Site C Dam Eyed to Power Yukons Mining Boom

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We heard more weird plans for the Site C dam this week

The power from that dam has had so many different purposes over the years, it's actually hard to keep track.

It was for LNG.
Then it was for the oilsands.
Then it was going to power the electrification of B.C.'s economy.
Now it's going to power Yukon's mining boom?

Check out Sarah Cox's deep dive on this, while we all wait for the next announcement on what Site C's power will actually be for.

We also wrote a lot about gas. Fugitive gas, to be exact.

We learned how wasted natural gas is depriving Alberta of millions of dollars each year.

And in B.C., researchers released a report that found more than 85 per cent of active gas wells they visited are venting methane gas ever day — leading to calls for B.C. to actually do something about the release of this potent greenhouse gas.

In other news ....

We saw the dark side of NAFTA as a U.S. company sued the Canadian government for protecting northern right whales.

And we looked at how the B.C. government is pumping the brakes on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with new proposed regulations around the transport of diluted bitumen.

There's more.

‘There Isn’t Time’: Endangered Orcas Need Emergency Intervention, Coalition Tells Ottawa

By Jimmy Thomson

Time is running out for the remaining 76 orcas that make up B.C.’s Southern Resident killer whale population and the federal government should take action to intervene, say a coalition of environmental groups petitioning Ottawa for an emergency order under the Species At Risk Act.

The groups say the petition is coming now because they believe the endangered population is at a critical juncture.

“There isn’t time to wait around,” said Dyna Tuytel, a lawyer for Ecojustice. Read more.

B.C.’s Fugitive Gas Pains: Report Calls for Crackdown on Biggest Polluters

By Judith Lavoie

A potent, heat-trapping gas is being released into the atmosphere from B.C.’s oil and gas wells at a much higher rate than shown in industry and government reports and immediate action is needed, a new study by the David Suzuki Foundation confirms.

The findings, released Wednesday, follows on the heels of a previous peer-reviewed study by the Suzuki Foundation and St. Francis Xavier University, which found methane emissions from B.C.’s oil and gas industry are two-and-a-half times higher than reported. Read more.

B.C. Deals Blow to Kinder Morgan Oilsands Pipeline With Demand for Scientific Inquiry Into Spills

By Carol Linnitt

British Columbia won’t allow any increase in shipments of diluted bitumen through the province until the results of a scientific inquiry into the risks of oil spills in marine environments is completed, according to an announcement from the B.C. government on Tuesday.

“We are proposing we restrict the transport of diluted bitumen until we hear back from the B.C. scientific community about the impacts of a spill and what we would need to mitigate that,” B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman told DeSmog Canada. Read more.

How a U.S. Company is Suing Canada for Rejecting Quarry in Endangered Whale Nursery

By Judith Lavoie

When a Canadian federal-provincial environmental review panel ruled in 2007 that a proposed quarry would go against community core values and would threaten right whales and other marine life in the Bay of Fundy, groups that had fought against the project believed that was the end of the story.

But, that is not how the system works under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has dispute settlement provisions allowing corporations to sue governments for compensation when they feel the local environmental approvals process has interfered with expected profits. Read more.

Site C Dam Eyed to Power Yukon’s Mining Boom

By Sarah Cox

A new proposal to send power from B.C.’s Site C dam to remote Yukon mines is baffling on both environmental and financial grounds, according to Yukon mining analyst Lewis Rifkind.

Rifkind, a civil engineer who works for the Yukon Conservation Society in Whitehorse, said beyond environmental concerns associated with the mines, the “lunatic” cost of building more than a thousand kilometres of transmission lines for short-term projects makes the prospect nonsensical. Read more.

Alberta is Losing Out on Millions in Natural Gas Revenue. Here's Why.

By James Wilt

Alberta oil and gas companies are wasting so much natural gas each year that Albertans are losing out on up to $21 million a year in provincial natural gas royalties.

Oil and gas companies let an estimated $253 million worth of natural gas escape through undetected leaks and the practice of venting annually. According to Progress Alberta, a progressive advocacy group, the lost royalties could pay for five new schools, 84 new playgrounds or 36 new nurses. Read more.


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