Since taking office in mid-September, Alberta’s new Premier Jim Prentice has talked an active game on the energy file. From the perspective of those who believe that Canada’s energy exports are vital to the country’s economic health, many of his comments seem positive. But there is one area where Mr. Prentice’s energy-policy comments are troubling.
In the recent New Brunswick election, an unremarkable engineering activity apparently took front and centre: hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, popularly known as fracking.
The pictures coming out of northern British Columbia where a mine-tailings pond in Mount Polley ruptured on August 4, 2014 are painful to see. The fact that the site is remote, and that only a small number of people are likely to be directly affected doesn’t mitigate the visceral pain one feels at seeing images of uprooted trees, and mud-clogged streams and rivers.
At the end of March, the CEO of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) issued a directive regarding the implementation of Ontario's "Long term energy plan," which spells out what the provincial energy regulator plans to do to spur energy conservation.
In The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress, a book published shortly before the millennium, author Virginia Postrel decried widespread pessimistic attacks on humanity's future.
The Obama administration has been punting a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for five years now, and theres no sign the presidents kicking leg is getting tired.
Activists in British Columbia have responded to the National Energy Board's approval of the Northern Gateway oil pipeline with threats of illegal activism reminiscent of the 1990s. Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema, for example, said his group will "do what it takes" to ensure the pipeline is never built (and he specifically mentioned civil disobedience).
Back in April of 2013, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair went down to Washington to rubbish Canada's environmental reputation before its greatest trading partner. Now, the stomp-Canada shoe is on a different wearer: Marc Jaccard, a professor at Simon Fraser University, has gone down to the States to sing Canada's, well, evils.