Liuzhou-Forest-City-grounds

In 2018 China Will Add Forest The Size of Ireland & Start Building The Worlds First Forest City

Chinese-soldiers-plant-treesChina’s State Forestry Administration announced that they will add 66000 square kilometers of of trees in 2018 in an effort to reduce pollution.  That is nearly the size of Ireland.  This massive investment is part of their Paris Accord commitment to forest the area about three times the size of the entire United Kingdom by 2030.

To make this happen, China will use state employees and tens of thousands of soldiers.

Liuzhou-Forest-City-groundsPart of this unparalleled tree planting effort will take place in what China calls Forest Cities in 6 key regions of the country:

  • Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region
  • Pearl River Delta in south China
  • Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan in central Hunan Province
  • Yangtze River Delta
  • northwestern Shaanxi and Gansu provinces
  • the central plains

(more…)

kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipeline-map

Twinning the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Is Now Too Big To Fail

Should the Province of Alberta buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder-Morgan if they want to walk away from the project?  That question was posed to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley today and she responded with an emphatic ‘Yes!’.

It has become abundantly clear, whether you are for or opposed to this particular pipeline or not, that having the relatively simple twinning of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline fail to be built would signify the end of even medium scale infrastructure projects in Canada.

kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipeline-mapThere will always be interest groups and affected people that have some legitimate claim against a large project.  The standard for projects should not be keeping everyone happy.  The standard for infrastructure projects MUST be if they are in the national interest.  That national interest contains a giant list important factors including:

  • environmental concerns
  • affected citizens needs and wants
  • global competitiveness concerns
  • financial concerns
  • public safety

(more…)

nigerian-dirty-oil

How Killing The Canadian Oil Industry Is a Formula For Environmental Disaster

Today Bloomberg’s Michael Bellusci wrote an article explaining that Canadian oil and gas companies are in deep trouble.  Here is an excerpt:

Canada’s Energy Industry Faces ‘Extinction’ Without M&A, BMO Says

On the same day, Global News reported:

Feds to spend $280k to study why Canada’s oil and gas sector is falling behind

The federal government plans to spend up to $280,000 for a new study on Canada’s competitiveness in the oil and gas industry as investment lags and the United States offers new incentives for companies to move south…iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040
Source: globalnews.ca/news/4123026/oil-and-gas-canada-falling-behind-study/

In general terms the issue is that with low oil prices, oil companies see better places in the world to put their money than Canada.  Oil & Gas “activists” will initially claim a victory here because they have had some impact on making it difficult to get Canadian Oil and Gas to both international and domestic markets.

(more…)

comparison-of-fuel-prices-between-electric-vs-gasoline-vehicles-2018

Are Electric Cars Really Less Expensive To Own & Operate?

If you are interested in fully electric cars or plug-in hybrids there is a myriad of misleading information to wade through.  One of the big questions is, ‘Is it is cheaper to run own and operate an electric car vs a gasoline powered car?’.

Before we get into the numbers, you need to be aware of two things:

  1. Most electric vehicles are plugged in at work during the day at no additional cost to the employee
  2. The price of electricity varies from city to city, so it is difficult to say definitively one way or the other

The most accurate, generalized, answer is to say electrified and gasoline vehicles are very competitive with each other and one does not (yet) have a major cost advantage over the other.

I drive a Cadillac ELR with a 60KM+ range (average of 55KM in winter and 65KM range in summer) before my gasoline engine generator kicks in.  Because I used to track my expenses and my kilometers, I can say with certainty that the ELR save me:

  1. about $1700/year in fuel costs. Like many, I seldom plug it in at home and on the rare occasion that I do my solar panels provide about 50% of electricity.  I do 95% of my car charging at work, at no extra cost.
  2. Nearly all electric vehicles have ‘regenerative braking’ which uses the electric motor to slow the car.  The physical brakes are seldom used and I expect that the factory set of brakes will last the life of the car.  That saves a few hundred dollars.
  3. Because the gasoline engine generator in my plug-in hybrid Cadillac ELR is seldom used I will only get an oil change every 18 months or so.  If the car was fully electric, I would never get an oil change.  This saves both money and time… which to me is more money.
  4. For the reasons above, I expect the exhaust system and other consumables (spark plugs, air filters…) will last dramatically longer than a regular car.  All of this saving money.

