British Columbia

Vaughn Palmer
Pacific Carbon Trust

By the time cabinet minister Bill Bennett stepped into the legislature press theatre Tuesday to announce the pending doom of the Pacific Carbon Trust, the agency was pretty much orphaned in terms of support. School districts had denounced it. The auditor general had exposed it. Media coverage - for instance Gordon Hoekstra's stories in The Vancouver Sun 19 months ago - had thoroughly discredited it. Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was on the cost-cutter equivalent of a mission from God to get rid of it.

Groups claim port authority's Assessment fails to protect the public interest

In the last VESG online newsletter, we reported on hundreds protesting against the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) closed door decision-making on the proposed coal port that would make Vancouver the largest exporter in North America of the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Organizers of the protests argue that the VFPA has failed to protect the public interest as it refuses to address the full impacts or conduct adequate public hearings on proposed coal export expansion.

Barry Saxifrage
Climate Snapshot

Share prices of major coal mining companies in the United States have collapsed in the last two years. Investors have lost billions. The lack of any solution to the high levels of climate pollution from coal burning is dimming the industry prospects for a growing number of investors. Amazingly this gutting of market capitalization over the last two years has happened while US coal production fell just 6%. It's not today's relatively small decline that has spooked investors. Instead it is a rapid change in what the future looks like for American coal.

Damien Gillis and Will Koop
Frackwater pits in Talisman's Farell Creek operations

A pit storing contaminated fracking water in northeast BC was leaking into the surrounding soil and groundwater for up to six months before owner Talisman formally notified the Oil and Gas Commission and undertook clean-up efforts, The Common Sense Canadian has learned. One of five lined pits connected to Talisman’s Farrell Creek operations north of Hudson’s Hope, referred to as Pond A, suffered a puncture through both of its protective layers, causing toxic fluids to begin escaping into the environment.

Larry Pynn

CONDITION 2 : World-leading marine oil-spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.'s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments.

Damien Gillis
BC Pipelines

A new map (scroll down to view) reveals the full scope of oil and gas pipelines proposed to criss-cross BC. Compiled by Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition and Skeena Wild, the graphic depicts the planned routes for a staggering six new pipelines – five designed to carry natural gas to proposed liquefaction (LNG) plants in Kitimat and Prince Rupert, plus the twin bitumen and condensate Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge. Plans for an additional six gas pipelines have yet to be formalized.

Stephen Smart

Premier Christy Clark is calling British Columbia's proposed liquefied natural-gas plants worldwide pollution-fighting machines, despite concerns by climate scientists and environmental groups that they will belch millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions into the sky. Clark says B.C. should sell natural gas in China and Japan because natural gas is cleaner than China's coal and safer than Japan's nuclear power. "We are doing the world a favour," she said.

Justine Hunter

Internal B.C. government documents warn that the pursuit of a liquefied natural gas industry could double the province’s entire output of greenhouse-gas emissions – at a time that it’s struggling to meet its legislated targets to dramatically reduce GHGs. A cabinet document prepared for Environment Minister Mary Polak in June calculates the LNG sector could increase emissions by 16 per cent at a minimum, and as much as “a doubling of B.C.’s total emissions, depending on the number of plants and the technology and energy options chosen,” the document states.

Dirk Meissner

VICTORIA – Like the underground shale gas that Premier Christy Clark says will pave the way to a debt-free future, British Columbia appears caught between a rock and a hard place in balancing its hunger for a burgeoning liquefied natural gas industry and meeting its ambitious 2007 greenhouse gas pollution-reduction targets.

Justine Hunter

The B.C. government is sitting on a report commissioned by its climate-action secretariat that measures the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with developing a liquefied natural-gas industry. The pursuit of LNG is Christy Clark’s central ambition as Premier but it is one that is widely expected to collide with the province’s legislated requirement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. So far, her government has sidestepped questions about how former premier Gordon Campbell’s legacy on climate change will be reshaped to accommodate Ms. Clark’s agenda around resource development.


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