Energy policy

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Few environmental messes inherited by the new B.C. government rival the unregulated free-for-all that has unfolded in the province’s northeast where companies that frack for natural gas have built nearly 60 unlicensed dams. Not only do some of those dams show distressing signs of failing, but the companies that built them - and the government agencies that regulate them - consistently failed to honestly consult with First Nations about their intentions.
Resource Policy Analyst Ben Parfitt sent this letter to BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) in response to Progress Energy’s extraordinary request to retroactively exempt the Lily and Town dams from environmental reviews. Such reviews should have been conducted before the dams were built. Not only did those reviews not happen, but the company also failed to obtain other authorizations that it should have well before the dams were built. The Town dam was built in 2012. The Lily dam in 2014.
(Vancouver) The Site C dam is not necessary, and moving forward to completion is likely to have adverse impacts on BC Hydro and ratepayers of all classes. That is the conclusion of a submission to the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) consultations on the proposed Site C Dam, authored by Senior Economist Marc Lee from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office (CCPA-BC).
This brief focuses on the economic questions about Site C posed by the BC government to the BCUC. Informed by the economics of energy transition, it examines the links between the proposed Site C dam and fossil fuel extraction, and raises questions about the need for the electricity Site C would produce.
Illustration by Remie Geoffroi Can we finally admit it? The world really does love Justin Trudeau.
The Trudeau government has shone internationally on a progressive message of tolerance, openness, diversity and inclusive, sustainable economic growth. It says it wants to make globalization fair for everyone, and that, as the prime minister tweeted, Canada welcomes all people “fleeing persecution, terror & war.” But on a number of files the government has bent itself into a pretzel trying to square its beliefs with its actions. An underlying theme throughout this issue of the Monitor is the empty gesture.
(Vancouver) Rather than worry about lost jobs and economic opportunities, British Columbians should celebrate Petronas’ decision to cancel its Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) proposal, says a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC Office. 
Once the political reality of British Columbia is determined, next steps on energy projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Site C dam will follow. And while the federal government has approved the pipeline expansion, the BC NDP and Green parties – which have signed a power-sharing agreement following the provincial election – say they will use every tool at their disposal to scuttle the project.
A new report analyzing the oil sands policies of previous Alberta governments reveals the critical role of government involvement and funding in ensuring more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  In Betting on Bitumen: Alberta’s Energy Policies from Lougheed to Klein, Calgary-based journalist and researcher Gillian Steward contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods. 

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