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Important Enough for It's Own Thread.... Energy

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This picture shows how shallow people are who are against the petroleum industry.  Note the covering on her sign and of course her outerwear that is def. not organic.  


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The numbers show our green obsession is hurting Canada


  • Calgary Sun
  • 17 Nov 2019
img?regionKey=rdyZ6ntFjSK4hVQOF%2bNt%2bg%3d%3dGETTYIMAGES Coal mining at an open pit.

The latest numbers on economic productivity in Canada are extremely disappointing. And with the Liberals back in power, the numbers are about to get worse, especially considering that the Trudeau government is now held in office by three anti-development parties — the NDP, Greens and Bloc Quebecois.

Even our “have” provinces fall far behind the top American states. And Canada’s poorest — the three Maritime provinces — are at or below the lowest state, Mississippi.

According to work done by Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist, Alberta is Canada’s wealthiest province with a per capita GDP of $64,000 USD. Yet that is behind 16 American states. Indeed, Alberta is a full 25% below the richest American jurisdiction — New York state at $86,000.

Perhaps more concerning, though, is the plight of Ontario. Once the economic engine of the country and home to 40% of our national population, Ontario’s annual,

Who is funding the militant illegal immigrant youth army of thousands of entitled “Dreamers” that marched to Washington, D.C., for the Supreme Court hearing this week on President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty program?

Follow the money; find the truth. I’ve got the “Open Borders Inc.” breakdown for you of so-called DACA financiers and enablers on both sides of the political spectrum. Call them what they are: the “American Students Last” lobby.

Let’s start with Charles Koch. The libertarian billionaire has thrown his weight and fortune behind an amnesty brigade called the LIBRE Initiative. While the establishment right purports to oppose identity politics, LIBRE wraps itself in the mantle of “empowering Hispanics” to “advance liberty” and “prosperity.” Koch has poured more than $10 million into the ethnocentric group since 2011 under the slogan “Limited Government. Unlimited Opportunity.”

Translation: driver ’s licenses for illegal immigrants, in-state tuition discounts for illegal immigrant per capita GDP is just $48,000U USD. That’s only $1,000 better than Kentucky and just 12% above West Virginia — coal-mining, mountain-people West Virginia!

Ontario is producing only slightly more than half the per capital GDP of New York. Indeed, our heartland is closer to Mississippi than to California, Washington state, Alaska and North Dakota.

This is largely the result of the Liberals “green” obsession — first in Ontario under Premiers McGuinty and Wynne and now federally under Justin Trudeau. This should surprise no one since many of the same people who thought up Ontario’s “green” energy strategy are now devising federal policy.

And it matters far less to these eco-zealots what happens students and securing a Congressional deal to codify the Obama administration’s blanket deportation shields and work permits for 800,000 illegal immigrant students if the Supreme Court strikes the deal down.

Koch operatives send out weekly press releases urging Congress to “Protect Dreamers Now,” “Achieve a permanent solution for Dreamers” (hint: It’s not deportation), and “act promptly on relief for Dreamers.” Along with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, LIBRE sponsored a “pop-up art exhibit” propagandizing the benefits of illegal immigrant Dreamers to coincide with their march on Washington on Tuesday.

Next up: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Big Business lobbyists for cheap labor have prioritized illegal immigrant amnesty legislation since 2014, when the Chamber dumped $50 million to to people’s jobs and standard of living than making expensive, symbolic, useless environmental gestures.

For instance, Ontario Liberal policies gave that province the highest electricity costs on the continent, which contributed to the loss of 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 15 years. That should make the architects of Ontario’s “green” energy policies contrite and apologetic. Instead, they are now trying to duplicate their disaster on a national scale.

Instead of trying to revive our economy with more pipelines and manufacturing plants, attracted by loosened regulations and lower taxes, the Liberals in Ottawa are giving every indication of going the opposite direction — more “green” impediments to growth, plus even higher taxes and bigger deficits.

Consider that half a dozen years ago, Alberta was one of the top 5 jurisdictions in North America for attractiveness to international oil and gas investors. Now, thanks to the Liberal-government’s WWGD (What Would Greta Do?) mentality, Alberta is 16 out of 20 according to the latest survey by Vancouver’s Fraser Institute.

Since the Liberals came to office in 2015, over $100 billion in energy-sector investment has been lost.

And the decline of our energy sector is not geological, it’s political. The oil is there. We know how to extract it. Yet thanks to our “green” federal government, there is inadequate ability to get that oil to market, so investors now see Canada as one of the least reliable places to put their money.

And the indications are the Trudeau Liberals will be even more anti-oil in their second term. They wouldn’t stand up to the B.C. provincial NDP’s obstructionism on Trans

Mountain during their first term. What do you think the chances are they will stand up to the Bloc (or Greens or NDP) this term, when they need those parties’ votes in the Commons and they hope to steal their voters in the next election?

On Thursday, the Montreal Economic Institute estimated that interprovincial trade barriers cost the national economy between $50 billion and $130 billion a year. That’s between $1,400 and $3,700 per person.

Will the Trudeau government then try to solve its economic and fiscal problems by, among other things, breaking down internal trade barriers and unleashing the oil industry? Unlikely. Quebec is the most protectionist of the provinces and the most antioil. green cards to foreign student diplomas and his speakers have shouted down America First students as racists and losers for challenging the donor class on demographic realities. (Who needs SPLC smear merchants with “friends” like these?) Shamefully, no right-leaning groups bothered to muster up their own army of American students to counter the Koch-Soros-Silicon Valley-Vat i - can-backed hordes on the Mexifornicated steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. The job of combating the American Students Last lobby has been left to anti-establishment outsiders — Proud Boys, Groypers, displaced U.S. tech workers and other dissidents unmasking Open Borders Inc.’s controlled opposition. On Tuesday, I was called a “Nazi” by a young GOP operative for supporting American students first.

Keep shooting the messengers, civilizational suicide squad clowns. If the goal is to make America disappear, you’re winning.

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How the American environmental movement dealt a blow to Alberta's oilpatch

The plan to weaken Alberta's oilsands came together in a Minneapolis hotel. It was the fall of 2008, and a group of NGOs spent part of a conference there brainstorming tactics for slowing down the growth of the oilsands. They identified pipelines as an ideal target.

Activists identified perfect target: Keystone XL pipeline, and they think it worked

Alexander Panetta · CBC News · Posted: Nov 18, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 10 minutes ago
Students protesting against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline march to the residence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. U.S. environmentalists are taking credit for organizing a broad enough resistance against the pipeline to delay it and slow down production growth in the Alberta's oilsands. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The strategy to stifle Alberta's oilsands came together in a hotel near a mall in Minneapolis over a decade ago.

It was the fall of 2008, and a group of environmental activists spent part of a conference there brainstorming tactics for slowing down the growth of the oilsands — and they identified pipelines as the most vulnerable target.

One in particular fit the bill: Keystone XL — a 1,897-kilometre pipeline to be built by TC Energy that would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would link up with the company's existing pipeline network.


Their fateful decision at that meeting to throw money and organizational effort into attacking the proposed pipeline opened a difficult new chapter for the oilpatch.

Now, those activists are claiming victory.

A decade later, Alberta crude is increasingly choked off from international markets; growth forecasts have been cut in half; iconic Canadian energy companies are rebranding themselves or moving head offices; and parts of Western Canada are simmering with talk of separatism.

'Keystone was a turning point'

Several American activists interviewed in recent days cited the tactical decisions made in 2008 as setting the stage for the industry's current woes. 

