Archive for the ‘Green Energy Projects’ Category

Wind farm chases couple from Wolfe Island – Ontario

November 12, 2008

Editor: Just wait until the wind farm is built. Then the real problems begin.

There is nothing green about the wind industry unless you count the cash. If anyone else tried to destroy the land and and flyways the greens would be having a fit.

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Wind farm chases couple from Wolfe Island

When Dawn and Dean Wallace moved to Wolfe Island 17 years ago, they fell in love with the peaceful, slow pace of life in the rural community.

It quickly became home and they planned to retire on the island.

That has all changed. The couple feels that construction of one of Canada’s largest wind-power projects has forced them out of the community and they’re in the process of moving off the island into a home they’ve bought northwest of Kingston in Camden East.

“It’s ironic that the very thing that’s supposed to be green has had such a negative impact on us,” said Dawn Wallace.

“It’s a green project without a green process.”

The couple lived at the corner of Baseline Road and 5th Line – at the heart of the construction zone – where dozens of trucks moved past their house daily on their way to and from a quarry that supplied stone to build the access roads and cement foundations for the wind turbines.

As a result, the Wallaces spent this past summer wearing earplugs and avoided spending time at home.

The noise and dust from dozens of trucks and heavy pieces of equipment moving past their property, at times starting as early as 4 a. m., made life almost unbearable.

They didn’t even cut their lawn until Thanksgiving weekend because of the dust.

“I have one word for it: hell,” said Wallace, a high school teacher.

The couple has documented the dust and noise by posting video footage on YouTube, which is available by searching the online site using the keywords Wolfe Island wind.

To get some relief from the noise and dust, they called the Township of Frontenac Islands, the Ministry of the Environment and the company building the wind plant, Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.

But the Wallaces say they got no relief. The trucks kept coming.

“It was very difficult to get help,” she said. “At the end of the day, it was unbearable and we got no support.”

That wasn’t completely a surprise for the Wallaces, who watched as tension grew in the community between those who supported the project and those who had concerns about the location of the wind turbines. Angry disagreements occurred at public meetings.

“[Opponents] had to endure such terrible, painful social pressures from certain members of the community for speaking out about certain aspects of the process,”Wallace said.

“What was once a community of solidarity that we contributed [to] and benefited from has become a community divided, which is very painful.”

It all became too much for the Wallaces, whose departure comes just as the project’s first turbines are being erected.

Mammoth and pre-eminent on the rural landscape, the 125-metre-high turbines are visible for miles along the western portion of the island. The giant machines tower high above what were once dormant farmers’ fields.

In the coming months, workers will be using giant cranes to erect a total of 86 turbines along the western side of the island. The project is anticipated to be up and running by April 1, 2009.

By Jennifer Pritchett
Whig-Standard Environmental Reporter

The Kingston Whig-Standard for full story

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Proposed Wolfe Island Cement Factory 20m from Lake Ontario

link to construction phase

Wolfe Island Wind Turbines: Life on the Front Lines

Wind turbine noise – Suncor wind farm Ripley



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Safe setbacks: How far should wind turbines be from homes?

August 23, 2008

Let’s start with what one manufacturer considers to be safe for its workers. The safety regulations for the Vestas V90, with a 300-ft rotor span and a total height of 410 feet, tell operators and technicians to stay 1,300 feet from an operating turbine — over 3 times its total height — unless absolutely necessary.

That already is a much greater distance than many regulations currently require as a minimum distance between wind turbines and homes, and it is concerned only with safety, not with noise or visual intrusion.

In February 2008, a 10-year-old Vestas turbine with a total height of less than 200 feet broke apart in a storm. Large pieces of the blades flew as far as 500 meters (1,640 feet).

The Fuhrländer turbine planned for Barrington, R.I., is 328 feet tall with a rotor diameter of 77 meters, or just over 250 feet (sweeping more than an acre of vertical air space). According to one news report, the manufacturer recommends a setback of 1,500 feet, over 4.5 times the total height. In Wisconsin, where towns can regulate utility zoning for health and safety concerns, ordinances generally specify a setback of one-half mile (2,640 ft) to residences and workplaces.

But that may just be enough to protect the turbines from each other, not to adequately protect the peace and health of neighbors.

When part of an array, turbines should be at least 10 rotor diameters apart to avoid turbulence from each other. In the case of the proposed 77-meter rotor span in Barrington, that would be 770 meters, or 2,525 feet. For the Gamesa G87, that’s 2,850 feet; for the Vestas V90, 2,950 feet — well over half a mile.

