Mitigating climate change is what matters most in this election ~ Hugh Holland

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After 30 years of skepticism and denial, it is becoming increasing clear to more and more people that the key issue for both the 2019 election in Canada and the 2020 election in the USA is mitigating climate change. That depends on nothing less than shifting the global energy supply from the current mix of 80 per cent fossil fuels to 80 per cent clean energy; i.e. electrification of everything possible.

If people here and around the world can’t get insurance on the homes and jobs they lose to violent weather and perennial flooding, and can’t find a safe place for their families to live, it won’t matter how much debt they have, or how they pay for healthcare in the US, or how big the military is, or what kind of legal resolution we apply to SNC-Lavalin.

We must not let ourselves be distracted by the many important but lesser issues. If we care about our grandchildren, this election must be about how best to meet Canada’s emission reduction targets while best utilizing our favorable position in many types of energy to benefit the world.

Electrification

Since 1900, oil became the source of energy for 95 per cent of all types of transportation and heavy equipment for farming to forestry to construction. But now every company around the world is racing to electrify those products as fast as possible.  Electric vehicles and equipment will add to the electricity generation load, but not proportionately because most will make better use of the base-load electricity already available at night when electricity demand and rates are lower.

BC, Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland are blessed with geography that allowed them to get 95 per cent of their electricity from hydro (waterpower).  Ontario is 57 per cent nuclear and closed our last coal plant in 2014. Nova Scotia is about to replace their coal power with power from a new hydro plant at Muskrat Falls Labrador. But hydro, wind and solar simply can’t replace the coal plants in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Advanced nuclear is #2 on Bill Gates list of the top ten breakthrough technologies. Co-generation uses 1/3rd less energy than making electricity and heat separately.  Co-generation using Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) has enormous potential to eliminate up to 60 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions through:

  • District heating of residential and commercial buildings (done extensively in Europe)
  • Light manufacturing districts
  • Heavy Industry (Cement, fertilizers, chemicals)
  • Replace 8,000 MW of coal power in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Ontario has 9,300 MW of nuclear)
  • SMRs could replace natural gas heat for oil sands extraction, upgrading and refining, and thereby eliminate the emissions stigma that has been hanging over Canada’s abundant proven oil reserves.

The concept of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) using molten salt as a moderator was proven in 1964 but set aside “because we had lots of coal, oil and gas”. It is now under aggressive development by Terrestrial Energy of Oakville Ontario and several other companies.  Terrestrial Energy has approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and financial support from the US Department of Energy to build a prototype reactor at the former Atomic Energy Canada site at Chalk River, Ontario. SMRs are expected to be commercially available by the mid to late 2020s. Google Terrestrial Energy to learn more.

SMRs will be fail-safe. They will shut down without human intervention if they lose control power, or if temperature or pressure becomes too high.  Because they can extract 85 per cent of the energy from the uranium fuel vs five per cent in earlier reactors, they will produce 80 per cent less nuclear waste, use up existing stockpiles of nuclear waste as fuel and thereby extend the life of uranium reserves. Their small size enables faster and cheaper mass production. SMRs can be widely deployed to reduce transmission cost.

Getting off oil will take time

Transportation creates 24 per cent of Canada’s emissions. Every transportation and heavy equipment company around the world is racing to electrify their products as fast as possible. The massive change to the limited manufacturing capacity and material supply dictates it will take from 2020 to 2050 or 2060 to complete. But we should be able to meet emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.

Short-term Inventories and prices will go up and down as always, but global reserves of oil will be depleted in 50 to 60 years and reserves owned by the biggest users (USA, EU, China) will be depleted in less than 20 years. Canada will soon be one of only six countries and the only stable democracy capable of producing the oil the world will need in diminishing quantities for the rest of this century.

Canada, with 0.5 per cent of the world’s population is blessed with ten per cent of the world’s proven reserves of oil and one per cent of the proven reserves of natural gas. That means Canada should be exporting more oil, but we would be wise to conserve our natural gas for future use in this big cold country. Export demand for oil will increase as our (one million barrels per day) domestic demand decreases.  With a modest increase in production from 4.6 to 6 million barrels per day, Canada could supply some of the oil the world will need for at least 75 years to 2095. That will require one more pipeline.

Building pipelines is a complex and frustrating job. But Canada has had more success than the USA. The Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion was proposed in 2013 and construction started six years later in August 2019. That is five years less than the Keystone XL pipeline that was proposed in 2008 and approved 11 years later by the Nevada State Supreme Court. Both Conservatives and Liberals contributed to that success. The US will need our oil but, depending on US politics, KXL could be cancelled again.