"Keystone was a turning point," said Kenny Bruno, an organizer and author in the environmental movement who helped shape the anti-pipeline strategy. 

"It really did impact the industry — as we intended." 


Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at the Washington-based Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), agrees that the effort helped at least curb growth even if, overall, oilsands output continues to rise.

"We really did stop expansion," Swift said. 

Activist Jane Kleeb, right, of the group Bold Nebraska, celebrates after U.S. President Barack Obama denied permission to build the Keystone XL pipeline in November 2016. Trump later overturned that decision, but the project remains in limbo. (Nati Harnik/The Associated Press)

While delays in large oil projects are now fairly common, in 2008, it was near inconceivable that the United States would reject a pipeline — especially one from Canada, Swift said.

In November of that year, activists reviewed the protest methods employed up to that point and concluded they needed new tactics.

Bruno said they talked about protesting at refineries or lobbying industrial users such as shipping companies that might be using fuel sourced in Alberta.

The problem with targeting refineries and companies, however, was there were so many of them that altering the behaviour of one would have a limited impact. Isolating Alberta oil within a company's fuel supply was also impractical, Bruno said.

But when it came to pipelines, at the time, there were only a few major cross-border projects in the works. 

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Pipeline still in limbo

Bruno, a New Yorker who has worked for a number of climate NGOs, including Oil Change, Greenpeace and Corporate Ethics, was among those advocating the view that stalling just one pipeline could do disproportionate damage to the industry.

He and others at the meeting identified the one pipeline project furthest from completion — Keystone XL, for which a permit application had been submitted just weeks earlier, and they zeroed in on it as their target.

"We felt, first of all, that it was linchpin infrastructure for the expansion," said Bruno. "And second, because there were only a few pipelines, if you could stop one, it would be a big deal.… For the first few years, I assumed we were going to lose the campaign. But, you know, I'm a New York Mets fan. You still fight."

TC Energy's pipeline facility in Hardisty, Alta., the proposed start of the 1, km long pipeline. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/The Associated Press)

Environmental groups had contested various aspects of oilsands expansion over the years, including previous pipeline projects and ecological impacts, such as deforestation.

What changed at the 2008 meeting, however, was the decision to co-ordinate efforts and throw all of their energy at stopping one project, said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a chief program officer with NRDC who attended the meeting.

And it worked, she said.

"At that time, [Alberta oil] was seen as the next Gold Rush. Every major oil company in the world was there," she said. "That's changed. and it's changed for several reasons."

Eleven years later — after numerous court battles, protests along the planned route and outside the White House and several delays, including one rejected presidential permit from then-president Barack Obama — Keystone XL remains in limbo.

Several other pipeline projects have been subsequently stalled in the U.S. and Canada while others have either been cancelled or simply abandoned

Drag out and delay

An organizer of the first big Washington protest against Keystone XL, Bill McKibben, said the conflict over that pipeline created a template for future challenges.

He described the broader strategic goal this way: drag out and delay fossil-fuel projects and make them more expensive while alternative energy gets cheaper.

"Nothing gets built for free anymore, without a lot of resistance," said McKibben, founder of the group, who has more recently turned his focus to contesting banks that fund oil projects.

If activists manage to delay fossil fuel projects long enough, clean energy gets cheaper and more viable as an alternative in the meantime, says U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben. (Chad Pawson/CBC)

"Sometimes, we win those fights; sometimes, we lose them. But even when we lose them, if you delay these projects a year or two years or three years, that's the time the engineers need to drop the cost of a solar panel or a wind turbine another 10, 15, 20 per cent. And the economics [for investing in oil] gets worse and worse and worse."

It would be a wild exaggeration to say these activists have achieved all their goals.

Global emissions are up and show no sign of peaking as they continue to surge in China. U.S. oil production has more than doubled in several years.

Even Canadian oilsands production is up — it's practically doubled over the past decade.

One Canadian pipeline project, Enbridge's Line 3, is close to completion. The Trans Mountain expansion and Keystone XL are still in the works.

So, can international climate activists really claim to have put a dent in Canada's oilsands?

"I don't think they're wrong at all," said Andrew Leach, an energy economist at the University of Alberta. "It's massive.… It's made a huge difference."

The tactics might arguably be ineffective as a policy to slow down climate change — but, he said, it's impossible to deny the protests against Keystone XL helped restrain Canada's pipeline capacity, and the shortage of capacity is one of several factors bedevilling the oilsands.

U.S. President Donald Trump reversed Obama's rejection of the pipeline with an executive order signed on Jan. 24, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Legal and other challenges pending

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to revive the pipeline project, Keystone XL's problems aren't over yet.

It still faces court challenges in Montana from several Native American tribes and environmental groups as well as opposition in Nebraska from dozens of landowners.

Activists' newest strategy on Keystone XL is to delay the project beyond Trump's first term and hope a Democratic president might cancel the permit in 2021.

The Clean Energy Barn was built directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in Polk, Nebraska, by the advocacy group Bold Nebraska. It has solar panels and a wind turbine. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, said in a recent earnings call that it remains committed to the pipeline, which would take about two years to build.

"There's just no way they're going to have this [Keystone XL] pipeline built before a new president is elected," said Nebraska activist Jane Kleeb, founding director of the advocacy group Bold Nebraska.

Kleeb was instrumental in connecting national climate groups with landowners fighting Keystone XL in her state.

"People long before me … really planned out that if we stopped Keystone XL … that we would then start to constrain the production altogether," Kleeb said.

I think what they're really angry at is physics and chemistry. We can't take all the carbon that Alberta would like to sell to the rest of the world.- Bill McKibben, environmental activist

"That's a major accomplishment that, quite frankly, I don't think anybody fully grasps. They think we were just fighting one pipeline."

Vivian Krause sees it differently. The Canadian has earned a name writing and lecturing critically about U.S. financing of Canadian environmental charities and says the protests have done nothing to help the planet and lots to enrich the protest movement as an industry.

Krause, who maintains a blog called Fair Questions, said she's compiled tax records showing that one organization alone, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, has spent $4.5 million in grants since 2007 on the Tar Sands Campaign and that money flowed to the NGOs opposing Keystone XL.

A protest by Native Americans, ranchers and politicians opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in Pierre, S.D., in October 2014. American Indian tribes in South Dakota and Montana have launched lawsuits against the project. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

She said she began compiling the financial data as a hobby but now gets paid to deliver presentations to companies in the energy, banking and business sectors, among others.

If environmental groups cared about greenhouse gases, Krasue said, they would have moved on from fighting Alberta after the provincial NDP government of Rachel Notley implemented emissions caps.

"Why are you still pounding Alberta?" she said. "It hasn't kept oil in the ground. … I think it's a flawed strategy." 

She said the main effect of the fights over pipelines has been to encourage energy investment in the United States rather than Canada.

U.S. activists inspired by Canadian opposition to oilsands

The American groups insist they're fighting projects wherever they can — and not singling out the oilsands, as the Alberta government accuses them of doing.

Kleeb said she feels sympathy for Alberta oil workers who won't be able to rely on Keystone for jobs but has no regrets about her cause. 

In her view, delaying the pipeline has safeguarded Nebraskans' property rights and forced necessary conversations about the future of energy.

Swift and McKibben also take exception to an oft-repeated suggestion that it has been primarily Americans who are leading the fight against Canadian oil.

First Nations protesters gather on the front steps of the British Columbia legislature during a demonstration against the Northern Gateway Pipeline project in Victoria in October 2012. American activists say their protest movement was inspired in part by Canadian protests against pipelines. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

Swift, McKibben, Bruno and Casey-Lefkowitz all said they first heard concerns about oilsands expansion in the 2000s from Indigenous and environmental activists in Canada.