Jane and Julian Davis, whose home is 930 m (3,050 ft) from the Deeping St. Nicholas wind energy facility in England, have been forced by the noise to rent another place in which to sleep. In July 2008 they were granted a 14% council tax reduction in recognition of their loss. It appears in this case that the combination of several turbines creates a manifold greater disturbance.

Since the human ear (not to mention the sensory systems of other animals or the internal organs of bats, which, it is now emerging, are crushed by the air pressure) is more sensitive than a giant industrial machine, doubling that would be a reasonable precaution (at least for the human neighbors — it still doesn’t help wildlife).

Sound experts Rick James and George Kamperman recommend a 1 km (3,280 ft) distance in rural areas.

Both the French Academy of Medicine and the U.K. Noise Association recommend a minimum of one mile (or 1.5 km) between giant wind turbines and homes. Trempealeau County in Wisconsin implemented such a setback. National Wind Watch likewise advocates a minimum one-mile setback.

More at Kirby Mountain

Wind Farms – Lake Huron Ontario – Video

May 31, 2008

Editor:

Tried to post a comment on this video by the Windsor Star but it wouldn’t accept comments so I had to bring it here.

These comments will make sense, or not, after you view the video.

The reporter in the video says the wind will power 440,00 homes. According to the ISO – for planning purposes they are rated at 10% of capacity or 44,00 homes. Big difference.

Ernie Marshall, in the blue coveralls, and his wife have moved. Ernie was suffering from health problems he didn’t have before the arrival of the turbines. Ernie says his health is slowly returning and his doctor is happy with his progress since he moved. Both Ernie and his wife say that after two years of living near the turbines,they are finally enjoying uninterrupted sleep. The neighbors Ernie said goodbye to are still suffering from noise, stray voltage and flicker, not to mention the flashing lights on top of the turbines every night.

The gentleman in the brown coveralls has moved as well. After the problems at the Epcor site he didn’t want to be around when the Enbridge site was completed. He is well aware of the problems created by wind turbines and feared he might not find a buyer after the turbines arrived.

Neither of these people wanted to move, but felt they had no choice.

Every wind farm in southern Ont. has impacted families in a negative way.

Bob Simpson, the gentleman from Enbridge says they will respond quickly to solve any problems. Unless Mr. Simpson plans on moving the turbines farther away from peoples homes there is nothing he or his company can do. For the next twenty years people will suffer the consequences of bad planning and greed.

Mr. Simpson mentions reducing emissions. Nowhere on the planet can I find any evidence of emission reductions from the use of wind turbines.

Germany has more wind turbines than anywhere else. They are in the process of building 20 plus coal plants. I would say their emissions are about to take a big jump. Wind doesn’t seem to have done Germany much good.

The number of fossil fuel plants closed as a direct use of wind energy – o – Zero – none – zip

Wind energy has doubled in Ont. Does that mean we are twice as stupid as we should be.

When the govt. the industry and the media are all saying how great wind energy is,it’s hard to accept the reality that is the wind industry – and that’s exactly what they are counting on.

A quote from a person living at the Suncor wind farm Ripley. When asked how it was living near the turbines. “I’ll tell you how it is, our life is shit since the wind farm came.”

Ripley has a 700 meter setback, The Enbridge and Epcor wind farms have a 450 meter setback.

A video of the Ripley wind farm can be found under videos at top of page.

Do some research on your own. Theres nothing on TV anyway.

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Video by the Windsor Star

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Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes

February 1, 2008

 Watch the video

— Regulations being considered for wind turbines in Union Township would make a proposed wind energy project in the township impossible, the wind developer said this morning.

Wind turbines in Union Township would need to be at least one-half mile from homes and 1,000 feet from property lines, according to a proposed wind ordinance presented to the Town of Union Plan Commission on Thursday night.

The town’s Wind Turbine Study Committee was charged with investigating wind turbines and writing a proposed ordinance to regulate them.

Curt Bjurlin, Wisconsin project developer for EcoEnergy, said he is disappointed with the draft ordinance because he said it is “far more restrictive” than the state’s model draft ordinance.

“I think the town leadership realizes the people in the town and surrounding area greatly desire the need to have renewable energy,” he said.

The proposed setbacks leave “very, very little land” available, he said, “and certainly not enough for a renewable energy project.”

