Canada’s pipeline debate needs reality check

A focus on worst-case scenarios loses sight of what’s vastly more likely to happen

Canada’s pipeline debate needs reality checkBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The Santa Barbara oil spill has irritated already-sensitive public concern about oil pipelines. And as the pipeline’s review before the National Energy Board continues, several new reports commissioned…

Renewable energy all pain, little gain

Renewable energy all but guarantees higher electricity bills

Renewable energy all pain, little gainBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute BC Hydro’s planned project for a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River – known as the Site C dam – is proving to be controversial, with some industry groups panning the plan while touting renewable energy sources such as wind. One wind energy champion recently…

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions story better than advertised

There has been a 31% decrease in the amount of emissions per unit of economic production since 1990

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions story better than advertisedA new report from the government of Canada, on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2013, is making news. And as usual, the bad news leads. The media focus is on the probability that Canada will miss its Copenhagen emission-reduction targets from 2009. (Canada agreed to cut emissions by 17 per cent from a…

The glaring imbalance in Metro Vancouver’s transit plebiscite

Vast majority do not use public transit but are expected to pay for it with higher taxes

The glaring imbalance in Metro Vancouver’s transit plebisciteBy Charles Lammam and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The current transit plebiscite, conducted by mail-in ballot across Metro Vancouver, asks whether residents are willing to support a 0.5 percentage point increase to the Provincial Sales Tax, which would generate an extra $250 million to help fund $7.5 billion worth of transportation projects tabled by…

Cutting Corners on your cup of coffee

Even the inventor of those little pre-packaged coffee pod thingies believes they are too expensive

Cutting Corners on your cup of coffeeOK. I confess. I own one of those one cup coffee makers that overload landfills and rob bank accounts. Here’s why: When I am snowed under with deadlines, pretending that my kitchen is an upscale coffee house lessens my stress. In fact, I am not sure I could have made my book deadline last December…

Oil-train derailments expose folly of anti-pipeline movement

Opposition to pipelines flies in the face of safety data

Oil-train derailments expose folly of anti-pipeline movementFour recent oil-train derailments – two in the United States and two in Canada accompanied by yet another drive-by rhetorical smear of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Barack Obama – have re-invigorated the debate over how Canadians and Americans transport oil. The most recent spills and explosions in Illinois, West Virginia and Ontario…

Heh, easterners, Western Canadians want their winters back

If this is the face of real climate change, then we’re ready to trade in our 4X4s right now and start driving Nissan LEAFs

Heh, easterners, Western Canadians want their winters backExcuse us westerners, central Canada. We’re as confused about the weather as you must be. It’s hard for us to understand just what you’re going through because, well, we’re not. At the time of year when we’re usually bundled up in our Canada Goose parkas, plugging in our cars and wondering what we’re doing in…

Building social license one step at a time

No one knows what it means or how to get it, but we know that, without it, projects are in jeopardy

Building social license one step at a timeSocial license is like pornography, it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Large-scale natural resource projects in Canada like pipelines, fracking, and mines are all running into brick walls of public approvals, even when they meet the legal and regulatory requirements. A “social license” is the new term describing broad…

Are we reaching Peak Everything?

The short answer is: not even close

Are we reaching Peak Everything?Is the world running out of the basic resources and materials we need? One person attempting to answer the question as to whether we have reached Peak Everything is Vaclav Smil, a distinguished professor emeritus from the University of Manitoba. In 2014 he released the latest book – Making the Modern World – Materials and…

A tale of two (possible) Canadian futures

A tale of two (possible) Canadian futuresLike Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, 2015 in Canada looks to be a study in contrasts. It is the best of times. According to wellbeing economist Mark Anielski, happiness is on the rise in Canada. Despite many dire threats to Canadians’ economic security, this northern nation ranks near the top of the charts in…