LNG Canada’s final investment decision to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat is a triumph of short-term politics over long-term responsibility to act on climate change. Exaggerated numbers have been used to sell the project to the public, while risks have been downplayed. The politics of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have a certain logic …
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, an economics professor of mine used to say back in the late 1980s. Concerned about the federal government’s inability to reign in fiscal deficits, hell back then was hitting a “financial wall” where the markets would no longer lend or would only do so at catastrophically …
 Leia a versão em português  This paper explores the many parallels between the tailings dam spills at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia (BC), Canada, and the Samarco mine in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Mount Polley disaster took place in August 2014, when the dam holding toxic waste from the copper and gold …
In the past year, an energy dispute for the ages has played out in Canada, culminating in the federal government announcing that it will buy an aging oil pipeline for $4.5 billion and then twin it with a new high-capacity pipeline that would move massive amounts of diluted bitumen from Alberta to tidewater in British …
At the height of LNG-mania in 2013/14, high prices in Asia fueled a gold rush mentality in BC—based on shipping cheap BC gas to Asia for mega-profits. But those high prices proved only temporary, and by 2015 the economic case for LNG (liquified natural gas) turned on its head. The subsequent Asian price for gas …
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is the steward of BC’s public pensions, but bankrolls companies whose current business models exceed the climate change targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement to which Canada is a signatory. This report shows that the Corporation’s claims of responsible investment are more talk than walk, as its actions are not …
Everyone is talking about the high price of gas in Metro Vancouver, which hit a new record in May, topping $1.60 per litre. The story making the rounds is that taxes are to blame—in particular the April 1 increase in BC’s carbon tax. Some have seized on this moment to call for tax cuts to …
On an April morning in 2014, members of the Fort Nelson First Nation tucked into a helicopter to begin a day of flying to fossil fuel company operations in their territory. The Nation’s lands are part of the expansive Treaty 8 territory that includes northeast British Columbia. A professional biologist from Fort St. John was …
When we think of a “boom town,” we often imagine a formerly sleepy rural town suddenly awash in wealth and economic expansion. It might surprise some to learn that for many municipalities in oil-producing regions in Saskatchewan, the costs of servicing the oil boom can outweigh the benefits. Instead, as Simon Enoch and Emily Eaton …
Current realities and implications for a carbon-constrained future Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets. This study analyses Canada’s energy system, and provides an objective assessment of future options to maintain energy security and meet climate commitments. Canadians need a viable and sustainable long-term energy strategy, based …
The Alberta and federal governments claim that Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) is in the national interest due to its economic benefits. But a closer look at TMX’s full range of benefits and costs shows the project to be extremely lopsided in its distribution. First, the economic gains accrue almost entirely to Alberta …
Here’s a different take on Kinder Morgan’s ultimatum and the so-called “constitutional crisis” it has sparked. I’m speculating, of course, as we all seek to understand what Kinder Morgan is really up to. But allow me to posit a minority theory: We’re getting played! It is entirely possible that Kinder Morgan has already decided to …