Bjurlin said EcoEnergy staff will work with town officials and residents to answer questions.

“We’re dedicated to building this project and moving forward,” he said.

The recommended setbacks are the absolute minimum, committee chairman Tom Alisankus stressed, because the committee’s research suggested distances of up to 12 miles.

The town board appointed the seven-member committee in September, and it has met nearly every Saturday since. The town board imposed a stay on construction of large wind energy systems until August.

EcoEnergy is proposing to put three 397-foot tall wind turbines in the township. Wisconsin Public Power would buy the energy to be used by Evansville Water and Light customers.

A town attorney will review the committee’s recommendations, and the plan commission will discuss the ordinance at its Thursday, Feb. 28, meeting and likely hold a public hearing at its March 27 meeting.

Committee members worked hundreds of hours, and committee member Jim Bembinster visited wind farms as far away as Wasco, Ore., Alisankus said. The committee’s results are summarized in a 318-page report, along with a 25-page draft ordinance.

Members looked through thousands of pages of documents and only considered information that was peer-reviewed or cited by reputable sources, Alisankus said. Doing so eliminated any influence from members’ personal feelings, he said.

Committee members started with the state’s model draft ordinance, which Alisankus said left a sour taste in their mouths. They sent an open records request seeking the scientific and medical documentation used to develop the state’s model ordinance, which has an “aura” of state approval, he said.

“The committee was shocked to receive a response to this open records request that in fact there was no scientific or medical documentation used to create the model draft ordinance,” he said.

Instead, the state sent them 11 pages, most of which were notes from meetings used to write the ordinance. It appeared the ordinance was written predominantly by a Florida power company, Alisankus said.

In Ontario it appears rules governing wind farms were written predominantly by CanWEA (added by blog editor)

The committee also invited stakeholders to participate and sent lists of questions to the companies involved.

“We were not particularly pleased with the responses we got,” Alisankus said. “In one case, even though there were scores of questions, we only received five answers back.”

Setbacks and sound were key to the committee’s work, he said.

“If you control … the setbacks and the sound levels appropriately, there should be no issue with ultimate construction of these turbines, at least with respect to the health and safety boundaries that we had to live by,” he said.

The state’s model ordinance makes the “assumption” that a 1,000-foot setback is OK, Alisankus said.

EcoEnergy plans its projects to have at least a 1,150-foot setback, Bjurlin said.

But the majority of the scientific and medical documentation the committee found recommended a minimum of one-half mile from homes, Alisankus said.

Their research came from the World Health Organization, audiologists, physicists, acoustical engineers, doctors and residents, he said.

“The whole problem area that a lot of people have been focusing a lot of time on can be solved by proper siting and proper testing ahead of time,” he said. “If the community does that and if the wind industry goes along with that, there shouldn’t be too many issues left over beyond that.”

WIND COMMITTEE

Members of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee are Tom Alisankus, chairman; Renee Exum, secretary; Scott McElroy, Jim and Cathy Bembinster, Mike Leeder and Sue Pestor.

ORDINANCE HIGHLIGHTS

Under the Town of Union Wind Study Committee’s recommended draft ordinance:

— Wind turbines must be sited at least one-half mile from the nearest home, business, school, daycare facility, church, hospital and other inhabited structures.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet from the nearest property line and at least five times the rotor diameter from the property lines of all adjoining property owners who have not granted an easement for a lesser setback.

— Turbines must be sited at least 1,000 feet or three times its total height from any road, railroad, power line right-of-way and above-ground public electric power line or telephone line.

— Applications for a wind energy system must include—in part—a pre-construction noise survey within a 1-mile radius of each proposed turbine location, a sound study, an environmental study, ice and blade throw calculations plans, a shadow flicker and blade glint map, a stray voltage and ambient voltage test/plan and a fire prevention, emergency response and rescue plan.

— Limits would be placed on the sound produced by turbines as measured from the outside of the nearest residence and other inhabited structures.

REGULATION LIMITS

Wind turbine ordinances can only regulate turbines in regard to public health and safety, said Tom Alisankus, chairman of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee.

Alisankus said the committee could not address:

— Necessity of a meteorological tower to gather data in a proposed site

— Impact on farmland

— Divisiveness in communities

— Impact on property values

— Decommissioning of turbines

— Other alternative energy sources

Watch the video

Gazette Xtra

Big Green Environmentalism

January 21, 2008

 Editor:
In order to understand wind farms and the renewable energy push, you must understand the environmental movement. You need to educate yourself in order to be in a better position to fight your govt. and the wind industry. 