The Eagle Spirit Energy corridor from Alberta to Prince Rupert BC is the shortest route and provides the least problematic access to open ocean. The First Nations lawyer heading the Eagle Spirit proposal claims to have approval of 95 per cent of First Nations on the route. If KXL eventually gets built, Eagle Spirit would just eliminate the need to ship up to a million barrels per day by rail. That is 1,400 outbound tank-cars per day and another 1,400 tank-cars returning. Pipelines mean less accident risk, less spill risk, less disruption to humans and wildlife, less energy and less emissions compared to shipping by rail.

Political Considerations

  • Mitigating climate change is priority #1A. Just three things could reduce Canada’s emissions by 84 per cent: electric transportation, and advanced nuclear power coupled with co-generation of heat.
  • The Greens and the NDP mislead voters with their irrational faith in wind and solar power, irrational fear or silence on nuclear power, and their failure to support oil pipelines that remain critical for Canada and the world. They have not acknowledged or learned from Germany’s failed attempt to use wind and solar power to replace nuclear. The Green Party of Finland endorses nuclear power.
  • The Conservatives support both nuclear energy and development of our oil and gas resources but are weak on electric vehicles and initiatives to reduce energy demand and emissions. And they misrepresent the facts about the carbon tax.  If we don’t mitigate consumer demand for oil and gas, it will be much more difficult and costly for our energy producers to reduce emissions from production.  Quite simply, we can’t dump all responsibility for emissions on our energy suppliers.
  • The Liberals are already supporting development of advanced nuclear, wind, and solar energy in the right places, and responsible development of our oil and gas resources and pipelines. The Liberals already have the carbon tax to provide the broadest possible incentive to reduce emissions. By making their rebate bigger than their tax, consumers and industry reduce demand for fossil fuels.
  • At election time all parties try to seduce voters with minor tax cuts or benefit gains. But we voters must decide if we want a bit more money in our pocket to buy more stuff we can live without, or do we want to invest in livable communities with good roads, public safety, modern hospitals, flood protection, affordable housing, and good public transit, all powered by clean energy?

Conclusion

Conservatives governed for ten years.  They made progress on many files, but they didn’t solve all the problems.  Like every Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was liked by many and loathed by others.

However today, our government faces even bigger headwinds with the most disruptive world leader since WW2 and a barrage of hostile foreign and domestic operators using the explosion of new digital and social media tools to disrupt public opinion, planning and elections.

In the face of all that, over the last four years, the Trudeau government advanced the EU trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement, and by all expert accounts did the best job possible on NAFTA.  On pipeline construction, they completed the reversal of Enbridge Line 9 to bring Alberta oil to Montreal refineries, completed the Enbridge Line 3 expansion to Wisconsin and Sarnia, and started the Trans-Mountain expansion in half the time taken to start Keystone XL in the USA. And while our biggest trading partner was going in the opposite direction, our government was supporting the shift to electrified transportation and to clean wind, solar and nuclear energy to reduce our GHG emissions. And Canada continues to do well on every international ranking including economic growth and the ratio of debt to GDP; except for per capita energy use and emissions where we rank among the world’s highest.

As outlined earlier in this article, and as Dave Wilkin and Tim Lutton explain well in their excellent series of articles, there is much more to do. Justin Trudeau (age 48) and Andrew Scheer (age 40) are both credible and likable leaders with similar educations and strong family values. But as the incumbent, Trudeau and company have valuable experience in both international and domestic affairs, as well as world-wide recognition.

Changing not only the captain but all the officers on a small ship in the face of a perfect storm is a very bad idea.  After four more years, Andrew Scheer will have more experience and Trump will be gone – – – or almost gone.

Hugh Holland is a retired engineering and manufacturing executive now living in Huntsville, Ontario.

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19 Comments

  1. All this crap about electrifying everything is just that . I can just see the size ot electric engine it will take to get a 747 off the ground and the battery pack will outweigh the passengers and about the same thing with all the transport trucks . And I wonder just where all the lithium for the batteries is going to come from from what i’m hearing the lithium mines do more damage to the environment than the oil sands do. The best thing we can do is try to reduce the pollution and let global warming take care of itself.

  2. Where did you get the idea that construction on trans Mountain started in August 2019? Come out west have a look. Not a damn thing has gone ahead.