"These are the heroes of this story," said McKibben, who used to live in Canada and even went to grade school with former prime minister Stephen Harper.

He dismissed some of the frustration in the oilpatch as a "tantrum" stemming from having to confront the reality that it's impossible to meet global emissions targets and still fully develop the oilsands.

"I think what they're really angry at is physics and chemistry," he said. "We can't take all the carbon that Alberta would like to sell to the rest of the world."

About the Author

Alexander Panetta is a Washington-based correspondent for CBC News who has covered American politics and Canada-U.S. issues since 2013. He previously worked in Ottawa, Quebec City and internationally, reporting on politics, conflict

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OPINION | Some hard truths (and a dirty little secret) about Canadian energy

According to former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean, Canada needs a growing energy industry in Alberta, and that's going to take a lot more than just TMX.

TMX will help, but Alberta and Canada need a lot more

Brian Jean · for CBC News · Posted: Dec 02, 2019 5:00 AM MT | Last Updated: 28 minutes ago
Houses, bottom, line the side of a hill in Burnaby, the terminus of the TMX, as the downtown Vancouver skyline is seen in the distance. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

This is an opinion piece from Brian Jean, who was MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin in northern Alberta from 2015-2018. He led Alberta's Opposition as Wildrose Party leader for two years and ran to lead the UCP when his party merged with the PCs in 2017 but lost to Jason Kenney. Before that, he represented the Athabasca and Fort McMurray regions as a Conservative MP for a decade.


Alberta's energy sector is the goose that lays golden eggs for Canada.

It has attracted millions of young, hardworking people to Alberta. It is the reason why Alberta contributes more financially to Canada than any other sub-national region in any other country contributes to its central government.


Quebec is sustained by equalization dollars that come from Alberta. If Ottawa has tax revenue to distribute as equalization, it is because hardworking Albertans and the energy industry are paying those taxes.

Ottawa benefits from all the wealth that Alberta's energy creates, so much so that a two-month cratering of Alberta's oil prices in the last quarter of 2018 slashed national GDP growth to zero.

That massive financial benefit is now at risk because of short-sighted decisions by politicians.

Alberta has oil that the world wants to buy, that Canadians want to buy, but Canadian politicians don't want to make the reasonable accommodations that would let us sell it.

Recently politicians have been focused on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX). That is good, but we need more than that. TMX isn't enough to make Albertans stop worrying about being taken for granted by Canada and it isn't enough to ensure Alberta's and Canada's long-term prosperity.

Alberta produces just under four million barrels of oil per day (bpd). We consume about 25 per cent of that in Canada and we sell the rest to Trump's America — at a discount.


America is our only foreign customer. They are also our top competitor.

Because of fracking discoveries, the U.S. is now the world's top producer of oil. They don't really need our oil and they need less every day. That is part of the reason why our oil sells at a discount that Alberta's former NDP government concluded was costing the Canadian economy $84 million a day.

TMX will hardly change that.

An oil tanker anchors at the terminus to the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C. TMX's shallow port can’t accommodate modern supertankers. (Chris Corday/CBC)

If TMX is finally built it will send a further 590,000 bpd to Vancouver. That helps, but only a little.

It's a dirty little secret that most of the new TMX oil will be sold to U.S. west coast refineries. Very little of it will go to China, Japan, Korea or India, despite the fact that all of them want it. At most TMX will sell a few hundred thousand barrels a day to Asia.

You see, Vancouver's shallow port can't accommodate modern supertankers.

Most oil gets shipped in two million-plus barrel supertankers, but Vancouver can only handle 800 thousand barrel ships, and those can only be three-quarters filled before they bottom out.

The cost advantages of transporting Alberta oil in efficient supertankers will never happen via Vancouver. And that means TMX alone won't lead to a growing Alberta energy industry.

If Alberta's energy industry isn't growing, it will never again fill the 30 per cent of downtown Calgary that is currently empty. It's that simple and that bleak.

Canada needs a growing energy industry in Alberta. To be successful we need to sell more than two million barrels a day to a customer that isn't the Americans. That's Asia or, better yet, Canada.

What Alberta needs is a deep-water export pipeline to Asia or the Energy East pipeline to eastern Canada. Either would lead to a booming Alberta economy, which could sustain the Canada we all know.

That is what Alberta would have, if we were the only decider on this file — if just economics went into making this decision.

It's time our politicians were honest with Albertans and Canadians.

TMX is a start, but it isn't enough.

We need to work on a solution that gets Alberta a customer, other than the Americans, for two million barrels a day of oil.

That customer should be the rest of Canada.

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For those who doubted that the Feds would be getting anything done...

Trans Mountain construction set to begin in Alberta, with 'pipe in the ground before Christmas'

After multiple delays, the Financial Post has learned crews are preparing to start construction work on the controversial pipeline in Alberta

CALGARY — After years of delays, pipeline construction is ready to begin on the Trans Mountain expansion project.

Large-diameter green pipes that will carry oil from Alberta to the British Columbia coast have been stockpiled at various points along the path of the Trans Mountain expansion project since the summer. The Financial Post has now learned that crews are preparing to start construction work on the controversial pipeline in Alberta.

Trans Mountain spokesperson Ali Hounsell confirmed there would be “pipe on the ground” with the intention of putting “pipe in the ground before Christmas.” She said an event was planned for Tuesday to mark the beginning of right of way construction on the pipeline project.

The Trans Mountain expansion project is considered critical infrastructure for landlocked oil producers in Alberta keen to expand their customer base beyond the United States. The 590,000-barrels-per-day expansion would raise the pipeline’s capacity to 890,000-bpd, enabling more shipments to Asia’s energy-hungry markets.

In June, the Financial Post reported that large stockpiles of green-coated pipelines have been amassed at yards in the B.C. towns of Vavenby, Hope and Kamloops, and preparatory work has been ongoing in Valemount.

Crews have also been working for months at the Westridge marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C. where oil from the Trans Mountain pipeline will eventually be loaded onto ships for export.

“We have received more than half of the pipe needed for construction and are staging it at storage yards along the route,” the company had told the Financial Post in an email in November, adding that the 2,200 workers had already been hired. “Our contractors have been ordering and receiving equipment, surveying and staking and doing everything possible to be ready to start construction in the other areas as soon as possible.”

trans-mountain.jpg?w=590&quality=60&strip=allSteel pipe slated for use in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion lies at a stockpile site in Kamloops, B.C. on June 18, 2019. Dennis Owen/Reuters files

Over 90 per cent of Canada’s oil exports — oil and gas is the country’s largest export category — are currently shipped to the United States, with the majority of those exports going to the U.S. Midwest refining markets. The Trans Mountain pipeline offers much-needed diversification for the industry.

“I don’t think the sentiment was that starting construction in Alberta was the bottleneck,” GMP FirstEnergy analyst Michael Dunn said, adding that much of the oilpatch is looking to see construction in parts of B.C.

Still, construction work on the pipeline would be incrementally positive for the sector that has been starved for pipeline access, Dunn said.

The project still has a few regulatory hurdles to overcome, with the Federal Court of Appeal scheduled to hear additional challenges to the pipeline approvals in December.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. sold the Trans Mountain pipeline system and expansion project to Ottawa in 2018 for $4.5 billion after multiple regulatory challenges and entrenched opposition from the government of B.C.