“On a still day you can just hear the plutocracy laughing. Environmentalism is a dark green tarp they have thrown over North America”.

The money and guidance flowing from the foundations to Big Green is but a fraction of the support elite circles muster on behalf of environmentalism. In addition to the pro-green foundations there are currently over 1,000 commercial corporations affiliated with either the “World Business Council for Sustainable Development” or the “Business Environment Leadership Council”; including about 100 of the world’s largest multinationals. These corporations now give money to environmental activists, lobby governments for specific, self-serving environmental regulations, and incorporate “green” messaging into their advertising and memoranda. As well, governments throughout the English-speaking world and Western Europe, since 1970, have established a myriad of state Environmental Ministries which, via their stringent imposition of regulatory green tape onto industry, have engendered a caste of professional environmentalists. These Eco-Ministries also quietly lavish funds upon environmental activist groups in sums comparable to the collective contributions of the major Green foundations. Then there are the great immeasurables. Immeasurable contributions such as the incalculable amount of free and slanted publicity given to eco-issues by the mass media or the equally priceless support environmentalism has received by virtue of changes to public education curricula, over the last 4 decades, which converted “Ecologism” and “Malthusianism” from obscure 19th century reactionary ideologies into mainstream courses with their own faculties and textbooks. Hence the foundations are but one pillar of support for environmentalism along side high schools, universities, certain industrial corporations, and the mass media.

I view the population control movement and the environmental movement as one indistinguishable whole, founded and funded by the same people and possessing mutually reinforcing and overlapping rhetoric and goals.

Conclusion

On a still day you can just hear the plutocracy laughing. Environmentalism is a dark green tarp they have thrown over North America. They have decreed development be slowed to a crawl and enlisted a vast ‘army of the night’ to implement this command. Here in the trenches we never engage the Kennedys, the Trudeaus or the Windsors. No, down here we get to argue with kids with daisy-counting diplomas from community colleges in their hands and grant applications to the Ford Foundation in their hip pockets; and good luck trying to change the minds of people like this. If not for environmentalist suppression of economic activity North America would be experiencing a tremendous and sustained boom that would reduce unemployment to a smidgeon of its current rate. The responsibility for all of the under-employment, all of the want of opportunity, the lack of housing, the scarcity of public funds, the poverty, the hardship, hard times and heartache people are experiencing shall be layeth upon the well-guarded doorsteps of Big Green. We smolder, we seethe and we type on.

Read entire article –ecofascism.com

Green energy plan could wither in court: native bands

January 18, 2008

Two native bands are threatening to tie up the Ontario government’s long-range power plans using lengthy court delays.

In a submission to the Ontario Energy Board, people from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territories argued the province has not lived up to its legal requirement to consult with them on the plan’s impact.

The lawyer for the two communities, near Wiarton on the Bruce Peninsula, spoke earlier this week at board hearings into the Ontario Power Authority’s proposal for new energy sources.

Arthur Pape reminded board members of the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that Queen’s Park has a legal duty to consult with First Nations on the impact the power plan will have on their lives.

“There’s no way the Saugeen Ojibway could participate meaningfully with government to ensure that this part of the plan could be implemented in a way that protects their rights,” Pape told the board.

Pape says there’s still time to negotiate compensation that may be owed to First Nations for the impact of new wind farms, hydro dams and transmission lines on their hunting and fishing rights and way of life.

But he warned that if the government fails to negotiate, it could mean lengthy delays in getting the plan approved.

“If the government won’t work with them to find a way to accommodate those things, they may find themselves applying to the courts, and asking for the courts to not let this plan be implemented,” he told CBC News.

Neither the government, nor the Ontario Power Authority, which drew up the plan, would comment on Pape’s submissions.

The OPA’s new plan, which calls for the provincial government to spend $26.5 billion on nuclear power plants, still requires regulatory approval.

The plan also proposes doubling the amount of renewable energy on the grid by 2025 and phasing out coal-fired generation by the end of 2014.

Several energy providers are considering building more wind farms on the Bruce Peninsula to bring power to the south of the province.

