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The Common Sense Canadian: BC govt bowed to oil lobby on deregulation of gas plants: documents

Premier Christy Clark tours BC’s natural gas industry (photo: Justin Tang/CP)

Read this Sept. 14 Canadian Press story by Dene Moore, revealing that the BC government’s controversial, failed elimination of environmental reviews for gas plants came under pressure from the oil and gas lobby.

VANCOUVER – In January of this year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers made a presentation to high-ranking officials in British Columbia’s Environment Ministry, outlining changes they wanted to environmental review rules for natural gas projects.

Those changes became law on April 14, but they didn’t stay that way for long.

An outcry from First Nations (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Behn, Gillis to talk fracking in Yukon as govt reviews moratorium

Caleb Behn, subject of the forthcoming film Fractured Land, will talk fracking in the Yukon (Zack Embree)

The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis and First Nations resource management expert and recent law graduate Caleb Behn will be in the Yukon from September 15 to 18, discussing the pros and cons of shale gas development.

Behn is the subject of the forthcoming feature documentary, Fractured Land, which Gillis is co-directing and co-producing. The presentations – in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake (more info below) – will feature some highlights of the film and observations from Behn and Gillis (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Fracking-related earthquakes prompt halt to Ohio wastewater injections

Read this Sept. 6 Associated Press story by Julie Carr Smith on regulators’ concerns over earthquakes in Ohio connected to post-fracking wastewater injection.

State regulators suspended operations at two deep-injection wells for fracking wastewater in northeastern Ohio yesterday after discovering possible evidence that the operation caused a 2.1-magnitude earthquake last weekend. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued a chief’s order to American Water Management Services for its Weathersfield site near Warren, an agency spokeswoman said. Messages seeking comment were left for the company after regular business hours.

Agency spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle called Sunday’s quake “relatively minor.” She said the suspension is effective (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Gas industry contributes just 0.01% of BC’s revenues, few jobs

Two of the province’s surprisingly few gas workers – in BC’s Horn River Basin (Photo: Damien Gillis)

By Norman Farrell

Regular readers are aware that British Columbia’s natural gas industry provides surprisingly little return to the province by way of royalties for depleting non-renewable public assets. In the last two fiscal years, after accounting for drilling and road subsidies taken by or owed to producers, the province’s net gas royalty receipts averaged $2.5 million a month. That is less than 1/10 of 1% of BC government revenues.

Defenders of government policy suggest the industry is contributing much economic value to BC (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking

An independent panel commissioned by the government of Nova Scotia to examine the impact of hydraulic fracturing has concluded that Nova Scotia is not read for fracking.

The post Nova Scotia is not ready for fracking appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Amanda Connelly reports on the Alberta Federation of Labour’s latest revelations as to how the temporary foreign worker program has been used to suppress wages. And Jim Stanford reminds us that the employment picture for Canadians remains bleak even after Statistics Canada’s job numbers were revised: (F)ull-time employment is now estimated to have declined by about 20,000, instead of the original 60,000.  Not exactly something to boast about.  60,000 part-time jobs were created (same as the original report).  The unemployment rate is the same as the original report — and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development – especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.

For further reading…- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town’s water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey’s report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Duke Point Cited As LNG Shipping Point For Island Fracked Gas

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Several months back Cowichan Conversations contributor Don Maroc posted this story about potential LNG fracking on the island.

Stories in Nanaimo media point to an ambitious future for Duke Point expansion including facilitating the shipment of LNG to Asia.

CC readers please continue forwarding any information that you have on this issue. We must be vigilant.

Thank you


The Common Sense Canadian: Toxic fracking waste illegally dumped in BC water treatment system

A storage pond in northeast BC containing fracking fluids (Image: Two Island Films)

Republished with permission from

Although city officials from Dawson’s Creek won’t disclose the names of the companies involved, they are confirming that fracking waste has been illegally dumped into the city’s water treatment system on at least two occasions.