All three active oil pipeline projects out of Canada — including the Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement project and TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline — have faced multi-year delays and regulatory challenges.

However, those lines are now inching closer to either construction or operation, easing crippling bottlenecks that have forced Canadian producers to fetch a discounted price for their commodity compared to global benchmarks.

On Sunday, Enbridge placed the $5.3-billion Canadian portion of its Line 3 pipeline project into service. The company continues to face delays in Minnesota for the construction of the U.S. portion of the pipeline, which will replace an aging pipeline currently in place.

Enbridge had been calling for oil companies to fill the line up over the course of November and began deliveries from December. The initial increase in total pipeline capacity of Western Canada is just 10,000 bpd but the company said it had a number of other optimization projects in the works that will result in a total of 100,000 bpd of new pipeline capacity by the end of 2019.

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For the anti pipeline and oil crowd.

These things are a HUE part of the canadian economy and generate a crap load of revenue to Canada.

Do we need to move towards clean energy and renewables?  Sure we do.


in order to be feasible we must first use the resources we have to generate the revenue needed to support the projects that will eventually replace them.  Cold Turkey just wont work.

Killing an economy in the hopes that everyone will buy an electric car and convert their home to solar is a road to disaster.  First we must repair the economy and begin generating revenue and then start SLOWLY redirecting that revenue (or a portion there of) to building a renewable infrastructure.

You just cant halt dependence on oil and gas.  The entire countries infrastructure is already built around it.  \

What is killing the move to renewables is the speed which everyone wants it.  NOW is not going to work.


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45 minutes ago, boestar said:

For the anti pipeline and oil crowd.

These things are a HUE part of the canadian economy and generate a crap load of revenue to Canada.

Do we need to move towards clean energy and renewables?  Sure we do.


in order to be feasible we must first use the resources we have to generate the revenue needed to support the projects that will eventually replace them.  Cold Turkey just wont work.

Killing an economy in the hopes that everyone will buy an electric car and convert their home to solar is a road to disaster.  First we must repair the economy and begin generating revenue and then start SLOWLY redirecting that revenue (or a portion there of) to building a renewable infrastructure.

You just cant halt dependence on oil and gas.  The entire countries infrastructure is already built around it.  \

What is killing the move to renewables is the speed which everyone wants it.  NOW is not going to work.


Makes way too much sense, which is exactly what the LEFT will reject it!

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  • Calgary Herald
  • 3 Dec 2019

Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have pledged to work together to build smaller nuclear reactors in an effort to reduce emissions and help fight climate change. The premiers gathered on Sunday to sign a memorandum of understanding to develop small modular reactors (SMRS) ahead of a meeting of the Council of the Federation. But the technology is still in the early phases in Canada — and around the world. Here’s what we know about SMRS, and the role they could play in helping Canada meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.


Small modular reactors are basically smaller-than-usual nuclear reactors that are sometimes considered safer due to their size. They generate less than 300 megawatts of electricity (MWE) per reactor, and can be small enough to fit in a gymnasium, so they can operate in areas where less power is required. An SMR could even provide power to off-grid locations where power needs are only between two and 30 MWE. Canada’s current nuclear reactors supply between 515 and 881 MWE. SMRs are called “modular” because they can operate individually, or as part of a larger nuclear complex. Multiple SMRS can be set up at a single nuclear plant to supply a similar level of power as larger generators, which means a nuclear power plant could be expanded gradually, as demand increases.


SMRS could replace larger nuclear reactors when they are decommissioned as well as Co2-producing coal plants. They could also be used to provide energy to remote Indigenous communities in Canada that currently rely on diesel. In addition to generating electricity, SMRS can be used for water desalination, and they could be used to generate heat for oilsands production. SMRS are touted as being more attractive to communities that have not previously used nuclear power. However, it is yet to be seen if SMRS can be cost effective enough to compete with large-scale nuclear plants and other forms of energy.


The federal government plans to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030 unless they use carbon-capture technology. While Ontario eliminated the last of its coal-fired plants in 2014, New Brunswick still has one in operation and 30 per cent of SaskPower’s electricity comes from coal.

Nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases, and the premiers see SMRS as an opportunity to reduce emissions while providing an economic opportunity.

“We could be a world leader,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said of the export potential that could benefit Ontario.

This wouldn’t be Canada’s first time developing new nuclear reactor technology. Canada got 15 per cent of its electricity from nuclear in 2017, and is one of only about half a dozen countries that sells domestic-designed reactors. The CANDU is a pressurized heavy-water reactor designed in Canada, and there are 18 of them in Ontario, 1 in New Brunswick and 12 operating outside Canada.

Canada describes SMRS as “the next wave of innovation in nuclear energy technology.”


SMRS are intended to be constructed in part or in whole in a factory and then shipped to the site. This could allow for cheaper construction and shorter construction times, according to the World Nuclear Association. Many of them are also designed to reside underground, making them less susceptible to natural disasters or terrorist attacks. They are also inherently safer, according to the World Nuclear Association, thanks to their higher surface area to volume ratio, when compared to larger reactors. Basically, they don’t get as hot, so there is less need to manufacture a heat-removal system and other advanced safety features. They also require a smaller emergency planning zone.


No. As with reactors of any size, nuclear waste can remain radioactive for as long as 100,000 years.


The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that there are around 50 SMR designs at different stages of development around the world, with Argentina, China and Russia ahead of other countries.


The provinces hope that the technology can be developed and built within eight years. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is reviewing the designs of about a dozen companies, as part of the pre-licensing process, but none are actually close to being able to build an SMR. Still, the Canadian Small Modular Reactor Roadmap published by the federal government last year predicted that the country’s nuclear industry is poised to capture a significant share of the emerging global market by 2040.


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several small ones or few large ones will generate the same emmision profile and waste profile per MW of power generation.  The physics behind it cannot be changed.

The only positive is that you do not have to transmit power over lossy high tension cables and transformers to get it to its destination.

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2 hours ago, boestar said:

several small ones or few large ones will generate the same emmision profile and waste profile per MW of power generation.  The physics behind it cannot be changed.

The only positive is that you do not have to transmit power over lossy high tension cables and transformers to get it to its destination.

The other positive would be reduction in the number of flying critters (bats, birds) that are presently being killed by Wind power.  


Will Wind Turbines Ever Be Safe For Birds?

Sure, it’s green energy—but it also results in hundreds of thousands of bird deaths each year.

By Emma Bryce
March 16, 2016  

Protect Birds from Climate Change

Two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction from climate change. Urge Congress to act now. Action


In 2010 David Newstead, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field biologist, visited the Gulf shoreline of Laguna Madre, Texas, to survey skimmers, terns, and egrets. But it was a flock of 15 American White Pelicans that caught his eye, flying toward the nearby Peñascal wind farm. As he watched, a pelican at the flock’s tail end was swiped by a massive turbine blade and “literally ‘erased’ from the air,” Newstead wrote afterwards. This in itself isn’t surprising—wind turbines are notorious bird killers—but this specific farm was supposedly equipped with radar that could detect approaching birds and halt the blades. The radar had failed to do its job.

Wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds each year in North America, making it the most threatening form of green energy. And yet, it’s also one of the most rapidly expanding energy industries: more than 49,000 individual wind turbines now exist across 39 states.

The number of bats being killed is estimated to be:


Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), part of the bat consortium, is weighing in on the debate, and it appears to be following the conservation research. In a draft Habitat Conservation Plan covering eight Midwestern states the FWS proposes raising turbine cut-in speeds to five or 6.5 meters per second to protect three bat species listed (or being considered for listing) under the Endangered Species Act. One such species is the Indiana bat. To date, few other bat species are officially listed as endangered, including those most frequently killed by turbines. And the FWS can only require action by a wind facility if it has proof that the facility killed an endangered Indiana bat, a difficult task without close monitoring.