Much of that energy will require new transmission lines to be built.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND WILDLIFE GROUPS CHARGE INDUSTRY BIAS

January 17, 2008

Editor:
The same thing is going on here in Ont. Both gov., and industry get away with too much.  Where is the media?  Before you buy your next newspaper, magazine or turn on the TV news, ask yourself a question, who is your media working for?
If you don’t think you are getting honest, even, two-sided information from your media, then stop supporting that media, both with your dollars and your eyes.

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.windaction.org/releases/13645

ENVIRONMENTAL AND WILDLIFE GROUPS CHARGE INDUSTRY BIAS IN KEMPTHORNE’S SELECTION OF MEMBERS FOR HIGH-LEVEL COMMITTEE ON WIND POWER AND WILDLIFE

Membership of Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee violates FACA

WASHINGTON D.C. (January 17, 2008) – In a letter submitted today (http://www.windaction.org/documents/13651), environmental and wildlife groups [1] called on Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to revamp the membership of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The current membership violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs the establishment of federal advisory committees.

“Secretary Kempthorne has clearly skewed the composition of the committee in favor of the industry representatives while ignoring leading experts on critical wildlife impacts,” said Eric R. Glitzenstein of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, the law firm representing the groups. “This is precisely the kind of committee composition that the Federal Advisory Committee Act was designed to prohibit,” he added.

he Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice and recommendations to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in developing effective measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities (see Fed. Reg. 72:11373 (March 13, 2007)). Secretary Kempthorne announced the appointment of 22 people to the committee on October 24, 2007.

Under FACA the committee must have balanced points of view represented and the functions to be performed, and will not be inappropriately influenced by any special interest. In their letter, the groups assert that the committee’s overall composition clearly violates FACA in several ways.

* No committee members possess research expertise or publication record regarding bats, nor direct knowledge or experience involving bat interactions with wind turbines.

This is a glaring omission in light of recent reports[2] and Congressional testimony [3] on the issue of massive bat mortality at wind energy facilities. For example, a recent study estimated that up to 111,000 bats may be killed [4] every year should only 3,868 MW of wind turbines be constructed within the Mid-Atlantic Highlands regions of VA, WV, MD, and PA. As of today, in those states, there are over 6,300 MW of wind turbines under study for interconnection to the regional electricity grid.

* The committee lacks the requisite expertise regarding bird impacts, especially with respect to effects on migratory birds using the Appalachian mountain ridges in the eastern U.S., despite the fact that dozens of planned wind projects are slated for this part of the country.

* No committee members have significant research, scientific, or regulatory experience with wind energy development and associated wildlife impacts resulting from onshore wind projects in the eastern U.S.

According to the letter, these scientific and technical omissions are especially troubling in light of the many individuals on the committee who either expressly represent or are clearly aligned with the interests of the wind industry.

The groups call on Secretary Kempthorne to appoint appropriate experts to the committee who are experienced in wind energy development in the eastern U.S., where thousands of industrial wind turbines are proposed, and many are already in operation. Several highly-qualified candidates who applied for committee membership but were not appointed are listed in the letter. Their expertise includes both bats and birds and extensive knowledge of nocturnal migration. In addition, the groups encourage the appointment of experts with research experience in forest fragmentation impacts, particularly in the eastern forest region.

CONTACT:

Kieran Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 275-5960

Eric Glitzenstein, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, (202) 588-5206

Lisa Linowes, Industrial Wind Action Group, (603) 838-6588 (llinowes@windaction.org)

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[1] Center for Biological Diversity; The Humane Society of the United States; Hawk Migration Association of North America; Industrial Wind Action Group; D. Daniel Boone; Maryland Conservation Council; Save Our Allegheny Ridges; Friends of Blackwater Canyon; Protect the Flint Hills; Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power; Green Berkshires, Inc.; Juniata Valley Audubon; Ripley Hawk Watch; Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; and Wildlife Advocacy Project.

[2] http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11935

[3] http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=32&extmode=view&extid=47

[4] http://www.windaction.org/documents/11179

Tories oppose carbon tax

January 7, 2008

Editor:
Why the big push from the advisory committee? The scam that is global warming is starting to fall apart. Talk of global cooling is starting to appear. Carbon tax has nothing to do with global warming. Never did. It’s about control and cash.
That’s what it should be called, “Control and Cash” not “Cap and Trade”.

I’m not a big fan of Stephen Harper or his govt, I am however, a big fan of Canada and it’s people. Carbon trading will have adverse affects on the economy and the jobs people depend on and therefore it should not be implemented. I am therefore asking that you encourage Mr. Harper to base his policy on up to date science.

