It’s Saskatchewan’s Election Day

I basically stopped writing about the Saskatchewan election on my blog following the hair pulling, anti-democratic decision by CBC and its consortium of TV broadcasters to block most party leaders from debating with Wall and Broten. So we’ll go another 4 years not knowing how those two shouty leaders behave when there are adults in the room with different political views and preferred methods of governing.

The campaign will not be memorable, as the media’s skewing of coverage can be summed up this way:

You could say the conservative media got what they set out to preserve. I hope they enjoy the next 4 years of more scandals and little positive change.

Saskatchewan Politicians Excusing Drunk Driving #SKdrunks

Darcy Moen, involved in a business solution to decrease drunk driving, sent me the following criticism of Wall and Broten:

As long as politicians think DUI’s are nothing more than parking tickets…….yes, attitudes need to change, and both Brad Wall and Cam Broten need to reconsider their support of the indefensible.

Sure, people faced the music, went to court, and paid their debt to society. But, we don’t allow people who were convicted of fraud become finance minister. Should we let those who are proven and convicted of poor judgement be put into a position where they can make the rules that they chose to ignore?
Everyone deserves a second chance? Tell that to the widows, widowers, parents and orphans that are the victims of drunk drivers, where is their second chance to come back to life taken from them?

Drunk driving is a decision, a very WRONG decision.

Brad Wall’s government is attempting to make alcohol sales and distribution easier, and is profiting from the sale and increased sale and accessibility, yet he has not made any plans to offset those gains with more responsible use of alcohol, nor has he plans to reduce the already way to high incidents of drunk driving that is sure to occur with more availability (and consumption). Why not move some of those profits into reducing drunk driving?

Mr Brad Wall, and if elected, Cam Broten, both need to take a hard look at this problem, and work to find solutions. Mr Wall is currently the man at the wheel, and his administration and crowns he controls have not been fair to the companies like Zero 8 that are also working hard to provide services to take drunk drivers off the road. SGI and the Minister responsible for SGI have been making and placing the majority of public service ads promoting bus rides, friends, and taxis as a means to a safe ride home, and very few ads include designated driver companies like Zero 8. When the Minister (June) was asked why she could not include designated driver companies like Zero 8 Designated Drivers, she said a crown corporation could not promote for profit enterprises. What the heck is a taxi service? Its a FOR PROFIT Enterprise! The problem and complete misunderstanding and attitude reaches from the bottom, to the very top.

On a side note, the coverage of other registered parties with full slates in this election has been so pitiful. The revelation of how many convicted drunk drivers there are in both the Sask Party and NDP, prompted the media to attempt to be fair by asking the other parties if they too had convicted criminals in their ranks.

Saskatchewan Democracy’s Unsolved Problem Didn’t Fix Itself

Please show you support democracy in Saskatchewan.

Last Saskatchewan election, this happened instead thanks to our lackluster media ignoring the Greens who fielded a full slate of 58 candidates.

A snooze fest of a debate took place, and CBC couldn’t find anyone not involved in the broadcast who watched it. Basically it had the viewership my blog has on a Sunday morning.

I made some effort to fix the problem by showing the broadcasters there was public opposition to their method. Even newspaper columnists who usually have a rosy view of the world were disappointed in the prospects of the following four years.

Canada 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030?

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.”

Saskatchewan could strand assets, or we could build the future starting now.

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!

Boundary Dam 3 CCS Could have Cost Less and Been Solar

SaskPower writes about its comparably sized “clean coal” project:

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.

Continue reading