Jim Chute, administrative officer for the city, told DeSmog Canada, that illegal dumping has occurred at least three times, but twice the waste was “clearly” related to fracking.

“It has actually been on three occasions in the last 18 months where we’ve caught inappropriate materials being dumped,” (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Study links extractive industries to rise in domestic abuse

A fracking drill near Dawson Creek in northeast BC (courtesy of Two Island Films)

Read this July 24 Globe and Mail story by Andrea Woo on a new study which exposes one of the trade-offs associated with expanded resource development, namely an increase in violence against women.

An increase in domestic and sexual violence against women is among the troubling social impacts of resource extraction industries, according to a B.C. victims’ services association behind a new $40,000 initiative aimed at drawing awareness to the issue.

Tracy Porteous, executive director of the Ending Violence Association of B.C. (EVA BC), (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Pierre Beaulne discusses the inequality-related problems and solutions brought into the spotlight by Thomas Piketty, and notes that they can’t simply be swept under the rug: When all is said and done, the capitalist globalization has boosted economic growth for a certain time, but has by the same token greatly increased income inequalities and exacerbated wealth concentration. Tax breaks for the highest incomes and social spending cuts have intensified the trend. In Canada, for instance, the top marginal income tax rate at the federal level has gone down from 43% in 1981 to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Paul Krugman calls out the U.S.’ deficit scolds for continuing to invent a crisis to distract from the real problems with middling growth and high unemployment. And Bruce Johnstone singles out a few of the Cons’ talking points which have somehow become conventional wisdom without having an iota of truth to them. But in case there was any doubt why the Cons aren’t being exposed to their own patent wrongness, William Watson’s (hardly people-friendly) column explains why – as Jack Mintz manages to qualify as the least corporate-biased member of a (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: With fracking, tankers “world-class safety” is a weasel word

BC Premier Christy Clark touts “world-class” safety for fossil fuel projects (Canadian Press)

Many times I have referred to Premier Clark’s demand that Enbridge and others have “world-class” cleanup processes in place. To repeat myself, these are “weasel words” and mean absolutely nothing. “World-class” firefighting procedures doesn’t mean the building didn’t burn down.

I was delighted to read Stephen Hume’s column in the Vancouver Sun of July 17, where he talks about “weasel words”, especially the term “world-class”, and other matters. This particular article is about fracking and in his surgical way, Hume carves up the government for it’s utter (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Fracked wells emit 6 times more methane leaks: New Cornell study

By Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – In Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, newer and unconventional wells leak far more often than older and traditional ones, according to a study of state inspection reports for 41,000 wells.

The results suggest that leaks of methane could be a problem for drilling across the nation, said study lead author Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea, who heads an environmental activist group that helped pay for the study.

Drilling on a fracking well pad in Pennsylvania

The research was criticized by the energy industry. Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman Travis Windle said it reflects (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Court Upholds Small Towns’ Right to Ban Fracking

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that local communities have the right to ban the environmentally-harmful practice of fracking by oil and gas companies.

The post Court Upholds Small Towns’ Right to Ban Fracking appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

The Common Sense Canadian: “BC LNG: Cold Gas, Hot Air” – video of Squamish presentation

Watch this video from last week’s “BC LNG: Cold Gas, Hot Air” presentation and discussion in Squamish – where the proposed Woodfibre project is currently in a public comment period.

Featuring The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis on the 3 top myths surrounding BC LNG – that it’s a “clean” fossil fuel, that the financial fundamentals are strong, and that First Nations largely embrace it.

The June 27 event was hosted by local citizen group My Sea to Sky at the Squamish First Nation’s Totem Hall. The videos were produced by Tracker Productions.

Also watch introduction from local Squamish First Nation (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Shale oil highly volatile, experts confirm

The catastrophic explosion in Lac-Mégantic of a shale oil train brought the product’s volatility to the fore

Read this June 24 story from the Wall Street Journal on the volatility of shale oil around the United States – making it challenging and dangerous to process and transport.

