Environment and sustainability

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This expanded version of the Monitor summer reading guide takes a break from frenetic social media feeds to assess the fluctuating political and economic reality from a place of relative stability: books. Rather than just telling us what they will be reading this summer, contributors ground longer arguments about the state of the world in recent Canadian and international non-fiction releases with a connection to the CCPA’s underlying mandate: to promote social, economic and environmental justice.
In early May, evidence emerged that natural gas companies had built dozens of large dams during a poorly regulated building spree. As many as 60 large earthen structures were bulldozed into place by fossil fuel companies—without first getting the required authorizations from provincial authorities.
When the provincial government created the Oil and Gas Commission in 1998, it did much more than open a “one stop shop” for speedy oil and gas industry approvals; it also set British Columbia on a collision course with First Nations. The consequences of that collision course are more apparent with each passing day, and are most evident in a potentially precedent-setting civil suit launched by the Blueberry River First Nation (BRFN), whose territory overlays northeast BC’s richest natural gas play—the Montney basin.
This paper looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations.
Our latest report looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations. Learn more at: policyalternatives.ca/protect-shared-waters
VANCOUVER – Coming on the heels of an investigation that revealed fossil fuel companies have built dozens of unauthorized dams in BC’s northeast, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a study drawing attention to larger problems with water management practices in that region. The study finds that a sharp increase in water-intensive, natural gas industry fracking operations is underway, yet First Nations who are the most directly impacted by such activities have little say in shaping how, when and where fossil fuel companies operate on their traditional lands. 
A subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned Petronas, the company behind a massive Liquefied Natural Gas plant proposal near Prince Rupert, has built at least 16 large unauthorized dams in northeast BC to trap water used for fracking operations, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has learned.
One of the primary rationales for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMEP) is to maximize the price for Alberta bitumen by getting oil from Alberta to “tidewater”. Tidewater refers to ocean access in order to ship oil to overseas markets via tankers. Industry and the federal and Alberta governments argue that a pipeline to tidewater will unlock new markets (Asia in the case of the TMEP) where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported.
(Vancouver) As Kinder Morgan Canada turned to the stock market to finance its Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMEP), a new report by veteran earth scientist David Hughes finds that Alberta oil sold on international markets would likely command a lower price than if sold in North America.  Both the federal and Alberta governments and the oil industry argue that a pipeline to tidewater will unlock new markets (Asia in the case of TMEP) where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported.
This report finds that Canadian climate change policy remains underdeveloped and plagued by a wide “ambition gap” between government promises and policy action. The report breaks down the success and shortcomings of current Canadian climate policy at the federal and provincial levels, and makes recommendations that would set the country on a path toward an inclusive and productive low-carbon economy.

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