We have two interesting sets of numbers for you to review.  From the new for 2018 book ThePriceOfCarbon.com comes an interesting info-graphic:

comparison-of-fuel-prices-between-electric-vs-gasoline-vehicles-2018

(more…)

The Price of Carbon in Saskatchewan

Dr David Maenz is interviewed on CBC Regina radio. The discussion is on climate change, his new book The Price of Carbon, and how the Saskatchewan Provincial government is handling the Canadian Federal Governments demand for a price on carbon.

A Rational, Fact Based Review of Global Warming & Its Practical Solutions

Below is an 11 minute interview with Dr. David Maenz about his new book The Price of Carbon.  Unlike all climate change books we have reviewed in the past, The Price Of Carbon is the first one to pull together the serious science of Global Warming from Earths formation until today, explain the three likely outcomes of Global Warming, and then detail the PRACTICAL solutions to the issue.

This book is definitely not a casual read but for the educated person that is still open to thinking about this critical issue, it will be an eye opener:

(more…)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Oil & Gas Industry in 2018

The Oil & Gas industry has more than its fair share of misinformation directed at it.  This site is intended to expose and explore facts and so as part of our new series on the Oil & Gas industry we thought you would like a quick run down of some interesting facts:

      1. LNG Does Not Burn: Companies compress Natural Gas into what is known as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) it is much easier to move and store.  However, one concern that is often heard relates to how dangerous LNG (think of an LNG tanker as a floating bomb or an LNG pipeline as scary torch), but LNG is safer than nearly any other petroleum product.  It will not burn and if it spills it LNG will quickly clean itself up.  LNG is incredibly safe.  Watch this short fun video:

        .
        (more…)

Will The New Canadian National Projects Review Mechanisms, Resolve Provincial & Municipal Disputes

At the heart of the Canadian Federal Governments announcement today about fixing the process that determines if a large scale project is in the best interest of Canada or not, is a desire to limit ability Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to stall approved projects.  The idea is to:

  1. increase consultation so everyone’s voice is heard
  2. set firm and visible rules for industry so that “goal posts” are not being moved after the fact
  3. determine what is in Canada’s best interest, when that interest is at odds with local interest

These are clearly admirable goals.  To achieve those goals there are now going to be three structures that industry must pass through to get Federal Government support:

  1. A new ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada‘ will do the preliminary investigation to determine the environmental effects of a project
  2. The existing ‘National Energy Board’ is demoted and renamed ‘Canadian Energy Regulator‘ but still be responsible for determining the technicalities of a project
  3. The ‘Federal Minister of the Environment‘ will have the final say  if a project is viable and in Canada’s interest

So now the questions are, will these changes allow:

  1. Industry to decide that spending many millions of dollars to go through an elongated approval process that will have a definitive outcome be worth while?
  2. Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to be heard and listened to?

There has been much debate over the process and all agree something big had to change:

  1. When industry works on large scale projects deemed to be in the Canadian national interest after years of consultation and vetting that are still blocked by local and regional interests, there is a big problem.
  2. When interest groups (i.e. some ‘First Nations’, Municipal governments (i.e. Vancouver) local and Provincial governments (i.e. BC) feel empowered to block large scale projects that adversely affect the rest of the country, there is an even bigger problem.

Dennis McConaghy, a former senior executive at Trans Canada Pipelines thinks these changes will not achieve the desired goals:

(more…)

iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040

Oil & Gas: Why ‘Keep It In The Ground’ Is A Formula For Environmental Disaster

The environmental lobby has mislead many well intentioned companies and intelligent individuals with the “keep it in the ground movement”.   That logic only applies to “western societies” and has sadly resulted in serious efforts to block even the cleanest Oil & Gas projects for the last decade.  The most recent tactic is to block the infrastructure required to make Oil & Gas functional; in particular pipelines are being opposed at every turn.

These next two points should clearly demonstrate that “keep it in the ground” is both naive and environmentally damaging.

1: OIL & GAS GROWTH THROUGH 2040

The fact is that the most scientificly trustworthy energy industry research body in the world, the International Energy Association (IEA), agrees with dozens of other government and industry analysts that Oil & Gas demand will continue to EXPAND through the year 2040.  2040-2050 is the magic decade when China and India will have moved most of their citizens into the middle class.