  3. I just did a bit of research on electric vehicles There are about 34 million registered vehicles in Canada so I wonder how long it will take to make enough batteries to run that many and if you count the U.S. there is around 200 million down there. anyone that thinks we can go all electric in the foreseeable future is just kidding themselves to start with the average electric car only goes about 100 KL on a charge then it can take up to 12 hours to recharge it. Will be a long trip across Canada at that rate. There are a lot of people drive over 100 kl just to get to work in this country so it’s going to be a long time before electric cars or of a lot of use to most people and i can see no way for industry to make enough batteries to supply all electric vehicles .

    • Agreed, Ray. There is also the problem of how on earth does our aging power grid supply the power to charge all of those vehicles. Right now, most electric cars with any kind of range, are for rich people–a toy to make them believe they are doing something to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels (they forget about the fuel used to make the electricity in the first place). Most countries are not as fortunate as we in Canada are, since we get much of our power from hydro-electric plants. But we would need MANY more power plants to supply the energy needed to supply our transportation requirements.

      In addition, electrical engineers say that it would never be possible to charge an all-electric transportation sector, without spending billions and billions on the power grid. Not to mention the losses from the transmission lines–it would be much more efficient to run our cars on liquified natural gas (LNG) rather than using natural gas power plants to produce the MANY additional gigawatts of power necessary to charge our vehicles. Natural gas has the advantage of being cheap and clean- burning and, more importantly, we have LOTS of it.

      We might ask, “Well, what about nuclear power to produce the power to charge our batteries?” Nuclear power plants are extremely expensive and they don’t come on-line without a VERY long lead time. Add the cost of those new nuclear plants to the cost of nearly replacing our power grid. There is also the safety problems associated with the proliferation of nuclear reactors as well. Added to that, is likelihood that the relative scarcity of uranium would cause its price to skyrocket with many, many more nuclear power plants coming on-line. Not clear that supplies of uranium would ultimately last anyway.

      Thorium reactors are much safer. If the power cuts out, as happened at the Fukushima reactor, the thorium reactor simply shuts down–it cannot go into meltdown mode. But there has been no successful commercial application in N. America yet. India has the only thorium power plant in the world and they have the largest proven reserves of thorium. With China, the U.S., France, Germany and Britain all interested in thorium reactors, how long will it be before the price skyrockets on thorium as well?

      In the short-term, it looks like energy conservation is our best bet, combined with greater utilization of natural gas. In the longer term, we may be able to develop “zero-point” energy or nuclear fusion power–or something we have not yet dreamed about.

      By the way, since CO2 is only .04 % of our atmosphere, we probably have a long way to go before it is a problem. Most AGW people don’t mention that deforestation of the planet is probably the force most responsible for the increase in CO2. If we were interested in doing something productive about reducing the concentration of CO2, I would think that planting a tree would be a good idea. In any case, methane is a MUCH more potent “greenhouse gas” than is CO2. Since there are massive amounts being released from melting permafrost, it is much more likely to become a problem than CO2.

  4. Ray and Erin. If we want our grandchildren to live, it’s time to stop denying the facts and follow the doctors expert advice. You are correct that it will take time to electrify, but most electric vehicles and equipment will be recharged at night when demand and rates are down. So we already have most of the power we need, but in some cases it comes from the wrong source. And you are correct that we will need oil in declining quantities for a few more decades. That is why we must follow a responsible and balanced approach in which the few countries with oil to spare have a moral obligation to share with those who do not. That is why we need TransMountain and one more pipeline. And ethanol is not the answer. A study by Cornel University found that it takes more energy to make ethanol than the resulting ethanol contains. And making enough ethanol would displace most of the already shrinking farm land from food production. The truth is that advanced nuclear energy is our best bet and perhaps only bet for a livable future.

    • You’re saying most electric cars will be charged at night. I’m sitting here thinking about a fri night in summer when all the tourist out of TO. start up the 400 and all have to stop about Barrie to recharge there car unless they come up with a new battery that will give them more than 100 kl and from what i read it takes up to 12 hours to recharge some batteries going to be a long trip from T.O. to the cottage.

  5. Murray Christenson on

    Hugh, with respect, there a lot of holes in this piece…most of which I can overlook. However, claiming the current Liberal govt has done any kind of reasonable job on anything, especially energy, is going to far…just ask the 25% of Canadians in Alberta and Saskatchewan who want to separate. In particular though , your point that “they” got the Enbridge Line 9 reversal done is a flat out untruth. The NEB approved the project in Nov 2014 and Enbridge reversed the flow in Dec 2015. The Liberals did not take office until Nov 2015 so it would’ve been some accomplishment to get that work done in less than a month.

