So Mr. Oliver, what are the other options?

On hearing that Ontario was joining a cap and trade system with Quebec and California to set a price on carbon, our finance Minister, Joe Oliver, reacted predictably.  He described cap and trade as effectively a tax. Horrors! Oliver objected to cap and trade as it would raise the price of everything for hard working …

Read moreSo Mr. Oliver, what are the other options?

Four Years of doing nothing!

One institution that enables citizens to inform the Federal Government of a desired policy is the Petition to the House of Commons.  Four years ago 4RG submitted a petition on the subject of renewable energy.   The petition requested that the Federal Government take immediate steps “ “. . .  to develop in cooperation with the …

Read moreFour Years of doing nothing!

The potential for wind power in Canada’s North

Representatives attending the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference in Whitehorse toured a wind farm at the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine, North West Territories.  This wind farm is the world’s most Northern large-scale wind-diesel hybrid power facility. This three turbine installation has reduced the Mine’s consumption of expensive diesel fuel by approximately five million litres per annum and GreenHouse gases (GHG) emissions by 6%. (See the Company’s video of this installation.)

This Diavik tour helped the Conference appreciate how wind power can reduce GHG emissions from mine sites. Perhaps the tour was the inspiration for a brief ten word reference to renewable energy in the lengthy Conference Final Press Release.  The press release also stated that the Ministers would continue to discuss many topics, of which investing in renewable energy was one.

Read moreThe potential for wind power in Canada’s North

Newspeak Language from the Oil Patch

“Canadian crude.”  This is the language used in a new “mobile” website launched by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments at the opening of the 2013 Energy and Mines Ministers Conference.  Canadian Governments appear to have adopted the most generic description possible for bitumen that is wrenched or sucked from the earth in Northern Alberta

4RG and environmental organizations use the words “tar sands” as these words refer to the commodity that is actually extracted. The fossil fuel industry uses the words “oil sands”, as bitumen is ultimately processed into oil.

Tar sands bring to mind the words “dirty oil”.  Even oil sands has negative overtones.  If Canadian Governments succeed in introducing the generic term “Canadian Crude” it will successfully distance the product from its origins.

Read moreNewspeak Language from the Oil Patch

A Pivotal Moment!

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, used these strong words in his keynote remarks to the 2013 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC).

Minister Oliver observed that oil and gas are natural resources that generate $30 billion of government revenue  “for critical social programs, including health care and education.” To maintain those social programs at the level Canadians enjoy will require new infrastructure to ensure that our fossil fuel resources are delivered to the world’s buyers.

Oliver noted that Canada cannot expect to continue the current level of exports of oil and gas to the United States, which may well be self-sufficient in four years. However, global energy demand is estimated to be 35 per cent greater in 2035 than in 2010.  Canada needs to tap this demand and find new markets in Asia-Pacific countries.  This means that Canada must build pipelines to transport its resources to “tidewater”, whether on the West Coast, the East Coast, or perhaps even the Arctic.

Read moreA Pivotal Moment!