Showing posts from March 13, 2015

What Would Happen If Wind Power Got The Same Tax Breaks As The Fossil Fuel Industry

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[As opposed to actively hobbling the industry, as is done in both the US and Canada. Whose pocket is your local elected representative in? If only we could interest the Koch brothers in sustainable energy, both Congress and Parliament would then be all over this. *RON*]

By Emily Atkin, Think Progress, 13 March 2015

After two years of research, the Department of Energy released a report on Thursday estimating how much energy the U.S. could get from wind in the next 35 years. The results were extremely optimistic: under an “ambitious but credible” scenario, America could get 10 percent of its power from wind by 2020; 20 percent by 2030; and 35 percent by 2050, the report said.

In order for this to happen, though, the report acknowledged that “new tools, priorities, and emphases” need to be set in place beyond the wind industry’s own efforts. Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), told ThinkProgress that one of the most impo…

Fish farm madness: Harper proposes lax regulations for fish-farm industry

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[Faced by the recommendations of the Cohen Commission to protect wild salmon runs in BC, Harper used Bill C-38 to weaken protection for Fraser River sockeye salmon before the Commission's results were even in, gave the fish farming industry tax breaks, and blocked a NAFTA investigation into the effects of the fish farming industry on wild salmon. Now this. In a CBC article, a fish-farming spokesman explains this by saying "that the Fisheries Act, which prohibits depositing toxins or waste in the marine environment, is not suited to fish farming." Just possibly fish farming is not suited to the BC electorate and our environment. *RON*]
By Joyce Nelson,, 12 March 2015

Joyce Nelson investigates the Harper government's proposed regulatory changes to the Fisheries Act and its impacts on the environment and health in the two-part series on the fish-farm industry.

In its proposed regulatory changes to the Fisheries Act, the …

Koch company buys up more oil sands licenses in Canada

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[More The-World-Is-My-Oyster smiles from America's most favoured plutocratic sons, the Koch Brothers, among the largest leaseholders of the tar sands. And why not? Objectively, it is. *RON*]
Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer, 12 March 2015

Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC is buying up more licenses in Alberta's oil sands, Oilsands Review reported today.

"Bulletin records show that 15 licences were issued on March 3, 2015, for operator Koch Oil Sands in the Cadotte area," the Review reported.

Oilsands leases comprised $21 million of the $44.67 million generated by Alberta's Wednesday land sale.

Koch Oil Sands Operating is part of Koch Industries, a US $115-billion multinational company based in Kansas. Koch Industries is the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S., and the Kochs are among the largest lease holders in Alberta's oil sands.

B.C. minimum-wage increase leaves workers in poverty

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[The Liberal government of BC, from the depths of its Scroogely, corporatocratic 'social conscience', decides to index poverty. *RON*]
By Iglika Ivanova,, 13 March 2015

After close to three years of no change, the B.C. minimum wage was overdue for an increase. But the measly raise announced this week falls far short of what is necessary. The 20 cents per hour increase, scheduled to come into effect on Sept 15, 2015, amounts to a raise of just under 2 per cent over more than 3 years. A $10.45 minimum wage will leave the workers who earn it thousands of dollars below the poverty line even if they work full year, full time. A worker getting paid $10.45 per hour, 35 hours per week for the full year would earn $19,019. Note that with the minimum wage increase only kicking in mid-September, this is slightly more than a minimum wage employee would actually earn, but I wanted to keep the calculation simpler.

An annual income of $19,019 i…

When the facts on C-51 are against you, insult the witnesses

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[The Conservative Party is counting on you to remain asleep, indifferent and no-nothing about this. Prove them wrong. If you want to know more about petitions and protests against Bill C-51, click here. *RON*]
By Stuart Trew,, 13 March 2015

Last night's hearing into Bill C-51, omnibus anti-terrorism legislation, began as the morning's, with witnesses expressing their opposition to all or parts of it. It ended with Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy accusing one presenter -- yes, the group representing Muslims -- of supporting terrorism. But hey, where logic fails, try deflection. The news today is guaranteed to be about Ablonczy's comments and not, or much less so, the expert testimony of Kent Roach, Craig Forcese, Alex Neve (Amnesty International), Ihsaan Gardee (NCCM) and others who, to put it bluntly, tore C-51 a new one today.

The National Airlines Council of Canada, represented by Executive Director Marc-André O'Rourke…

Grizzly bears seen as gold for mining, emails reveal

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[Oh, we shouldn't be so hard on them. The bodies could be used to plug holes in tailings ponds and the pelts would be great for mopping up oil spills. *RON*]

Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 13 March 2015
"They’re using this contested evidence that grizzly bear numbers are increasing, to justify not only a controversial [hunting] activity that a majority of British Columbians are against, but also to justify resource development in those areas as well. This shows a real lack of understanding of the science.” (Faisal Moola, forestry professor, U of T) Senior B.C. wildlife bureaucrats seized upon the province's rising grizzly bear numbers —that are disputed by university scientists — as an opportunity to "mitigate" the impacts of proposed mining in the west Chilcotin, Freedom of Information (FOI) released e-mails reveal.
In early 2014, the BC Liberals controversially re-opened the grizzly hunt in two pockets of the provi…

Husky Energy tells 1,000 workers to leave oilsands project site

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[Yesterday 1000 workers at Husky Sunrise Energy woke up to learn that they no longer had jobs. They were completely shut off the site, unable to retrieve their personal tools, and shuttled off to the airport immediately. Around 23,000 jobs are at risk due to the falling price of oil. Tar sands have created huge economic risks for Canada, and the proof is increasing every day. Let's tell Harper this at the next federal election. It's also true that 7500 jobs were lost in the natural resource sector in this month alone in BC. Other than a TV news report, I couldn't find anyone reporting on this. *RON*]

CBC News, 11 March 2015

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Husky Energy trims capital spending by $400M
Husky, Cenovus note impact of low crude prices on earnings
Canadians expose foreign worker 'mess' in oilsands

About 1,000 tradespeople working on the Husky Energy's Sunrise oilsands project woke up to find themselves out of work Wednesday morning…

Kinder Morgan working on fire safety plans for tank farm

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[Kinder Morgan's Burnaby Mountain tank farm is supposed to have the ability to fight its own fires. It used to have its own fire truck and brigade, but they got rid of them without notifying the fire department and are in contravention of the local fire code. But it's ok. Accidents never happen. Right, Port Metro Vancouver? Especially not with 1.6 million barrels of crude lying around. Maybe the people who live here should decide whether Texas-based Kinder Morgan is doing a good enough job to triple capacity on our turf: *RON*]

Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now, 10 March 2015

Kinder Morgan is working on a fire safety plan for the Burnaby Mountain tank farm after recent talks with the local fire department, but the deputy fire chief is wondering why the plan isn't in place already.

Deputy fire chief Chris Bowcock said Kinder Morgan reviewed the fire department's expectations in January - mainly that the tank farm needs …