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
Christine Stewart,
fmr Canadian Minister of the Environment

Tories oppose carbon tax

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has flatly opposed the idea of a carbon tax in the past, as has Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.

On Monday, the federal Liberals seemed to be more receptive to the idea.

At a press conference in Ottawa, long-time Liberal and environmental activist John Godfrey said his party currently favours a carbon trading system, but will keep an open mind about carbon taxes and is waiting to see what research emerges on the topic.

The Conservatives, however, stuck to their position.

Environment Minister John Baird said Monday that he welcomes the report’s call for fixing a price on carbon, but would not consider a carbon tax. He said his government is instead working to regulate industry emissions by pushing for major polluters to significantly reduce their emissions by 2010 and encouraging an eventual carbon trading system in North America.

“What we’re not going to do is be like Stéphane Dion and the Liberals who constantly change their position and their policy,” Baird told reporters outside the House of Commons, referring to the Liberal’s apparent softening stance on a carbon tax.

“I understand the Liberals are now entertaining dumping their current policy — policy No. 8 by my count — and adopting a completely new policy. Every time a report comes out, you can’t change your mind.”

Murray said he is optimistic that Parliament will support carbon prices and measures like carbon taxes and carbon trading.

“It’s time to move the discussion forward because there isn’t a realistic case that we have seen yet where we can achieve reductions without a price [on carbon],” Murray said.

“You’ll now quietly hear people talking very seriously about cap and trade systems,” he added. “Our job [as an advisory panel] is to push government, not just the governing party, but Parliament and Canadians.”

‘Significant’ impact on Ontario, Alberta

Murray noted that the costs of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system could particularly be “significant” on Alberta’s oil producers and Ontario’s manufacturing sector.

But he stressed that in the development of any new policy, there would be investments in green technologies that would ultimately benefit both provinces significantly.

He said any policy would have to be created to ensure all regions are treated fairly, and that Canada’s industry as a whole doesn’t suddenly find itself on an “unlevel playing field” with the rest of the world.

Murray said the development of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system must include industry officials, environmentalists and representatives from all regions of the country.

Representatives from all sectors were already involved in the creation of the panel’s report, he said, noting that 65 groups were consulted and extensive economic modelling was done.

GDP wouldn’t be seriously affected

David McLaughlin, CEO of the advisory panel, said the report has concluded that Canada can feasibly reach its 2050 target of a 65 per cent emissions reduction, and that reaching this target will not be detrimental to the Canadian economy as a whole.

Canada has enough green technology in place to meet the goals, although the development of more technology would be encouraged, according to the panel’s findings.

“Our findings suggest in the long run the overall effect on Canada’s gross domestic product will not be significant, amounting to the equivalent of approximately one to two years of lost growth of GDP between now and 2050,” McLaughlin said at the press conference with Murray.

While the Liberals applauded parts of the report, they accused the Conservatives of putting constraints on the advisory panel, giving it a mandate to work with the Conservative government’s environmental targets, instead of the targets proposed under the international Kyoto Protocol.

“The report reminded us once again that this Conservative government has unilaterally abandoned Canada’s international legal obligations,” Godfrey said.

The Kyoto Protocol, which Canada signed under a Liberal government in 1998, requires that the country reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent from 1990 levels by 2012.

The Conservative government created new environmental goals in April 2007 that see Canada meeting its Kyoto commitments years behind schedule. Under the new plan, Canada’s overall emissions will be cut by up to 65 per cent by 2050 and 20 per cent cut by 2020, all based on 2006 levels.

McLaughlin said the panel used the new targets because they are feasible and focused on the long-term, giving Canada enough time to make necessary changes.

Kyoto’s targets are too focused on the short-term, McLaughlin said.

CBC

Senators cut renewable electricity rule from energy bill

December 11, 2007

From the Editor
This looks like what might turn out to be good news. Now the wind industry won’t be able to claim the 15% renewable requirement. I sure hope this passes.

Update: it Passed

Wind Companies tax credits dropped by H. JOSEF HEBERT AP

Tax breaks for a wide range of clean energy industries, including wind, solar, biomass and carbon capture from coal plants, were part of the tax package that was dropped. Senate Democrats earlier also abandoned a House-passed provision that would have required investor-owned utilities nationwide to generate 15 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

(Click to read entire article)Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to bring an energy bill back to the floor on Thursday, after dropping a provision that would have required utilities to generate a portion of their electricity using renewable energy sources.