Before you start thinking, ‘but wait, that will change if we ‘go electric”, note that the IEA is expecting massive amounts of electrification in the next 20+ years and has already wrapped those expectations into their projections.  If we don’t have substantial electrification (solar, wind, electric cars,…) 2040 will not be the

Keep in mind the word EXPAND.  This means that at about 2040, the world will not have stopped using oil and gas; this means that consumption will have peaked.  After 2040, there will take between 100 to 200 years to cycle out of petroleum based products.

iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040

(more…)

pipeline-vs-rail-environment

Are Pipelines Really The Safest Way To Transport Oil & Gas?

Having worked at a few pipeline companies, I know they take safety and spills very seriously but we see pipeline bursts and their resulting spills with frequency in the news so the question lingers: Are pipelines safe?

pipeline-vs-rail-environmentLet’s start by stating an obvious fact that no-one WANTS a pipeline or any other serious infrastructure (power lines, rail lines, highways…) in their back yard but without such infrastructure our modern world would grind to a halt.  If we can agree on that as a fact, and not an opinion, we can rationally consider pipeline safety.

The factors determining the safety of any pipeline compared to rail or trucking are also obvious and visually undeniable.  Below is a simple chart outlining some of the risk factors that go into transporting liquids and gases:

 

FactorPipelinePipe ScoreTrainTrain Score
Above/Below GroundBurried1Above Ground8
VisibilityVery Low1Very High8
ConnectionsFew1Many8
Human Error LikelihoodNearly Zero1Constant6
Intentional Damage LikelihoodVery Low1Moderate5
Easy of Stopping LeakVery Easy1Very Difficult6
VolumeVery High9Low3
24 Hr MonitoringExcellent1Minimal8
16 52

(more…)

Trump Brings in 30% Tariff on Solar Panels, Temporarily Killing .25M US Jobs

On Monday January 22, 2018, the Trump administration brought in a 30% tax on imported solar panels.   This new solar tax will last four years and decrease over time to 15% in its last year.

“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight… This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America.”
pressreleasepoint.com/trump-imposes-tariffs-solar-panels 

PUNISH CHINA?

Of the few that have heard of this new tariff, the common misconception is that it is an attempt to punish China from dumping (selling below cost, to kill competitors) panels but the US only imports 10% of its solar panels from China (see the last 30 seconds of the video below).  As you can see in the video below, the US solar industry did not ask for and does not want this tariff.

(more…)

VIDEO: Highlights of the Canadian Federal Government Carbon Tax

On January 15 2018, the Canadian Federal Government laid out the details of it plan to implement a  $50/tonne carbon tax in proposed legislation named the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”.  The highlights are:

  • The Federal Tax will only apply in Provinces and Territories that do not have a comparable carbon tax already in place
    • That means, as of today, it will apply only to 20% of the Canadian population
    • Specifically those in Saskatchewan, most Atlantic provinces, NWT, Nunavut, Yukon will be subject to the Canadian Federal carbon levy
    • Newfoundland & Labrador and others are expected to announce their own carbon tax systems in the spring of 2018
  • The tax will start at $10/tonne in 2018 and will be at $50/tonne by the end of 2022
  • There are two parts to the system, a consumer gas tax and and industrial emissions tax

Consumer Gas Tax:

  • 2018 Gasoline = $0.023 / liter       2022 Gasoline = $0.115 / liter
  • 2018 Diesel = $0.027 / liter             2022 Diesel = $0.135 / liter
  • 2018 Propane = $0.015 / liter         2022 Diesel = $.075 / liter

Industrial Carbon Emissions Tax:

  • The tax is an “output based system” which means it will be charged where the carbon is released (think burning gasoline in your car vs producing gasoline)
  • Only those companies that produce more carbon than the average today will pay the carbon tax
    • Before the end of 2018 the Canadian Government will evaluate each industrial sector (think Oil & Gas, Mining, Transportation…) and determine the current average energy used per unit of output in each of those sectors
    • Companies that produce more carbon than industry average will have to buy carbon credits
    • Companies that produce less carbon than the industry average will be able to sell the difference in carbon credits

(more…)