Learn all about the oil industry in Saskatchewan. From issues of mineral rights and salt water spills, to a lot more, you’ll learn a bit about what makes our economy and political system tick and grind.
The following is blog navel gazing that you probably won’t be interested in, but I’m keeping a record of it for my amusement.
A change (probably in personnel) about 2 months ago at CBC has prompted them to start disabling (deleting) some of my comments on their news stories. A collection of them is below for amusement. The title of the story is the first line of each.
In response to someone’s amusing grammatical error:
Man dies after reportedly being hit by a meteorite
@ReaLies The dead can’t buy them.
Changes coming to Earls after allegations of sexist dress code
I try to avoid these sorts of restaurants, if I know they discriminate against their female staff members.
Spirited sparring during leaders’ debate in Regina
@rex heeler The format set by CTV, CBC, and Global was a real sham. The Liberals and Greens are both running enough candidates to form government, and the PCs enough to be opposition. They should have been there, and the format longer and less confrontational.
Fast charging stations for electric cars a priority for Ottawa
@MY MILKSHAKE Electric cars will be cheaper than gas ones in possibly 6 years. Then, only “rich” people, or the foolish poor, will own new gas vehicles.
@Bob1 http://suncountryhighway.com/ is free. If you charge a Model S at home, it uses about $6 of electricity to be fully charged, at 13¢/kwh. Equivalent required for gas to go the same distance is presently more than $25, to even $40.
I responded to a commenter listing Jim’s home address and saying it looks “dilapidated”, because he obviously doesn’t like Jim and maybe doesn’t understand what cedar siding should look like. That one wasn’t deleted. “@ iamsam You don’t seem to understand how cedar is supposed to look. There’s nothing wrong with Jim’s property.”
I also responded to another who said Jim has a small footprint “my bum”.
Regina’s Jim Elliott uses rainwater for everything but drinking
@Nicholas O’Myra (Offseason Santa) I think your comment could have just said, “my bum”, and left it at that.
Then CBC turned off the commenting section on his story, effectively removing all of my comments on that story.
“Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries” – NYT
What are we going to do about it? Let’s pillory the people with the only plan capable of decarbonizing the economy in time, says Canadian MainStream[Corporate]Media.
“Naomi Klein and the usual cadre of left-wing reliables want the NDP to ..” – National Post
Looking at the issue with a longer view, you’ll come to realize Engler’s opinion must win over the ad hominem attacks on Leap supporters.
Across Canada for the past three days the right wing media has been attacking the NDP for passing a resolution agreeing to “discuss” over the next two years the Leap Manifesto, a common sense document that calls for taking global warming seriously, actually doing what is necessary to prevent our planet from being cooked and trying to create a better world while we attempt to ensure our collective survival.
“These ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are naive, they are ill-informed, and they are tone-deaf.” – Notley in CBC
“Her Environment Minister, Shannon Phillips, called the document “ungenerous” and “short-sighted.” – Glib and Male
Short-sighted? Seriously!? What sort of environment minister thinks planning for a quick end to fossil fuel use is “short-sighted”? (One that is tone deaf, and forced to speak in short quips to minimize partisan twisting, I suppose.) Anyone with a long view realizes if we don’t build carbon-free systems right now, this decade, we’ve little chance of maintaining a climate responsible for supporting our civilization and countless species.
Lewis said jobs in the green economy can be created faster and in greater numbers than those in oil and gas.
“I think we as a Canadian family, we’re slipping into these deeply divisive ways of talking about these eternal tensions instead of focusing on what we can build together,” he said.
“And I think we could build new jobs in new industries for 10 years, put hundreds of thousands of people back to work across the country, before we need to have this … divisive debate about pipelines.”
[…] many members of the federal NDP would like to adopt Naomi Klein’s Leap Manifesto at their convention.
This raises the question of whether many of them have read it. The Leap Manifesto, Klein’s eleventh-hour plunge into the climate change debate says, among other things,…
Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto
Avi Lewis on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein, and how he didn’t mean to ‘blow up the NDP convention’
The media is clearly making this about the people leading the ideas in Leap, not whether they are sound ideas or likely to be effective at creating the quick changes required to save our civilization. It’s all about Notley, Klein and Lewis, instead of carbon pollution, pipelines, economics, and our climate’s chances.
Wouldn’t you rather the media talk about the issue?
Everything in this article isn’t perfect, but these parts are:
Alberta’s problem is twofold: Its oilsands have been buried by fracked American oil that is both higher-value and cheaper to produce, while longer-term they face marginalization in a world committed to weaning itself off carbon.
So another pipeline isn’t needed; oilsands production won’t be expanding much in the foreseeable future, if it all. Alberta needs to figure out how to make the most of the infrastructure it has in place. Money spent on a pipeline right now would be money wasted. But Notley can’t say that aloud — not while also delivering the bad news on her province’s finances and fighting back against the implications of the so-called Leap Manifesto.
“As long as I’m president of the United States,” Obama said as he officially pulled the plug on Keystone XL, “America is going to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world.” Now, if Obama really wanted to have an impact on carbon emissions, he would have shut down the 500,000 barrels per day of California heavy crude — which is ‘dirtier’ than oilsands bitumen. He didn’t; he didn’t even mention it.
Read this, and think of Energy East pipeline Brad Wall is pushing hard for.
Most of the globe’s coal, natural gas and oil investments will ultimately be affected by the transition, Seba suggest, at risk of becoming “stranded assets” — resources that lose their value before the expected end of their economic life.
