying a higher price for the commodity.
Citizens have until March 11 to let the government know whether the proposal for Prince Rupert - one of half a dozen slated for that community and nearby Kitimat - should undergo a thorough environmental assessment.
Project proponent Progress Energy became a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas in December, when Stephen Harper approved the controversial buyout. The decision followed lengthy deliberations, during which time Harper was pressured directly by the Malaysian Prime Minister.
Just prior to that, the two companies announced their intention to proceed with the $9-11 Billion project, regardless of the fate of the buyout, but indicated the project's size would vary accordingly.
A Financial Post story at the time noted, "If the takeover bid is a go, the LNG plant, named Pacific Northwest LNG, will export two billion cubic feet a day of liquefied natural gas. If the bid is not approved, the two companies will continue as separate entities and work on a plant with the capacity to export 1.2 billion cubic feet a day. Either way, the project will proceed at an 'aggressive' pace."
Petronas' mega-project is far from the only LNG plant proposed for BC's coast. There are at least five major projects proposed by a host of North American, Asian and European natural gas players - some of which have already received some level of approval. These include Kitimat LNG, of which Chevron just purchased a majority stake, and Kitimat-based, Shell-led LNG Canada, a consortium which includes Japanese, Chinese and Korean partners.
These plants are a key piece of a promised natural gas boom that is a central plank in the BC Liberals' economic and election platform. They also bring with them considerable environmental and economic concerns - from the shaky financial foundation of the nascent industry to the water and air contamination caused by fracking - a controversial, new technique used for harnessing much of the gas that would feed these LNG plants.
The plants themselves would create local air pollution and carbon emissions, as they plan to burn some of their own product to to meet the enormous energy demands of processing gas into liquid.
Published in Take action!
Monday, 18 February 2013 13:20
Activists are calling Keystone “the line in the sand” regarding dangerous climate change, prompting the Sierra Club to suspend its 120-year ban on civil disobedience. The group’s executive director, Michael Brune, was arrested in front of the White House during a small protest against Keystone on Wednesday, February 13.
Published in News
Friday, 15 February 2013 15:02
Published in News shorts
Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:10
Don’t eat that, Elmer. Them’s horse buns!
The BC Liberal Government's speech from the throne on February 12 - which hinged on promises of a $100 Billion windfall from BC's heretofore nonexistent Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry - was an appalling attempt to divert attention away from reality with pie in a distant sky.
This government must be thrown out and one can say with certainty that any replacement would be an improvement.
Billions in a few years hence, perhaps trillions after that. We’ll become the LNG capital in the world! There are one or two dark spots on this sunny painting we should look at carefully.
The LNG will come largely from fracking, which is taking the world by storm. It involves drilling deep underground into shale beds where gas is trapped, then drilling horizontally through them, and ultimately pushing huge amounts of chemical-laced water through to crack open the shale and force the gas to the surface. Under Christy Clark's grand LNG scheme, this gas would then be transported by pipeline to Kitimat or Prince Rupert, where it would be converted into LNG for export, mostly to Asia.
The first questions - the conditions precedent to this operation - are to do with the environment. In a radio interview with the CBC's Rick Cluff Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark repeatedly referred to this gas a "clean". Really?
Where does this water come from? The requirements are immense, so a large supply must be found.
Where does the chemically loaded water go? Into the water table, thence to the water supply of local residents?
What is the impact of the extraction of this gas on the stability of the area? Will there be earthquakes as a result of fracking, as a recent report from the Oil and Gas Commission suggests?
What is the impact of huge water extractions on the general ecology of the the supply area? Are there fish losses? What happens to the fauna and flora after the water is extracted? What impact is there on people, especially First Nations? What will be the impact of the water lost to this process on BC Hydro and its ratepayers - like the billions of litres coming from the Williston Reservoir?
There is this question Premier Clark won't deal with because she doesn’t give a damn - what about the impact of pipelines (all four of them proposed to cut across BC), especially on wildlife?
The fact is that these concerns are being dealt with in several regions with a moratorium on the enterprise until the answers to these and other questions area answered.
What we do know is that these sorts of concerns do not bother the Chinese in the least, which leads into the major economic concern. Asian prices are high now - 5 or 6 times higher than in North America, which is the basis for this whole scheme. This is a direct reflection of the current lack of cheap, local supply.
So here’s the rub - what if China develops its own supply of “fracked” gas? What happens to the overseas market price then?
One doesn’t have to be an economic genius or Nostradamus to predict that our proposed customer, China, will find plenty of shale and be awash with natural gas.
Monday, 11 February 2013 15:08
Rafe responds to MP John Weston's letter critcizcing his stand on the Enbridge pipeline .
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 23:45
Environmental groups in BC are gathering momentum and spreading the word to communities across the province that the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines along with the super tankers that will carry the tar sands oil are on their radar.
Published in Features