Of course while we are at it, we need to look at the ongoing killing of birds by leaving lights on at night in office towers.  

Nov 14, 2017 - Dead birds collected by Fatal Light Awareness Project (F.L.A.P.) volunteers displayed on the floor of the atrium of the Royal Ontario Museum in March 2014. (Zachary Finkelstein) An estimated one million birds are killed in collisions with buildings in Toronto every year, and an estimated 25 million across Canada.


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Rolls-Royce chief ties mini-reactors to synthetic fuel

  • 06 December, 2019
  • BY: David Kaminski-Morrow
  • London

Rolls-Royce is advocating the use of small nuclear reactors to assist with the future production of synthetic fuels.

Chief executive Warren East, speaking during an event at the Aviation Club in London on 5 December, outlined the possibility of using small modular reactors for the task.

"Renewable [energy sources] are great if the sun is shining and the wind's blowing," he said. But a huge storage requirement is needed to ensure continuity when power is intermittent.

Large nuclear reactors, says East, pose "challenging" business cases because they are one-off civil engineering structures which are expensive and prone to delays.

An alternative, says East, is to produce components for smaller reactors in factories.

Rolls-Royce is heading a consortium intending to develop a small modular reactor to generate cost-effective low-carbon electricity, and recently secured £36 million ($47 million) in joint public and private investment to advance the design.

East – who states that the Rolls-Royce's primary activity is "setting fire to hydrocarbons" – says the company "sees an opportunity" for modular reactors to be linked to synthetic fuel plants.

Such reactors would offer a compact solution for generating synthetic fuels, he says, which are increasingly in demand within the aviation sector.

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Interesing. Greta is from Sweden.... and here is an article on how things are going in her neck of the woods.

The dark side of the Nordic model

Scandinavian countries may top every ranking on human development, but they are a disaster for the environment.

Jason Hickelby Jason Hickel
3 hours ago
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators protest in front of Norway‘s embassy during the launch of a new wave of civil disobedience in Berlin, Germany, October 11, 2019 [Christian Mang/Reuters]
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators protest in front of Norway‘s embassy during the launch of a new wave of civil disobedience in Berlin, Germany, October 11, 2019 [Christian Mang/Reuters]

Scandinavians have it all. Universal public healthcare and education that is the envy of the world. Reasonable working hours with plenty of paid vacation. They have some of the highest levels of happiness on the planet, and top virtually every ranking of human development.   

The Nordic model stands as a clear and compelling contrast to the neoliberal ideology that has strafed the rest of the industrialised world with inequality, ill health and needless poverty. As an antidote to the most destructive aspects of free-market capitalism, the egalitarian social democracies of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland inspire progressive movements around the world. 

These countries are worth celebrating for all they get right. But there is a problem. They are an ecological disaster.  

You might not notice it at first glance. Their air is crisp and fresh. Their parks are free of litter. Waste collection works like a charm. Much of the region is covered in forests. And Scandinavians tend to be environmentally conscientious.

But the data tell a different story. The Nordic countries have some of the highest levels of resource use and CO2 emissions in the world, in consumption-based terms, drastically overshooting safe planetary boundaries. 

Ecologists say that a sustainable level of resource use is about 7 tonnes of material stuff per person per year. Scandinavians consume on average more than 32 tonnes per year. That is four and a half times over the sustainable level, similar to the United States, driven by overconsumption of everything from meat to cars to plastic.  

As for emissions, the Nordic countries perform worse than the rest of Europe, and only marginally better than the world's most egregious offenders - the US, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia. Yes, they generate more renewable energy than most countries, but these gains are wiped out by carbon-intensive imports.

This is why the Nordic countries fall toward the very bottom of the Sustainable Development Index. We think of these nations as progressive, but in fact, their performance has worsened over time. Sweden, for example, has gone from 0.755 on the index in the 1990s down to 0.328 today, plunging from the top seven to number 143.

For decades we have been told that nations should aspire to develop towards the Nordic countries. But in an era of ecological breakdown, this no longer makes sense. If everyone in the world consumed like Scandinavians, we would need nearly five Earths to sustain us.

This kind of overconsumption is driving a global crisis of habitat destruction, species extinction and climate change. You will not see much evidence of this in Norway or Finland, but that is because, as with most rich nations, the bulk of their ecological impact has been outsourced to the global South. That is where most of the resource extraction happens, and where global warming bites hardest. The violence hits elsewhere.

Of course, Scandinavia is not alone in this. Many high-income countries pose just as much of a problem. But as we wake up to the realities of ecological breakdown, it becomes clear that the Nordic countries no longer offer the promise that we once thought they did. 

It is time to update the Nordic model for the Anthropocene. Nordic countries have it right when it comes to public healthcare, education and progressive social democracy, but they need to dramatically reduce their consumption if they are to stand as a beacon for the rest of the world in the 21st century.

The good news is that the high levels of welfare for which Nordic countries are famous do not require high levels of consumption. Happiness in Costa Rica rivals Scandinavia with 60 percent less resource use. Italians live longer lives with half the resource use. Germany has higher education levels with 30 percent less resource use. Of course, wintry climates require slightly more materials, but there is still much room for improvement.

recent study by a team of environmental scientists lays out a detailed plan for how Nordic countries could cut their material footprint by nearly 70 percent: scaling down fossil fuels, shifting to plant-based diets, retrofitting old buildings instead of constructing new ones, requiring consumer products to be longer-lasting and repairable, and improving public transportation. In Finland, scientists have rallied around similar measures as part of a call for "ecological reconstruction".

The good news is that all of this can be accomplished while improving human welfare and advancing the cause of social democracy. But it ultimately requires shifting to a different kind of economy - one that is not organised around endless GDP growth. 

According to new research findings, which I reviewed with a colleague in the journal New Political Economy, it is not feasible for high-income nations to reduce their resource use and emissions fast enough to get down to sustainable levels while at the same time pursuing economic growth. More growth means more resource use and more energy use, which makes ecological objectives ever-more difficult to achieve.

Politicians talk about making growth "green" - but scientists reject this strategy as inadequate. The evidence is clear: the only way to build a truly ecological economy is to stop chasing GDP growth. 

The first step is to abandon GDP as a measure of progress - as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently pledged to do - and focus instead on human well-being and ecology. There is a strong scientific consensus forming around this approach. A new paper signed by more than 11,000 scientists argues that high-income nations must shift to post-growth economic models if we are going to have any chance of preventing climate breakdown. 

Nordic countries can lead this transition, renewing the Nordic model for the 21st century, or they can continue to remain among the world's worst ecological offenders. They have a choice to make.

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Pipelines are safer:

1.5M litres of crude oil spilled in Sask. train derailment, investigation finds


Derailed Sask. CP train leaked 4 times more oil than 2016 Husky pipeline spill

An estimated 1.5 million litres of crude oil leaked from the train, the TSB says

Guy Quenneville · CBC News · Posted: Dec 12, 2019 6:29 AM CT | Last Updated: an hour ago
Fire burns at the site of Monday's CP train derailment near Guernsey, Sask. More than one million litres of crude oil leaked from rail cars. (TSB)

The Canadian Pacific Railway train that derailed in rural Saskatchewan earlier this week leaked more than four times the amount of oil spilled during the 2016 Husky Energy pipeline disaster in the same province. 