“They are going to be stranded over the next five to 15 years,” he maintains. “It’s not going to take us over 40 years.”
Solutions Project calculates that 70 per cent of all the net new electricity generation in the U.S. last year was from wind and solar; another 25 per cent came from natural gas.
Meanwhile in Europe, Jacobson says if you look at the net gains minus losses, “100 per cent of new generation was from clean-energy sources.”
Here are some figures regarding present energy and electricity use across Canada.
And here’s a cool one about solar:
“At this point, 20 U.S. states have reached what economists call “grid parity” for solar power: the point at which solar energy costs no more than fossil fuels. Energy research company GTM estimates 42 states will reach that point by 2020.”
Stanford business professor Tony Seba, …whose advice has been sought in boardrooms from Tokyo to Paris, is confident that solar and wind are key to sweeping away the industrial age of transportation and energy — and fast. He suggests we can reach that magic number of 100 per cent within 15 years.
“The solar-installed capacity has doubled every two years since the year 2000. Doubled every two years,” he says. “If you keep doubling that capacity, all you need is seven more doublings in order for solar to be 100 per cent of the world’s energy supply.”
For math lightweights, that’s 7 times 2 years. 14 years from now is 2030. If you go out tonight and get pregnant, by the time the child becomes a teenager, Canada could have no coal plants, or natural gas plants in operation to produce our electricity. That’s awesome!
This project transformed the aging [sic] Unit #3 at Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, Saskatchewan into a reliable, long-term producer of up to 115 megawatts (MW) of base-load electricity, capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, the equivalent of taking more than 250,000 cars off Saskatchewan roads annually.
– Emphasis mine.
Before the Boundary Dam CCS plant was to be built, CBC reported:
The new generating unit will have a capacity of 110 megawatts.
Q: But the sun doesn’t shine every day, and not at night. Clean Coal can be burned any time, right?
A: SaskPower admits:
Our [SaskPower’s] target is to operate [Boundary Dam CCS] for 85% of the hours in the year, leaving room for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
Outside Las Vegas, see the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project
But a massive new solar plant, sprawling over 1,670 acres near Las Vegas, was designed to solve that problem. It provides energy on demand, even when it’s dark.
“Whether it’s in the daytime or the nighttime, it provides base-load stable power,” says Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve, the company that built the new plant. “If you get a bit of cloud cover that goes across at three o’clock in the afternoon, we’re always drawing out of storage, so we continue to operate at 110 megawatts. We don’t miss a beat, and the utility doesn’t see any fluctuations in the power output over the day.”
-Emphasis again mine, to compare to Boundary Dam 3 CCS.
Q: But I thought solar couldn’t provide “baseload”, that’s what SaskPower says?
A: That will teach you how much you can trust a coal-burning utility company influenced by a political party who takes oil company donations.
The CCS plant cost SaskPower, its customers, and Canadian taxpayers $1.5 billion CAD.
Crescent Dunes cost around $1 billion [USD] to build.
At 2012 exchange rates, through to the present inequitable 140%, the most a Crescent Dunes style plant would have cost Saskatchewan for an equivalent CSP plant, would be the same $1.5 billion CAD we instead spent on Boundary Dam 3 CCS. SaskWind projects the CCS plant to lose taxpayers $1 billion in the coming decades, not counting the millions paid in penalties to Cenovus for failing to deliver greenhouse gas to them as promised.
Wall said. “Our principle here … is that we do no further harm to an economy that already has its hands full.”
Canada is dropping behind its major trading partners in renewable energy investment, according to a study from a clean energy advocacy group.
Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada suggests government-set targets and goals for wind and solar power in regional energy grids is the best way to spur that investment and keep Canada in the game.
“Clean energy is taking off around the world and in the countries that we consider our markets,” she said. “This is really a wake-up call for Canada.”
Wall has set an unambitious target of only 50% renewables by 2030.
“Premier Wall said last week that Ottawa might not be allowed to impose a carbon tax on electricity-utility SaskPower, because it’s a provincial Crown corporation.”
Here’s a better effort than some I’ve seen lately* from Regina journalism:
Cenovus Energy — the oil company that most benefits from the $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage experiment at Boundary Dam — is the Sask. Party’s biggest donor. It donated $14,618 to the party in 2014, $16,852 in 2013 and $16,020 in 2012. In its previous existence as Encana, it gave the Sask. Party more than $30,000 between 2007 and 2009.
If Wall is truly appalled by the costs consumers and business might have to pay for a “carbon tax,” shouldn’t he be equally appalled at the way oil companies gouge us at the pumps with near $1-a-litre gas when oil is at $30 to $40 U.S. a barrel?
[Wall’s] Sask. Party government passed (in the spring 2010 session) environmental legislation such as the Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act.
… this Saskatchewan law would require large emitters to pay into a technology fund that would invest in technologies aimed at lower emissions. However, the Wall government hasn’t bothered to proclaim the law in regulations, largely because it said it needed to wait on Ottawa to move on its own carbon initiative.
Well, the federal government (now under the Liberals) is moving forward, so Wall owes us a bit more than that he won’t support “a carbon tax” because $30-a-barrel oil is not the right economic climate in which to discuss such laws.
And when the floods and/or forest fires hit Saskatchewan this Summer, it won’t be time to talk about the disasters in the context of climate change from our pollution contribution either. Continue reading