    • Good point Murray. I can be fair about giving Conservatives full credit for the line 9 reversal. Can you be fair about giving the Liberals some credit for moving forward on TransMountain? By the way, it was theEnbridge line 9 reversal that eliminated the need for their competitors Energy East project, along with some very e pensive technical problems.

  6. Thank you for an excellent and well-researched article Mr. Holland. I agree that currently the Liberal Party’s ‘green platform’ – including a carbon tax – best supports development of advanced nuclear and the necessary development of our oil and gas resources and pipelines. At the moment, the other party platforms fall short.

    Most of us acknowledge that the use of fossil fuels must be reduced and replaced by low-emission sources of energy and since nuclear power is the only readily available large-scale, reliable alternative to fossil fuels, we need to move steadily toward that goal over the next few decades.

    There is still unfounded fear of nuclear power despite the benefits: 1) it generates base-load electricity with no output of carbon; 2) nuclear power plants operate at much higher capacity factors than renewable energy sources or fossil fuels and 3) nuclear power releases less radiation into the environment than any other major energy source.

    In the public’s perception, the downside to nuclear power includes the risk of accidents, and the question of disposal of nuclear waste. While continuing to be a political problem, the fact is that it is no longer a technical problem for reasons that Mr. Holland reiterated.

    Nuclear plants do have high capital costs but the long service life and high productivity will alleviate that over time. As to the shortage of lithium, the U.S. Geological Survey produced a reserves estimate of lithium in early 2015, concluding that the world has enough known reserves for about 365 years of current global production; I think we can figure out a replacement for lithium in 365 years.

    So, since climate change mitigation is on everyone’s radar, I think for at least this election we need to stick with the party that has made inroads into doing just that.

    • Dale,

      Who was talking about lithium? We need lithium for lithium-ion car batteries, true–but battery research and development continues. In any case, tech writers at Bloomberg Businessweek assure that we have enough lithium: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-lithium-battery-future/

      But, I was speaking of uranium and thorium for electrical power reactors. A much more uranium-sparing nuclear power would come by way the more sophisticated Integral Fast Reactors–otherwise known as “fast breeder reactors”. Breeder reactors make more fuel than they consume and they have the added advantage of being able to burn up stored spent fuel as well as plutonium dioxide (which the British have sitting in drums as waste from conventional nuclear power plants). Those drums are heavily guarded but are still an obvious security risk. But there are important other concerns–namely safety concerns with the reactors themselves:

      http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph241/waisberg1/

      https://e360.yale.edu/features/are_fast-breeder_reactors_a_nuclear_power_panacea

      Nevertheless, we may be forced to go to breeder reactors as uranium supplies are depleted and nuclear waste becomes a critical environmental concern.

      Bottom line is that it is likely that we are running out of petroleum–(at the very least, easy and inexpensive-to-obtain supplies). There are no easy answers to fix the problem of a world that is hungry for more and more energy–none of us welcome the idea of starving (food production and distribution requires a lot of energy) in the dark. Additionally, we must be very deliberate in any path forward. Often, there are rash actions proposed with glib minimization of problems. The starts and stops of the history of nuclear power as well as the ecological disasters that have ensued (Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island, etc.) are reason enough for caution. But, mankind has been blessed by the Creator with imagination, rational intelligence, foresight, ingenuity, perseverance and even the odd bit of wisdom. There is every reason to be optimistic that we will find a way out of this bottleneck.

      But, there are other possibly much more catastrophic problems looming for mid-century to late in this century–that of a potential population crash because of genetic entropy: https://www.geneticentropy.org/latest-development

      Of course, there is always the danger of the development or other, more malevolent, depopulation scenarios. We live by God’s grace.

  7. Hugh, am I the only person favouring CO2 recapture from the atmosphere as a significant part of the solution? The technology exists and is relatively inexpensive. This CO2 can be synthesized into fuel which is compatible with all existing modes of transportation. Again, the technology exists; requires no fossil fuels; and produces less emissions than other fuel (except electricity). Furthermore, it is carbon-neutral (as the reduced emissions are released to the atmosphere to be recaptured).
    .
    Why isn’t our government building more of these plants? I don’t know about Warren Buffet, but I do know that Bill Gates is heavily invested in the technology.