An estimated 1.5 million litres of crude leaked from the train, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said Wednesday evening in its first major update on the derailment just after midnight on Monday.


By comparison, 225,000 litres of oil leaked into the North Saskatchewan River from a Husky line near Maidstone in July 2016.

The emergency brakes on the CP train in Monday's derailment were applied near Guernsey, about 100 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon, after one of the lead cars jumped the tracks while the train was going about 72 km/h — the speed limit on the line.

Both the locomotive engineer and conductor were fit for duty and no one was injured, according to the TSB. The 516-398 train was carrying the oil to Oklahoma. It originated in Rosyth, Alta., east of the Hardisty terminal, a large heavy crude oil storage hub for Canada. 

The incident happened here shortly after midnight Monday. (CBC News)

Thirty-three tank cars jumped the tracks, leaking oil into the ground and atmosphere. and igniting a large fire that kept firefighters busy for two days. No waterways were affected, said the TSB. Its definition of "waterways" does not include the water table.

Of the 33 derailed cars — which ended up in a large pile over some 500 metres — about 20 were breached and spilled out product that became engulfed in flames that burned for about 24 hours.

About 19 of the oil tank cars lost their entire loads.

A more precise measure of the amount of crude oil leaked will come as soil is removed from the site and the TSB's investigation continues.

The leaks came despite the use of tanks (not owned by CP) meant to protect against such punctures and damage in the case of a crash or fire. 

"As serious as this incident is, rail tank cars are often the safest mode of transportation for moving critical commodities, particularly in light of the substantial hurdles involved in permitting and building new pipeline capacity across North America," said John Hebert, director of communications for the U.S. Railway Supply Institute (RSI). 

Herbert said the two types of cars CP was pulling — retrofitted TC-117 and jacketed CPC-1232 —  meet robust government standards the institute helped develop. 

"RSI and its Committee on Tank Cars have long advocated for improvements in the crash-worthiness of tank cars, especially those carrying petroleum crude oil and denatured alcohol [ethanol]," he said. 

"This incident demonstrates that even though it is impractical, if not impossible, to put into use a tank car that cannot be breached. Safety enhancements can significantly mitigate the impact of any event such as this."

After the July 2013 Lac-Mégantic train crash that killed 47 people, the federal government unveiled the rail cars it hoped would become the new standard for transporting flammable liquids.

Dubbed the TC-117 in Canada (DOT-117 in the U.S.), these cars have better thermal protection and are supposed to withstand puncture and other damage better than their predecessors, according to Transport Canada. 

(Transport Canada/CBC)

On Thursday, Transport Canada confirmed retrofitted TC-117 cars like the ones on the CP train have the same protective features as brand new TC-117 cars: thermal protection, top fitting protection, new bottom outlet valves, full head shield protection, and a jacket.

CP on hook for costs

The TSB has assigned six investigators to the case. 

"All 33 tank cars will be examined in order to evaluate tank car performance," the agency said in its Wednesday update. "Mechanical and track components recovered from the derailment will be examined and any components of interest will be sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa for detailed analysis."

The Saskatchewan government says CP's review of the derailment's environmental impacts is underway.

"Canadian Pacific Railway is responsible for all costs associated with the derailment, including the emergency response, environmental assessment and remediation efforts," a spokesperson for the government said Wednesday. 

"The company has contracted qualified environmental consultants and contractors to complete the work necessary to fully assess any environmental impacts to the site, and to develop and implement appropriate remediation plans."

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BC still fighting Trans Mountain and one of the grounds is the increased ship traffic, on the other hand the LNG plant at YKI is going to be foreced through despite the increased marine traffic.   Hmmmm

LNG pipeline will proceed despite protest: Horgan

B.C. premier says controversial project supported by elected Indigenous leaders

  • Calgary Herald
  • 14 Jan 2020
img?regionKey=bBYqBBMqiEsCBfHi3am2nQ%3d%3dCHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS B.C. Premier John Horgan insisted Monday the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which would start near Dawson Creek and extend to an export terminal at Kitimat, is moving ahead. “We want everyone to understand that there are agreements from the Peace Country to Kitimat with Indigenous communities that want to see economic activity and prosperity take place,”

VICTORIA A natural gas pipeline across northern British Columbia is vital to the region’s economic future and it will be built despite the objections of some Indigenous leaders, Premier John Horgan said Monday.

He said the courts have ruled in favour of the project and the rule of law will apply to ensure work continues on the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which would start near Dawson Creek and extend to an export terminal at Kitimat.

The 670-kilometre pipeline is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada project.

Horgan told a news conference the project has received approval from 20 First Nations along the pipeline route.

“We want everyone to understand that there are agreements from the Peace Country to Kitimat with Indigenous communities that want to see economic activity and prosperity take place,” he said. “All the permits are in place for this project to proceed. This project is proceeding and the rule of law needs to prevail in B.C.”

Hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en Nation near Smithers say the project does not have their consent. Supporters of the chiefs have felled trees along a road to a Coastal Gaslink work site and are building a new support camp.

They already occupy two other camps along the road. The Unist’ot’en camp and the Gidimt’en camp, where the RCMP enforced an injunction last year and arrested 14 people.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge extended an injunction against Wet’suwet’en members and anti-pipeline supporters on Dec. 31.

Coastal Gaslink posted the injunction order last week giving opponents 72 hours to clear the way to its work site. The company said it was up to police to determine the “timing and manner of enforcement of this order.”

The RCMP began restricting access on Monday to the area where the court injunction applies.

The Mounties say a police checkpoint was set up at the 27 kilometre mark of a forestry road into the area because of safety concerns stemming from the trees that were felled across the road and tire piles that were recently found with gasoline and other fuels inside.

Those entering the area on the road are being stopped by police and given a copy of the court’s injunction, as well as being informed about hazards and road conditions.

The RCMP said those being allowed to enter must have permission from the RCMP’S operations commander, which generally includes hereditary and elected chiefs, elected and other government officials, accredited journalists from recognized media outlets, and those providing food, medicine or other supplies.

The RCMP said its commanding officer in British Columbia has been involved in a series of meetings and more are planned with the hereditary chiefs, elected band councils and others with an interest in the pipeline.

“It was emphasized that the primary concerns for the RCMP are public and officer safety,” it says in a statement released on Monday. “Our duty is to preserve the safety of everyone involved in this dispute, and to prevent further contraventions to the B.C. Supreme Court ordered injunction.”

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs have asked the RCMP not to use force against the pipeline opponents who are facing the injunction order.

Horgan said Indigenous Peoples in B.C. have used the courts to successfully assert their rights and title, but in “this instance the courts have confirmed that the project can proceed and will proceed.”

Horgan’s government adopted legislation late last year to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

It mandates the government to bring provincial laws and policies into harmony with the declaration’s aims of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The UN declaration says Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination, which means they can determine their political status and pursue economic, social and cultural development. It requires governments to obtain “free and informed consent” from Indigenous groups before approving projects affecting their lands or resources.

But Horgan says the declaration doesn’t apply to the Coastal Gaslink project.

“Our document, our legislation, our declaration is forward looking,” he said. “It’s not retrospective. We believe it will open up opportunities not just for Indigenous people but for all British Columbians.”

All the permits are in place for this project to proceed … The rule of law needs to prevail in B.C.

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Supreme Court rejects B.C. appeal of Trans Mountain pipeline case

Posted January 16, 2020 2:05 pm
Updated January 16, 2020 2:34 pm

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada shut down British Columbia’s move to regulate what can flow through an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta.

