SASKATOON - Coal-fired power plants got more regulatory breathing room than expected to release greenhouse gases Wednesday, something federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says is necessary to protect Canada's power supply.
The final regulations for coal-powered plants, released Wednesday, stipulate they can emit no more than 420 tonnes of greenhouse gases per gigawatt hour of electricity generated.
This number is significantly higher than the 375 tonnes per gigawatt hour Kent proposed in earlier draft regulations released in August.
While admitting the new rules are "at the high end" of the 360 to 425 tonne per gigawatt hour range he considered, Kent said the decision was made to avoid putting the "consuming public at risk of inadequate power supply."
Unfortunately, the provincial government, in its energy policy document, exhibited its shortsightedness when it dismissed regional public transit as a viable option in its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To date they have tended to view it as a transportation option meriting little importance on their agenda.
The Executive Committee of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Sierra Club is gearing up for a strategic planning session on Sept 7-8th !
We want to make sure we are going into the session with as much information as possible - so as part of our preparations, we want to hear from you about our strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities.
Please click here to let us know what you think - it will only take a few minutes, and it will help a lot!
“We know that the government isn’t looking out for our safety so we are turning to people throughout the province to let the public know what’s really going on,” said Don Bester with the Alberta Surface Rights Group. “Hundreds of spills happen every year and still this government does nothing. We had three major spills last month alone. How many more have to happen before the government finally acts?”
According to the Energy Resources Conservation Board in 2010 there were over 600 spills and leaks from energy related pipelines in Alberta. Two of the last three major spills were undetected by the company but instead, were reported by third parties.
The IJC meetings on the Great Lakes water levels finished off mid-July with some of its most successful turnouts (read about the Midland meeting, where 600+ people attended). The struggle is not over yet. Please remember that the IJC is accepting public comments via mail by September 30, 2012. It is also important to write your MP with the same message: Restore our water levels!
Before writing your letter(s) please ask yourself these questions:
1. What do 13 unprecedented years of low water levels mean to you economically and environmentally ( eg loss of wetlands and fish habitat, water quality concerns, invasion of Phragmites australis on exposed shorelines)?
Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and Canadian governments to explore ways to restore water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron that have been lowered nearly two feet due to historic dredging on the St. Clair River. The two lakes, which are actually one body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac, have been below their long-term average for more than a decade, and forecasters say in the coming months they could plunge below their record low.
Now an organization of 90 mayors representing more than 15 million residents in cities across the Great Lakes region is telling the International Joint Commission that it is "dissatisfied" with a recent study that determined restoring lake levels by installing some type of structure to repair damage done to the St. Clair River would be a costly project that could take decades and ultimately do more harm than good.