    • Rob, there are many ideas that can make a contribution, but for the sake of brevity, I stuck to the bigger ideas that appear to be economical at this time

      • With the utmost respect, Hugh, SMR’s are not economical at this time or any other time. And maybe I’m naive; but this is the biggest (and only truly carbon-neutral) idea out there?
        .
        Also, you mention Bill Gates’ #2 solution, but not #1, or the remainder of his list. Would you please give me a link to this? Thank you.

  8. Great explanatory article Hugh.

    Sorry to the naysayers but electric is the only way to go that will allow us to simply “plug in” various sources of energy, be they totally clean, less clean or (for now) somewhat dirty. Nothing else allows the rapid and efficient movement of vast amounts of energy over long distances. We need to rebuild our electric grid to be more efficient, robust and allow for the distributed generation to be added at many different locations.

    In some areas existing gas pipeline systems can be utilized far into the future too but we need to remember that, clean as it may be, natural gas is still a fossil fuel.

    This said, there are some things we do that simply do not lend themselves to electric power. Stuff like construction machinery and aircraft come to mind. In the case of aircraft, jet fuel (diesel oil essentially) simply cannot be beaten for the ease of storage, safety of use and above all the energy density it has. Ray Vowels is probably right in that we will not see large intercontinental electric powered planes, ever. We might see them on short routes but more likely we shall see better and faster light, electric powered trains take over for cars trucks and short haul plane trips. These could easily be electric powered,

    Cruise ships may have to go back to wind power. Don’t laugh, with current technology wind power for very large ships is a possibility although routes and scheduels would obviously need to change a bit. It might even make the cruise more interesting. It worked for thousands of years in the past with iron age technology so I’m sure we can make this stuff work better today.

  9. Oh dear oh dear.
    It is hard to know where to begin in rebuttal of H. H.
    I’ll give Hugh much credit for a well written article which has required time and thought. Sir you have my respect and admiration for that.
    However correct you may be in listing some obvious facts I find your conclusions that the Liberals lead by Trudeau have demonstrated superior leadership on the energy and global warming / climate change file and that they alone can be trusted to best manage this important issue in the future to be your opinion and demonstrated political inclination and nothing more.
    Many others of us hold our own views differing from your’s as stated by at least one writer preceeding.
    How you can possibly see success in the energy hash-up that the Liberals both in Ontario and Canada have made on these crucial energy/climate files is beyond me.
    You state that one more pipeline will be sufficient.
    IMHO that is not correct
    A major energy player with Canada’s potential needs several more. Certainly Canada needs a major pipeline to Atlantic tide water. Perhaps, with climate change, also to Churchill Manitoba. What the Liberals have not done is support the Energy East proposal at all. Or agressively set up a pipeline-friendly environment.
    Your supposition that oil will be phased out by the end of the century I’d say is incorrect as is your claim that the USA has built fewer pipelines than Canada during the past few years. They have built thousands of miles of pipelines to connect their new massive fracking production to market. US environmental activists have ignored all this whilst sparing no effort to block our pipelines both in the US and here. Hipocracy and much more sinister things at work. The Liberals have had the opportunity to prevent this but they actually encourage it.
    So Hugh, your facts do not always hold water and respectfully, come down, as do mine, to opinion.
    A final word……Canada’s so called equalization scheme is past due for major work. It hasn’t yet had it because everybody is afraid of Quebec. No news there! I believe that it should be set up so it is paid for solely out of federal revenue derived from energy of all kinds including electricity, oil and gas. All provinces and territories would have to support and facilitate the production and marketing of energy to receive a share of the revenue. No play, no pay. Any real soverign country would have long since arranged things in its best interest and not fallen into the imbroglio Canada is struggling in now. We all want good government programs and benefits and low taxes and no debt. Canada has the wealth in the ground and under the oceans to bring that about.
    Forces beyond our borders are successfully styming our prosperity. It is time to get a handle on it and make Canafa the wealthy country it can be.
    The Liberals are not the party to do it as they have effectively demonstrated.
    The proposition that the age of fossil energy is almost over so we shouldn’t bother is ridiculous.
    There is so much more to be said.
    Wake up Canada!

    • Jim Boyes, there are 4 short and smaller capacity regional pipelines ranging from 190 to 960 km underway in the US. I would be interested in hearing where the thousands of miles of pipelines are that you are referring to.