B.C. was appealing to the country’s highest court after the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled last May that the province couldn’t impose any restrictions on the contents on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed.

“We are all of the view to dismiss the appeal for the unanimous reasons of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia,” Chief Justice Richard Wagner said.

The decision was issued from the bench after several hours of hearings today in Ottawa.

It removes one of the remaining obstacles for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which seeks to twin an existing pipeline running between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

The B.C. NDP government was elected in 2017 partly on a promise to oppose the expansion but the province had limited options because the Constitution gives the federal government jurisdiction over transportation projects that cross provincial borders.

That includes pipelines.

Still, B.C. argued it has jurisdiction to protect the environment in its borders and since that province would bear the brunt of any damage from a spill if the pipeline ruptured, it should get a say in what can flow through it.


In April 2018, it filed a reference case with the B.C. Court of Appeal asking it to rule on whether the province could change its environment laws so that it could require permits for any heavy oil that was to flow through new pipelines.

The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in May 2019 that it could not, noting that would overstep the constitutional authority given to Ottawa. The court also noted while B.C. was trying to portray the legislation as a general change to its environment laws, it was clearly targeting the Trans Mountain expansion, since that was the only project to which the changes would apply.

1:56New questions about financial realities of TMX pipeline

 New questions about financial realities of TMX pipeline

The case was the catalyst that led to the federal government’s decision to buy the existing pipeline in May 2018 for $4.5 billion. Kinder Morgan Canada said the political risk that the project would never get built was too much to bear and was planning to halt the expansion.

The federal Liberals argue the pipeline is needed to get more Canadian oil to foreign markets beyond the United States and bought the existing pipeline with a view to completing the expansion once the legal and political challenges were out of the way.

It intends to sell it back to the private sector after the expansion is complete.

Although construction on the pipeline is underway, there remain other barriers to its completion, including a legal challenge by Indigenous communities affected by the construction. They argue they were not properly consulted before Ottawa gave the project a green light.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Rolls-Royce plans mini nuclear reactors by 2029

By Roger Harrabin & Katie PrescottBBC environment analyst and business reporter
Artist's impression of a small modular reactorImage copyrightROLLS-ROYCE

Mini nuclear reactors could be generating power in the UK by the end of the decade.

Manufacturer Rolls-Royce has told the BBC's Today programme that it plans to install and operate factory-built power stations by 2029.

Mini nuclear stations can be mass manufactured and delivered in chunks on the back of a lorry, which makes costs more predictable.

But opponents say the UK should quit nuclear power altogether.

They say the country should concentrate on cheaper renewable energy instead.

Environmentalists are divided over nuclear power, with some maintaining it is dangerous and expensive, while others say that to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 all technologies are needed.

However, the industry is confident that mini reactors can compete on price with low-cost renewables such as offshore wind.

Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium to build small modular reactors (SMRs) and install them in former nuclear sites in Cumbria or in Wales. Ultimately, the company thinks it will build between 10 and 15 of the stations in the UK.

They are about 1.5 acres in size - sitting in a 10-acre space. That is a 16th of the size of a major power station such as Hinkley Point.


SMRs are so small that theoretically every town could have its own reactor - but using existing sites avoids the huge problem of how to secure them against terrorist attacks.

Media captionThe BBC's Roger Harrabin explains how small nuclear reactors might work - using bags of rice

It is a rare positive note from the nuclear industry, which has struggled as the cost of renewables has plummeted.

In the past few years, major nuclear projects have been abandoned as Japanese companies Toshiba and Hitachi pulled out because they could not get the required funding.

And the construction of Hinkley Point in Somerset could cost £3bn more than was expected, in an echo of the row over the rail mega-project HS2.

"The trick is to have prefabricated parts where we use advanced digital welding methods and robotic assembly and then parts are shipped to site and bolted together," said Paul Stein, the chief technology officer at Rolls-Royce.

He said the approach would dramatically reduce the cost of building nuclear power sites, which would lead to cheaper electricity.

But Paul Dorfman from University College London said: "The potential cost benefits of assembly line module construction relative to custom-build on-site construction may prove overstated.

"Production line mistakes may lead to generic defects that propagate throughout an entire fleet of reactors and are costly to fix," he warned.

"It's far more economic to build one 1.2 GW unit than a dozen 100 MW units."

Rolls-Royce is hoping to overcome the cost barrier by selling SMRs abroad to achieve economies of scale.

Its critics have warned that SMRs will not be ready in substantial numbers until the mid 2030s, by which time electricity needs to be carbon-free in the UK already to meet climate change targets.

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Re the pipeline, appears Premier Hogan has broken the "tools in his tool box"   and is doing an about face. 😀👍  Or maybe he is tired of being under the thumb of the Green Party and is not afraid of causing an election?  

Horgan concedes Trans Mountain pipeline will go ahead while repeating support for Coastal GasLink

Posted January 29, 2020 4:01 pm 
Horgan has conceded the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will go ahead after all.

The B.C. government has been fighting the controversial expansion through court challenges, only to see its reference case defeated in the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Personally, I’m not enamored with the prospect of seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea,” Horgan said on Wednesday.

“But the courts have determined that the project is legitimate and should proceed.”

 Premier visits northern B.C. during pipeline battle

The Horgan government has repeatedly said it will use all “the tools in our toolkit” to stop the pipeline expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Horgan went on to tell reporters Wednesday he believes the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs should similarly acknowledge the courts have ruled in favour of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat.

Construction is currently being blockaded by supporters of the Wet’suwet’en chiefs near Houston, B.C., while work continues elsewhere along the 670-kilometre pipeline route.

The province has hired former NDP MP Nathan Cullen to work as a liaison between the chiefs and the B.C. government.

Horgan has attempted to speak to the chiefs over the phone, but that was declined. They will only meet in person with Horgan, who hasn’t been able to accommodate it.

“I think that over time a dialogue will allow us to get to a place where the Wet’suwet’en will see the courts have determined the provincial government and the federal government have determined that the permits are in order,” Horgan said.

“This is a legitimate project that has massive benefits to B.C., particularly to Indigenous communities, and through dialogue we’ll find a way forward.”

 Wet’suwet’en protesters storm B.C. minister’s office

Twenty elected Indigenous councils along the pipeline route have signed benefit agreements with Coastal GasLink, including the elected band councils of the Wet’suwet’en.

Opponents say elected councils do not have authority over unceded traditional territory.

But Horgan says the Wet’suwet’en should acknowledge those agreements.

“I believe that their hereditary leadership understands that nations to the left and to the right of them, to the east and the west of them, see opportunity for prosperity and an end to systemic poverty as a result of a $40-billion private sector investment,” he said.

Horgan pointed to “business opportunities for new business startups” within Indigenous communities, a point that has been pushed by members of the First Nations LNG Alliance including Haisla chief Crystal Smith.

“I don’t expect the [Wet’suwet’en] leadership to say tomorrow that they love the pipeline,” the premier continued.

“That’s not my expectation. But there needs to be a legitimate understanding that the majority of the people in the region are going to benefit from this and that’s what dialogue will produce.”

Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline were quick to respond to Horgan’s comments online. The project is still being challenged in court by a coalition of First Nations and there is no backing down in sight from those looking to stop it.

“Amazing how fast ‘we’re going to use all the tools in the toolbox’ turned into ‘we will do one thing with minimal political and legal risk then throw our arms up in defeat,'” Wilderness Committee campaigner Peter McCartney wrote on Twitter.

“We’ll do it without you John Horgan. It was never the BC NDP that were going to stop this project.”

