Showing posts from October 7, 2014

Tide Turning Against Global Coal Industry: New Report

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[Our federal and provincial investment plans appear to be heading for disaster on all fronts. *RON*]
Chris Rose, DeSmog Blog, 1 October 2014

Coal, the fossil fuel that largely sparked the industrial revolution, may be facing the beginning of the end — at least in terms of generating electricity.

There are increasing signs of the demise of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, from a global oversupply to plummeting prices to China starting to clean up its polluted air.

Last week, the Carbon Tracker Initiative published an analysis —Carbon Supply Cost Curves: Evaluating Financial Risk to Coal Capital Expenditures — identifying major financial risks for investors in coal producers around the world.

Saying the demand for thermal coal in China, the world’s largest emitter of toxic greenhouse gases, could peak as early as 2016, the analysis also highlights $112 billion of future coal mine expansion and development that is excess to requirements under lower d…

NEB orders Kinder Morgan to reveal its "secret” oil disaster response plans

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[Vancouver, Burnaby, the provincial government and First Nations win a ruling denying the oil pipeline company's request to keep its emergency management plans confidential. "It speaks to a careless arrogance which I also saw in their original proposal, where they also said that an oil spill clean-up could be an economic boom." *RON*]
Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 7 October 2014
Texas-based Kinder Morgan has been ordered to disclose its emergency response plans for oil spills and catastrophic fires for its proposed Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline expansion proposal, despite attempts by the company keep its plans secret.

Vancouver, Burnaby, the B.C. government and First Nations had been pressuring the company for full disclosure of the plans, but Kinder Morgan had been objecting all summer.

Finally in August, the company asked the National Energy Board to make its emergency plans sealed as confidential, arguing that disclosure…

Fired Researcher Who Killed Self Was Evaluating Drug Backed by Clark

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["Anti-smoking treatment pushed by premier generated safety warnings." A terrible scandal which, as usual, they are making worse by "fixing it" through closed-door deals and refusing to offer any transparency for their dealings. *RON*]

By Andrew MacLeod, 3 Oct 2014,

Harold Roderick MacIsaac took his life after health ministry fired him with others over allegations never proven and no longer pursued. His family wants a government apology as given to others.

The researcher who committed suicide after being fired from the British Columbia health ministry in 2012 was designing a way to evaluate a project that was one of Premier Christy Clark's pet initiatives and that included a drug that continues to generate serious safety warnings.

New Democratic Party leader John Horgan raised the direct connection to Clark during a press conference at the legislature this week where Linda Kayfish, the sister of the late Roderi…

Can Christy Clark deliver a tax deal to save her $100 billion LNG dreams?

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[It keeps looking more and more like a complete pipe dream. We will sell your gas for you, BC. For this, we will only take 98.5% of the total value of the gas sold! Such a deal!! "The B.C. government is getting ready to announce the specifics of the LNG Income Tax. But with Petronas making threats to withdraw its project, will the B.C. government be able to get a fair deal, or will it cave to industry demands?" *RON*]
Claire Hume, Vancouver Observer, 6 October 2014

Backroom negotiations have been ongoing on for a year, there have been public threats, and countless promises by the government that they are “going to get this right.” But with the resumption of the provincial legislature this week, it's time to see who blinked.

In the final days leading up to the session, which began Monday morning, Premier Christy Clark’s government has been weighing the threat of a multi-billion dollar project pullout as it puts the final touches on it…

Six Steps to Protect Canadians from Flaws in China Trade Deal

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["FIPA can't be revoked, but citizens deserve its effects be independently tracked and reported." Good ideas but I see no chance of them being implemented under a Harper majority government, for which ideology always trumps reality. Also, I have to say, ALL of the political parties have pretty well had their heads buried in the sand on this one. *RON*]

By Gus Van Harten, 30 Sep 2014,
The Harper Cabinet quietly ratified the Canada-China FIPA on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Lately I have received messages from people asking if the FIPA can still be stopped and what else might be done to limits its potential harm.

Sadly, there is no longer anything that any legislature, government, or court in Canada can do to avoid the FIPA taking effect on Oct. 1, 2014. The time for action was two years ago when the FIPA was made public. Many thousands of Canadians responded to this need at that time and since. Yet our instituti…

BC Jobs Growing Half as Fast Since Clark's Plan Launched

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["Government says it has laid the foundations for growth, which must be assessed over time;" i.e., Free Beer Tomorrow! One reader of the original article makes a good observation: "What really bothers me about these announcements is the media coverage. Many communities across BC rely on these weekly papers that are no more than a means to deliver flyers. The problem however is that to fill the pages to resemble a newspaper they are gladly printing these so-called news releases from the government. There is no checking of the facts and that leaves the little old granny thinking that Christy is doing a good job. How sad that the media is nothing more than an advertising agency." *RON*]

By Andrew MacLeod, 1 Oct 2014,
In the three years since Premier Christy Clark announced the B.C. Jobs Plan in September 2011, the number of jobs has grown half as fast as it did over the previous decade.

Released yesterday, a glossy thre…

Meet the People Who Made Possible Stephen Harper's Reign

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[An excerpt from Donald Gutstein's new book 'Harperism.' Some good insights into the creation of what Colin Crouch calls Post-Democracy. *RON*]

By Donald Gutstein, 7 October 2014,

Donald Gutstein's new book traces the network of right-wing think-tanks that built 'Harperism.' The public is invited to a book launch event this Wednesday in Vancouver; details here.

[Editor's note: Where does Stephen Harper get his polarizing notions of what is wrong with Canada and how to "fix" it? Rather than write a psychological history of the man, Donald Gutstein, in his new bookHarperism, examines the network that paved the way for his rise -- Canada's right-wing think-tanks. This excerpt picks up after Gutstein notes that some moves by Harper, such as cutting the GST to starve the budget and lay off 30,000 federal workers, are straight from the Thatcher, Reagan and even Mulroney playbooks. But in Harper's a…

Why New Euro-Canada Treaty Is a Gift to Oil Firms

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[My apologies - I've been attending a conference for the last several days, from early morning to late evening. "Climate change? CETA seems to be written to undermine policies that deal with the threat." I think there will be plenty of political and legal challenges to this before it ever gets to the "done deal" stage. *RON*]

By Murray Dobbin, 6 October 2014,

CETA places an absolute value on the ease with which corporations can get approval of their projects.

The media recently has been filled with stories that reflect the parallel universes we seem to be living in. The first were the stories about the international climate summit and the huge climate march (and hundreds of smaller ones) that preceded it -- punctuated by the launch of Naomi Klein's powerful call-to-action book This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate adding to the power of the moment.

But while climate activists were demonstrating…