Already there have been three near misses. Four months after Quebec's deaths, another derailment and explosion occurred outside an Alabama town without deaths. This was followed by a collision of two trains that resulted in an evacuation of more than 2,000 persons and a 400,000-gallon oil spill. A third derailment and explosion happened in Virginia forcing another evacuation. Safety is bad enough, but rail is also terrible for the environment.
Railways are transforming North America's energy sector and are, coincidentally, helping to save Canada's bacon. But the train business has been allowed to remain a 19th-century technology run with 19th-century mentality by workers without credentials. Aviation, by contrast, is heavily supervised and operated by licensed personnel with professional expertise and constant surveillance. For the moment, the critically important oil industry has been saved, but if governments aren't as tough as nails in their demands and dealings with the railways, then all bets are off.
General Electric Co. chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Immelt is just what Canada needs to develop its oil sands -- an American leader with stature in Washington, Wall Street, the oil patch and Silicon Valley.
U.S. leaders have made it clear that they want to hear more about Canada's plans for clean energy. During President Obama's very first visit to Canada, he and Prime Minister Harper launched a cross-border Clean Energy Dialogue that's still going strong. Speaking in Edmonton this month, Hillary Clinton called on Canada and the U.S. to work together to become global leaders in tackling climate change and making the transition away from fossil fuels. Despite those encouraging signs, our government seems determined to turn the conversation back to Keystone XL -- a proposal that, clearly, President Obama is in no hurry to approve.
For the past week I have been amazed, humbled, and inspired by the power of people. This last week an area between the Washington monument and the ...
It would be refreshing to see Tom Mulcair of the NDP and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals to forge coherent energy policies that lead to a more vibrant and sustainable economy. In short, we need to know they will stop burying our future with dead end pipeline projects.
Mulroney, the former prime minister known for his big projects and his checkered past, recently gave a startling speech admonishing Ottawa to get its act together managing our vast resource wealth -- including reaching a deal with native Canadians and on protecting the environment.
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has turned into one of the most hotly debated topics in North America. There are so many ways to debate about the pipeline and the tar sands oil that would fill it. But, what does it mean when 10 Nobel Peace Laureates, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and landmine activist Jody Williams, take a stand and call for a rejection?
If Canada can make the right choice and tone down the 'dig baby dig, drill baby drill' mentality, not only would Canada not be worse off economically, but we would have a safer environment, and be able to seize the incredible opportunities to invest in the sophisticated clean technology that is going to power this century.
In case you missed it the New York Times recently ran an op-ed by Jacques Leslie entitled "Is Canada Tarring Itself?" As a "tar sands" (I grew up usin...
Elizabeth May has chosen to respond to my critique of her Green Party website post "4 facts about Keystone XL" here on the Huffington Post Blog. It's ...
The HuffPost blog from the Fraser Institute's Senior Director, Natural Resource Studies, Kenneth Green, set out to make me look uninformed based on my submission to the U.S. State Department on the proposed Keystone pipeline. From his first words, it was pretty clear he didn't grasp the concept of writing a letter.
Recently, Green Party leader Elizabeth May orchestrated an open letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the U.S. to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. In her note, Ms. May states that she sent Mr. Kerry "4 facts about Keystone XL." Unfortunately, two of Ms. May's facts aren't actually facts, and two of her facts are so lacking in context as to constitute merely factoids.
We have to question whether climate denial is an exception or the norm in the Canadian government, and even if our government's case of climate denial doesn't extend into the Prime Minister's Office, our policies are out of step with believing in, understanding and taking action to solve the climate crisis.
Trudeau professes to be capable of both meaningfully combatting climate change and supporting oil sands expansion. Yet he recently went so far as to proclaim that "the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States and elsewhere is not scientific." Leaving oil in the ground is precisely what must happen. The longer Trudeau loudly supports the oil industry without a similarly strong signal that he is committed to meaningful action on climate change, the harder it will be, should he win, to enact the bold policies the scientific community is actually calling for.
We're producing so much oil sands crude that we've overwhelmed cross-border pipeline capacity. Now the industry is stuck in a Catch-22. Profit margins have dropped dramatically. To reassure investors, bitumen miners talk about dramatically expanding production. But the more we produce, the more we exacerbate the supply glut.