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LNG plant and geothermal exploration approved for B.C. First Nation

Natural gas liquefaction plant expected to supply northern communities by 2021

CBC News · Posted: Jan 29, 2020 6:30 PM PT | Last Updated: January 29
Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Sharleen Gale says construction of a 50,000 gallon-a-day LNG plant will provide a cleaner alternative to diesel fuel for many northern communities. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

Two initiatives approved this week could start supplying cleaner energy to northern communities by next year in the form of LNG and, potentially, electricity generated from the earth's own heat. 

GasNorth Energy Ltd. announced Jan. 28 it has received approval from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission to install a natural gas liquefaction facility in an equity partnership with the Fort Nelson First Nation.


Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Sharleen Gage said the LNG produced there will ship by tanker truck to northern communities where "people are running on diesel power generators and other things that aren't very good for the environment. "

On the same day as the LNG approval, the B.C. government announced a permit for a second project by the Fort Nelson First Nation to explore the potential to re-purpose old natural gas fields for geothermal electricity generation.

If geothermal generation can be proven to work in the area, Gale said its uses could extend to using waste energy to improve food security. 

Geothermal-heated greenhouses

"We'll be able to create greenhouses that we'd be able to operate all year round, so we could grow lettuce. We could grow strawberries," Gale told Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk in an  interview.

"Anything that you would particularly see in the grocery store, [we] would be able to grow," she said.

Geothermal energy production in Fort Nelson, if it works, is not projected to start before 2024.

GasNorth Energy Ltd. and equity partner the Fort Nelson First Nation plan to build their natural gas liquefication facility about 15 kilometres from the community near the existing Fort Nelson Gas Plant. (GasNorth Energy Ltd. )

However, the LNG plant is expected to start shipping by 2021 with an initial output of 50,000 gallons per day, according to the GasNorth news release.

It said the initial 50,000 gallon output, destined for markets in the Yukon and Northwest Territories will increase as the market develops. 

"This will help position Fort Nelson as an energy supplier to the North, making use of local resources to create local jobs," GasNorth president Bob Fedderly said in the statement.

Gale said the LNG project is particularly welcome in her community, which has seen economic decline and scarce employment opportunities in recent years and also faces rising energy costs. 

"It can create local employment and training opportunities but also offers an economical clean energy solution to northern communities, while making use of the resources captured from our territory," she said.

Cleaner than diesel

In response to concerns about developing LNG instead of moving away from fossil fuels altogether, Gale said it will allow many northern communities to reduce reliance on dirtier diesel fuel.

Fort Nelson is not connected to B.C.'s electricity grid, so LNG could also replace the community's power that is currently generated from fossil fuels or imported from Alberta.

"I know that it's a cleaner fuel to burn and I think it will be in line with the province's way forward to reduce emissions," Gale said.

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Federal court dismisses Indigenous challenge of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Federal court dismisses Indigenous challenge of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Posted February 4, 2020 11:11 am
Updated February 4, 2020 11:20 am

OTTAWA — The Federal Court of Appeal says the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion a second time is reasonable and will stand.

In a unanimous, 3-0 decision today, the court dismissed four challenges to that approval launched last summer by First Nations in British Columbia.

The First Nations argued at a hearing in December the government went into consultations with Indigenous communities in the fall of 2018 having predetermined the outcome in favour of building the project.

But the three judges who decided the case say cabinet’s second round of consultations with First Nations affected by the pipeline was “anything but a rubber-stamping exercise.”

TrudeauThumber2Site.jpg?w=1040&quality=70&strip=all0:53Trudeau: TMX approval process ‘needs to be done right’
 Trudeau: TMX approval process ‘needs to be done right’


The judges say the government made a “genuine effort” to listen to and consider the concerns raised by the First Nations and introduced new conditions to mitigate them.

It has become a political football for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he insists Canada can continue to expand oil production and still meet its commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Trudeau’s government stepped up to buy the existing pipeline in 2018 after political opposition to the project from the B.C. government caused Kinder Morgan Canada to pull out from building the expansion.

The government intends to finish the expansion and then sell both the existing pipeline and the expansion back to the private sector.

It has been in talks with some Indigenous communities about the sale, but Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the project won’t be sold until all the risks to proceeding are eliminated. Those risks included this court case.

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Mike Smyth: The inconvenient truth for pipeline blockaders

Published:February 12, 2020

Updated:February 14, 2020 9:54 AM PST

Filed Under:


Opinion: Pipeline blockaders say they're standing with First Nations in their fight against Coastal GasLink. Just one problem: First Nations support it.

As anti-pipeline activists stage more blockades — including Wednesday’s traffic-snarling lockdown of Vancouver’s Granville Street Bridge — the protesters refuse to face an inconvenient truth:

The First Nations directly impacted by the Coastal GasLink pipeline — and the thousands of Indigenous people they represent — largely support the project.

All 20 First Nations along the pipeline route have signed benefit-sharing agreements with the pipeline company through their elected band councils.

That includes the multiple elected councils of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.

But the protesters have aligned themselves with five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the pipeline, and not the 13,000 Indigenous British Columbians represented by all the band councils that support it.

It’s an especially inconvenient fact for pipeline protesters who say they are blocking roads, bridges, highways, train tracks and public buildings in solidarity with Indigenous people.

They sure aren’t representing the Indigenous people working on the pipeline. Of the 1,000 people currently employed by the project, about one-third are estimated to be First Nations.

If the blockaders get their way, they would throw hundreds of Indigenous people out of work. That’s some “solidarity.”


Anti-pipeline demonstrator block the Granville St. Bridge following the arrest of 57 protesters who were blockading Port Metro Vancouver on Monday. NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

No wonder the protesters want to blockade city-dwellers who have nothing to do with the pipeline, including custodial staff at the legislature abused and insulted just for showing up to work in Tuesday’s intimidating blockade of the parliament building in Victoria.

The protesters wouldn’t dare inflict the same bullying harassment on Indigenous people who see the pipeline as a path out of poverty.

In Tuesday’s column, I told you about a housing project for 700 pipeline workers built by an Indigenous-owned company in partnership with the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation near Fort Fraser. The facility, opened just last month, was built on the ruins of a residential school torn down in the 1990s.

“The grand opening signifies a really major historical event,” said Chief Archie Patrick, a survivor of the residential school, who said building an Indigenous-owned business on the site is a powerful, transformative symbol for the community.

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

But not if the anti-pipeline blockaders have their way. If the government caves in to their bully tactics, dozens of Indigenous businesses would lose their contracts.


A man confronts a demonstrator as protestors block the intersection at Cambie St and W. Broadway on Tuesday. NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

The facility on the ruins of the residential school is just one of many spin-off projects owned by Indigenous pipeline contractors.

Last fall, the West Moberly First Nation opened Sukunka Lodge near Chetwynd, another pipeline-worker residence.

The facility includes residences, a gym, wi-fi services and snack bar. The First Nation partnered with another company to deliver all the services in the facility, from catering to security.

“Sukunka Lodge is a big deal,” said West Moberly Chief Roland Wilson. “It’s an opportunity for employment. The revenues will help us move our nation forward.”

If you think Wilson is some sort of corporate stooge, think again. He’s the same guy who fought tooth and nail against the Site C dam.

But the Coastal GasLink pipeline was a different project, invited into West Moberly territory on the First Nation’s own terms, overseen by their own officials, for the benefit of Indigenous people.

The blockaders should look these people in the eye and tell them their projects should be cancelled, and their hopes and dreams for a better future dashed.

But they won’t. They wouldn’t dare.

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