“Will [the Act] be changed with respect to [SaskTel]? No.” – Wall (March 2016)
“People are advised not to consume fish caught in the river, and to avoid water activities that may result in river water being ingested,” said a news release put out Tuesday morning.
– six days later.
“Good work Premier Brad Wall. No loss of life like at Lac Megantic oil tanker rail disaster. Naturally occurring biological decontamination will help clean up this oil spill in no time!” – Tim
Yes, this is the sort of deranged partisanship that makes Canada’s most popular Premier able to slither out of responsibility for an oil spill that has poisoned the major drinking water source for Saskatchewan’s 3rd largest city and other cities and towns and farms and beyond.
“The company responsible, Husky Energy, has been very cooperative and as soon as they were aware of the incident they notified us,” Kotyk said [Friday].
“In an email, Husky communications official Mel Duval confirmed with CBC that the report submitted to government was incorrect.
Husky now says “at approximately 8 p.m. [Wednesday] the pipeline monitoring system indicated pressure anomalies as several segments of the pipeline system were being returned to service. This is common during startup operations.””
The deputy minister for the Ministry of Economy, which regulates pipelines, said Husky has an emergency response plan in place, filed with the government.
But Laurie Pushor doesn’t know if it was followed.
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
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.
“Our principle here … is that we do no further harm to an economy that already has its hands full.” – Brad Wall
“We’ve always been in competition,” said Boyd about Saskatchewan and Alberta competing for oil and gas investment. “Certainly we’ve had productive conversations here in Calgary.”
Why would we want to compete with Alberta? Competition drives the price of extracting our non-renewable resource down and means lower royalty payments upon which much of our economy is based.
Obviously Wall and Boyd in the Sask Party are working from the perspective that they have to get the best, lowest rate for Big Oil companies. They’re supposed to be considering what is best for Saskatchewan’s people, however. I’m sure they are not influenced by their former Minister McMillian who is now head spokesperson for the oil and gas industry in Canada.
“Today, there continues an existential threat to this industry, this industry that is so important in my province,” Wall told an appreciative luncheon crowd.
The Saskatchewan government didn’t do a good job acquiring land for the Global Transportation Hub near Regina and as a result paid too much, the provincial auditor says.
It seems routine for this Sask Party government to never be found technically corrupt while they continually deliver poor deals for tax/rate payers, and great deals for their friends in the Oil and Gas industry.
Another example of the Saskatchewan government giving up in favour of corporations over citizens.
“Province abandons low-income housing project after cost overruns
48-unit apartment building reverts to private developer – renting at market rates”
Mike Marsh, president and CEO of Sask-Power, writes:
…The technology at Boundary Dam is the first of its kind and, as with other technologies, we expect the price to drop as it develops. The BD3 CCS project is on track to meet our goal of capturing 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016 – equal to taking over 200,000 cars off our roads.
People are using more electricity than before and we need to expand our fleet. We also need to invest in costlier forms of generation to meet challenges presented by climate change and record growth. These types of investment will impact rates, but to suggest CCS doubles rates is simply false.
They were spreading misinformation about solar power just the other week. This is the organization whose VP told me solar wouldn’t be cost effective for utilities in the “northern hemisphere”, as Spain already had a utility solar plant in production, and many more have since been built all over North America.
SaskPower was just “required to supply a minimum volume of CO2 to Cenovus, with Cenovus having the option to buy 100 per cent of production”, Wall’s office said, adding the contract was renegotiated and that Watson’s 2013 comments “were aspirational at the time, not reflective of the contract that was signed in the end.”
In no small irony, this information came to the Leader-Post the same day the newspaper ran a letter to the editor from current SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh, who felt he needed to “correct the record” on “misinformation about the cost of carbon capture and storage.”
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.
This clip makes it seem as if CCS is more about producing gas to enhance oil recovery, and not so much about trapping a dangerous byproduct of dirty electricity production.
As a result of the renegotiation though, Cenovus is not required to take 100 per cent of the CO2 output, meaning less revenue coming into SaskPower.
Marsh said Cenovus is buying “more than 50 per cent of the production, but I’m not going to give you an exact figure.”
He said specifics of the new deal won’t be disclosed, citing a confidentiality agreement.
Marsh said Boundary Dam is capturing about 2,700 to 2,800 tonnes of CO2 each day, or a little less than 90 per cent of the output of which it’s supposed to be capable.
Production has been slowed, he said, because Cenovus “does not need the full amount, so we don’t need to produce the full amount.”
Why would production of gas be slowed? Wouldn’t it depend entirely upon how much electrical demand there is, not demand for the waste carbon dioxide? After all, BD3 has been sold to the public as a means of offsetting greenhouse gas production of coal electricity. If gas is produced, just store it, right?
I hope the geniuses at SaskPower and the Sask Government calculated the lost revenue from selling less gas to Cenovus, and we’re not going to lose more than $91Million from the renegotiation. Because they won’t give us the figure roughly between 50-90%, calculation may be harder for the public to confirm they didn’t screw up again to the tune of millions.
Is the Premier still planning on selling this technology if it depends upon a hidden sale value the public can’t even see now?
UPDATE: And important update is now available to this story