Millions of barrels of crude oil flowing from shale formations around the country—not just North Dakota—are full of volatile gases that make it tricky to transport and to process into fuel.

Oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale field has already been identified as combustibleby investigators looking into explosions that followed train (Read more…)

LeDaro: Fracking for natural gas/oil causes earthquakes

I believe it does. Are Oklahoma Earthquakes Tied to Fracking? Answer is yes. But gas/oil companies won’t admit it.

Please watch the video here.

The Common Sense Canadian: Fracking and earthquakes: US states mull new regulations

3.0-plus magnitude earthquakes in the midcontinental US. USGS

By Emily Schmall And Kristi Eaton, The Associated Press

AZLE, Texas – Earthquakes used to be almost unheard of on the vast stretches of prairie that unfold across the U.S. Midwestern states of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

But in recent years, they have become commonplace. Oklahoma recorded nearly 150 between January and the start of May. Most were too weak to cause serious damage or endanger lives. Yet they’ve rattled nerves and raised suspicions that the shaking might be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: LNG bad for climate: US Dept of Energy report

Despite all the assurances by BC Premier Christy Clark that LNG is “the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet”, the evidence paints a very different picture. Check out this June 4 Climate Progress story by Joe Romm on a new report from the US Department of Energy confirming that emissions from shale gas and LNG are higher than those from coal-fired power.

An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.

That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: New Quebec government choosing fossil fuels over green jobs

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is putting green jobs on the back burner (Photo: facebook)

One thing Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, BC Premier Christy Clark and new Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard all share in common is the dated notion that economic and sustainable development are competing concepts that need to be reconciled, with great difficulty. And in hard times, the economy must take precedence.

The term reconciliation seems totally out of place when one considers that the green sectors are among the fastest growing and highest job creation sectors of our time and that this growth can only get better as nations adopt more aggressive (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Haida stand with Fort Nelson First Nation on LNG, fracking concerns

The Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) is vowing to support The Fort Nelson First Nation’s tough stand on proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development and the 600% increase in controversial shale gas fracking it would represent for their northeast BC territory.

According to The Northern View, a recent visit to Haida Gwaii by FNFN Chief Sharleen Gale was met with sympathy from the Haida audience. Gale was there to bring to light the upstream implications if CHN were to support the province’s vision for LNG development, which would also mean significant tanker traffic through Haida waters.

The chief shook (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Canada’s 500,000 leaky gas wells threaten groundwater, health, climate

Abandoned gas wells like this one can continue leaking methane for years (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Read this June 5 story by Andrew Nikiforuk in The Tyee on a new report raising concerns about leakage from Canada’s 500,000 gas wells. The Common Sense Canadian reported recently on funding cutbacks by BC’s Oil and Gas Commission for dealing with abandoned gas wells, as well as the climate implications of leaking methane.

. . . → Read More: The Common Sense Canadian: Canada’s 500,000 leaky gas wells threaten groundwater, health, climate

Cowichan Conversations: Control Freak PM Steve Harper Is Monitoring Anti Fracking Protesters

Richard Hughes


With our paranoid PM Steve Harper it is all about control and with this reality in mind we head into what promises to be a hot summer of discontent.

He has empowered his ‘Government Operations Centre’ to monitor all anti fracking protests.

Monitoring is really just a polite term for spying. Canadians have come to expect this from a desperate PM Harper who is under ever-increasing pressure to deliver on his promises to Chinese government investors as well as major oil and gas corporations who have invested heavily in what can properly be described as the worlds (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Good news: China’s Fracking to reduce its use of Coal

Early China coal mine

When it comes to global warming, coal is the biggest culprit in the warming of the earth.

China is taking giant strides to reduce its need for coal to generate energy by exploiting its vast shale gas reserves: Although serious obstacles remain, China is finally making progress on tapping its vast shale gas reserves, which hold the promise of a new source of clean energy for the coal smoke-choked country.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China holds the world’s largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas in the world, 1,115 trillion cubic feet. (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Good news: China’s Fracking to reduce its use of Coal