      Here is some information about Energy East that you should be aware of. The 4,600-kilometer Energy East pipeline was proposed in August 2013, and relatively quickly shelved by the builder (TC Energy) in October 2017 due to diminished need and some very costly technical challenges.
      We need to understand that not all disruptions of pipeline projects are the fault of government or the regulators. There are several major pipeline companies competing for business. The need for the TC Energy East pipeline was diminished by the December 2015 reversal of the existing 639 km Enbridge Line 9 to carry 300,000 bl per day of Alberta crude to Montreal refineries. That can easily handle the 230,000 bl per day that Quebec uses. The Atlantic provinces use 60,000 bl per day. That is ¼ of the 240,000 bl per day produced by our Atlantic coast offshore oil fields and could easily be handled by marine transport. The big need / opportunity is to export oil to Asian countries where 60 % of the world’s population lives and where we are working on a Trans-Pacific trade agreement. That why Eagle Spirit is the biggest pipeline opportunity.

      Quebec’s concerns were not well explained, but to be fair, I believe that if they had all the facts, most Canadians would understand Quebec’s concerns, and why TC Energy cancelled so quickly. TC Energy did not persevere for 11 years as they did for KXL. They cancelled Energy East after only 4 year of effort for good reasons.

      In September 2018, I travelled by boat down the full length of the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Montreal. The Ottawa is a wide river with a powerful flow and there is no easy place to cross it. TC proposed to cross the Ottawa below the 62-foot-high Carillon Hydro Dam at Point Fortune by drilling horizontally 40 meters (131 feet) below the river. The Ottawa river is an active seismic zone. An undetected rupture / leak could poison the drinking water supply for 2.5 million people. A rupture during a spring flood could be catastrophic. The spring of 2017 brought record flow rates of 8,900 cubic meters per second at the Carillon Dam, and severe flooding at the west end of the Island of Montreal. That was repeated in 2019.

      The pipeline would also need to cross two more river branches to reach refineries at the east end of Montreal Island. The pipeline would also cross the St Lawrence river at a narrow point (3,000-feet-wide) above the Quebec City water intake for 800,000 people. Pipelines for lighter oils cross the Mississippi and wide rivers in Alaska on pipe bridges. Two major pipe bridges for heavier oils in a cold climate could add 50% to 100% to the $15 billion cost and could destroy the economics of the Energy East project.

      Don’t be mislead by uninformed political comments that are devoid of the facts.

      • Murray Christenson on

        Hugh, according to FERC, there are over 3,500 miles of pipeline either built, under construction or planning to be built in the US in the past 3 years alone…and that’s just natural gas. By contrast, oil transport by rail has increased by double the amount here compared to the US and we only produce a quarter of the oil they do.
        As for Energy East, in spite of any engineering issues, it….or some version of it…needs to be built. Currently, refineries in Eastern Canada…including Quebec…are importing around 600,000 barrels of oil per day. Most of it is from the US but an increasing amount is from Saudi Arabia. As bad as that is, where the rest of it comes from is even worse.
        Aside from the fact that we should be supporting our own industries in Canada, when it comes to oil, Canadian producers have made tremendous strides when it comes to reducing the amount of ghg’s generated in production. We are a world leader in that area and in the the ongoing development of that technology. So, getting western oil to the east would have a big impact on reducing global emissions…certainly until we can get renewables the critical mass needed to keep the country running.

  10. The Federal Liberals have 2 ships sitting in the harbour in Nanaimo waiting for trans mountain to begin. The local article states that each vessel cost 5.8 million to purchase . Each vessel has a crew as well . Are we to believe that this is not a federal subsidy to appease the voters of B C . What has the Trans Mountain pipeline cost Canadians so far? This is and example of how you subsidize the oil industry and over regulate it simultaneously. Hugh I appreciate your valuable insight. All the stats in the world will not convince me that Justin Trudeau deserves another chance. Btw it’s teally nice in Nanaimo today. Cheers

  11. As I read all the comments on here there are a lot of different opinions . If we are talking about pollution most of them are good but if we are looking at global warming we are missing the boat as I see it. As of yet I have not seen one thing about the heat that we produce in the world now,compared to 50 or 100 years ago. I think everyone knows how much hotter a paved parking lot gets compared to a hay field or wet lands this is not to mention every home that is built produces a bit of heat so build a few thousand and there is a lot of heat escaping and the big box stores with there automatic doors that open let out a lot of heat in winter every time they open and then there is just plain old body heat as the population gets bigger each one of us helps things heat up and if you say this is crazy just put a few hundred people in a room and watch how hot it gets in there so a few thousand walking around every city it all adds up I forget to mention all the heat that cars and trucks and everything that runs on a combustion motor adds to things.

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