“We’re not going to be able to keep in the bill the renewable electricity standard,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today. “That’s too bad.”

Senate leaders were still working on the tax provisions for the bill this afternoon, but Reid said the bill would cost about $21 billion, about the same as the House version.

Last week, the House passed an energy bill that included the renewable electricity language as well as a tax package that would hit the oil and gas companies up for more than $13 billion in higher taxes.

The renewable electricity provision would have required utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, although 4 percentage points could be made up through greater energy efficiency.

However, utilities in the South had warned they would not be able to meet that standard and would be forced to pass along higher costs to their consumers. And the White House had threatened to veto the bill over that issue.

The bill’s crown jewel — a requirement the nation’s fleet of cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans achieve an average 35 miles per gallon by 2020 — has broad, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and particular enthusiasm in the Senate.

Proponents argue that requirement would save the nation 1.1 million barrels of oil a day in 2020, comparable to about half the oil the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf.

The bill would propel development of technologies to tap sources of “cellulosic” ethanol made from switchgrass, cornstalks and other non-food crops by requiring the nation use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.

The legislation would set new energy efficiency standards for appliances such as dish washers and washing machines and phase out the current generation of energy-inefficient, incandescent light bulb.

By David Ivanovich

Houston Chronicle

'The biggest environmental crime in history'

December 10, 2007

 From the Editor
As one who has always had the greatest respect for the environment, I would like to see all the energy needed to extract the oil from the Alberta oil sands be supplied exclusively by wind and solar power. In fact it should be law. The reason it won’t happen is neither are reliable sources of energy. The wind farms and solar parks that are being erected in your backyard are for carbon credits, not energy, to offset the emissions from projects like the oils sands. Kyoto, Al Gore and David Suzuki are complete frauds that all lead back to Maurice Strong.

This Canadian wilderness is set to be invaded by BP in an oil exploration project dubbed …

By Cahal Milmo

Published: 10 December 2007

 

BP, the British oil giant that pledged to move “Beyond Petroleum” by finding cleaner ways to produce fossil fuels, is being accused of abandoning its “green sheen” by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are part of the “biggest global warming crime” in history.

The multinational oil and gas producer, which last year made a profit of £11bn, is facing a head-on confrontation with the green lobby in the pristine forests of North America after Greenpeace pledged a direct action campaign against BP following its decision to reverse a long-standing policy and invest heavily in extracting so-called “oil sands” that lie beneath the Canadian province of Alberta and form the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

Producing crude oil from the tar sands – a heavy mixture of bitumen, water, sand and clay – found beneath more than 54,000 square miles of prime forest in northern Alberta – an area the size of England and Wales combined – generates up to four times more carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas, than conventional drilling. The booming oil sands industry will produce 100 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to a fifth of the UK’s entire annual emissions) a year by 2012, ensuring that Canada will miss its emission targets under the Kyoto treaty, according to environmentalist activists.

The oil rush is also scarring a wilderness landscape: millions of tonnes of plant life and top soil is scooped away in vast open-pit mines and millions of litres of water are diverted from rivers – up to five barrels of water are needed to produce a single barrel of crude and the process requires huge amounts of natural gas. The industry, which now includes all the major oil multinationals, including the Anglo-Dutch Shell and American combine Exxon-Mobil, boasts that it takes two tonnes of the raw sands to produce a single barrel of oil. BP insists it will use a less damaging extraction method, but it accepts that its investment will increase its carbon footprint.

Mike Hudema, the climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace in Canada, told The Independent: “BP has done a very good job in recent years of promoting its green objectives. By jumping into tar sands extraction it is taking part in the biggest global warming crime ever seen and BP’s green sheen is gone.

“It takes about 29kg of CO2 to produce a barrel of oil conventionally. That figure can be as much 125kg for tar sands oil. It also has the potential to kill off or damage the vast forest wilderness, greater than the size of England and Wales, which forms part of the world’s biggest carbon sinks. For BP to be involved in this trade not only flies in the face of their rhetoric but in the era of climate change it should not be being developed at all. You cannot call yourself ‘Beyond Petroleum’ and involve yourself in tar sands extraction.” Mr Hudema said Greenpeace was planning a direct action campaign against BP, which could disrupt its activities as its starts construction work in Alberta next year.

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