#PremierPipeline’s Slick Advice in Wake of Husky Oil Spill: Don’t Turn to Trains

But one of the big issues for Brad Wall, a major proponent for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, was the Husky Energy oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River at Maidstone Thursday morning.
Wall says he hopes this spill does not make it harder to sell new energy infrastructure. He points out that if it isn’t moved by pipeline it will be moved by rail and he says rail is more susceptible to spills, combined with the greenhouse gas emissions given off by the trains themselves.

Wall says the first priority in regards to the Husky Energy spill is to get it cleaned up but pointed out that while pipelines remain imperfect in terms of a conveyance for oil, they’re still the safest way to move oil and it is 4.5 times more likely to have an oil spill on a rail car than a pipeline.

So, how about those train emissions, eh? Building a pipeline is done with fairy dust and unicorn labour, I guess?

ADDED: I hope this disaster doesn’t lead to a bigger disaster that takes the form of harming the sale of my most cherished oil distribution technologies I campaigned on expanding.

Now, about those pipeline emissions…

Husky Energy says between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the North Saskatchewan River Thursday morning near Maidstone. Efforts are being made by Husky to contain the spill through the use of booms across the river

The boom has gone bust. #SaskaBoom

In a telephone conference with reporters, officials from the province of Saskatchewan said they had built five booms to contain the spill and were working with Husky and the federal government on a cleanup plan.

The oil plume had passed the village of Maymont, more than 100 km (62 miles) downstream from where the spill started, said Wes Kotyk, executive director of environment protection with the province.

““We’re asking our residents to conserve water by not watering their lawns,” Ms. Abe said.”

October is coming with freezing nights.

Ferris said the city of Prince Albert, farther along the river, was building a temporary pipeline (hose) of up to 30 km (19 miles) to draw water from another river.

“It won’t work in winter in Saskatchewan, I can guarantee you that,” he said.

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Leader Post Sees Coal Future As Reality

The Leader Post published my letter, and a couple weeks later Murray Mandryk cites the same inexplicable 30-40 years canard. He also makes the same conclusion as Johnstone, which is to not cut our losses on the project.

“Even some strident environmental groups recognize clean coal technology”
Can anyone name even one?

“replacement of dirty coal with clean energy (wind, hydro and solar) comes at a substantial cost we cannot instantly bear.”
Wind Water Solar 100% conversion costs less than #climatechange and other air pollution costs on society, actually.

“The simple reality is, as Wall has repeatedly noted, 40 per cent of world’s electrical needs still come from coal-powered generation. And this will remain the reality for the next three or four decades.”
Why do Leader Post columnists insist on pushing this false “reality”, which it’s actually a prediction about power sources that we must make incorrect if we’re to avoid damaging climate change? The reality remains that if all built coal plants continue to operate until their constructed Ends of Life, we’ll end life as we know it on Earth. The International Energy Agency has calculated this about coal plants, at least 6 years ago when their calculations gave us a deadline of 2015 to stop building new coal plants to avoid 2 degrees of warming.

Take Your Mind Off Things

Sometimes The Beaverton really understands me.

This morning on CBC Morning Edition, Sheila Coles had Mark Jacobson as a guest. He’s a Stanford professor who I mentioned in my letter to the editor a couple weeks ago. Anyway, I learned a lot of great points about transitioning to a Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) electrical system for Canada. It was a report basically making the point I brought up last week here about Brad Wall. The contrast between the informative and interesting interviews CBC provides compared to the hit music of other stations, is really stark.

Oil’s Four Letter Word Defender

Brad Wall seems to only ever be speaking to oil executives about oil and gas. Does he understand anything else? Are there any examples of our Premier meeting recently with organizations other than Big Oil and Gas? Anytime he’s trying to boost the province’s economy, it’s coal this, oil that.

Meanwhile, the renewable energy sector is growing significantly, and BP the petrol company, admits that it’s competing with fossil fuels already. Yet, how many renewable energy companies has Wall courted to come and provide manufacturing jobs in Saskatchewan? I bet it’s a goose egg.

Brad Wall claims the most powerful companies (Big Oil) on the planet are under an “existential threat” from such powers as the Raging Grannies and the Sierra Club.

Don’t know if he’s checked their comparative bank accounts or the number of oil lobbyists checking into the Prime Minister’s inbox over say, the last 100 years, but he’s out of touch with reality.

His hack calls plans to deal with pollution “a set of incredibly stupid proposals that would lock in poverty for all Sask people and families”, but makes budget cuts to poverty reduction programs. No,  Wall thinks the Sierra Club and Naomi Klein are coming for Saskatchewan’s economy. He’s attempting to portray good people as boogeymen, so he can ‘protect’ us and be the hero.

The Government of Saskatchewan released the Poverty Reduction Strategy on Wednesday (Feb. 24, 2016).

The strategy aims to reduce the number of people who experience poverty for two years or more by 50 per cent by the end of 2025.

“We’re going to need a lot of help from community based organizations, from the community, from all levels of government,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.

Mandryk about Wall’s speech to Big Oil in Calgary:

Wall must do more than shill for the oil industry

“That might seem alarmist or overly dramatic, but it’s not,” Wall said.

Well, sir, it was both alarmist and overly dramatic.

“”It’s not borne of science. It doesn’t respect the reality of where our energy sector is at in this country or even its proportionate share of global emissions in the case of climate change,” Wall said.”

Sorry Wall. That excuse sounds like you’ve been caught peeing in someone’s pool, and you say the reality is that the amount of pee isn’t proportionate to any problem we need to worry about, because it would have been more bothersome for you to go to a proper washroom.

SaskPower’s Power To Grow A Nose

SaskPower’s latest consultant on renewable energy might be Pinocchio.

Their misinformation about renewable energy intentionally leaves out the point that our power mix is not entirely coal, hydro, or natural gas today, so it wouldn’t make sense to power every aspect of our grid with only PV solar which presently depends upon storage to deliver power on very cloudy days and at night. We can however, use solar to reach 100% renewable power on our grid’s mix. I’ve previously outlined two plausible ways this could be done with existing technology.

Wood Mountain: Population 21

When I was ten, my family picked up an exchange student from the Regina airport. It was Winter. As the South American boy rode with me on the van bench, across an open prairie between Regina and Moose Jaw, he asked how many people lived in Wood Mountain. I replied proudly, “Forty people live in Wood Mountain.” I knew, because I could count every one by going through each home in my mind, up and down the three streets, and three avenues. “Forty thousand?” he prompted for more details. “No, forty people.”

The school closed about three years later. The second last elevator burned in 1997 due to lightning strikes. The last wooden elevator in the village was demolished in 2014. There’s still a Community Hall, a rural post office and RM/Village office, a fire hall, a church, and Department of Highways buildings, and there are 21 people who live right in the village. More than a few live on the farms and ranches nearby. It’s still a community, and it still matters. Now, it’s Population 21.

It’s not even the second time Wood Mountain has been featured in a National Film Board documentary, but it is the first with my parents.