Although city planning is well-intentioned it can add costs and complications to residential development. These complications often culminate in months, or even years, of waiting for city hall's approval -- if these delays cause the supply of new homes to lag behind demand, new housing may become scarce, driving prices higher across the region by creating a perpetual seller's market.
Kenneth P. Green has studied energy and natural resource policy for nearly 20 years. An environmental scientist and policy analyst by training, Green’s recent publications include the efficacy of green-jobs programs, drivers of oil and gas prices, the embedded energy costs in consumer goods, and resilient policies to address the risks of climate change. He has just published his second supplemental textbook, “Abundant Energy,” a concise guide to energy and energy policy intended for a college audience. In addition, Green has testified before regulatory and legislative bodies across North America, including many times before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He was also a designated expert reviewer for two reports by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In the debate over how electricity should be provided, we often hear lofty and optimistic projections. But if national and international experiences can teach us anything, it's that so far, more renewable generation leads to one thing -- higher prices.
04/27/2015 05:55 EDT
The Vancouver Mayor's Council on Regional Transportation has an ambitious 30-year vision (starting with a 10-year plan) that would dramatically expand mass transit in Vancouver. Yet recent developments in personal transportation raise questions about long-term plans to build fixed point-to-point transit systems.
04/13/2015 05:30 EDT
Four recent oil-train derailments--two in the United States and two in Canada accompanied by yet another drive-by rhetorical smear of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Barack Obama--have re-invigorated the debate over how Canadians and Americans transport oil.
03/13/2015 01:07 EDT
The president's rationale for rejecting the Keystone Approval Act is not actually based on an assessment of whether Keystone XL is in the U.S. national interest--that process is ongoing at the State Department. Rather, Mr. Obama's veto justification is that the Act "attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest."
03/06/2015 04:54 EST
There's a growing belief that if left uncontrolled, Canada's expanding cities risk occupying too much space. One of the main voices of this line of thought belongs to Toronto's chief planner who advocates growth boundaries, such as Ontario's Greenbelt, to restrict urban expansion.
02/05/2015 05:46 EST
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant seems poised to follow through on a campaign promise to institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. News reports suggest he'll implement that moratorium before Christmas. Quite a lump of coal for the people of his province in need of additional jobs and higher incomes.
12/24/2014 08:42 EST
Do you like meat? Sorry, expect the price of your meat to go up more than other foods that produce less greenhouse gas emissions (that also will apply to your pet food, by the way). Do you like fashionable clothing and buy new clothes annually? Expect the price of those new threads to increase under the new carbon price.
12/04/2014 05:33 EST
What does this mean for Canada? First and foremost, it means a reinvigorated green crusade for renewables, which can only harm Canada's economy, as we showed when Ontario took this path. In addition, the green movement will likely use this agreement to push for other harmful policies such as a national carbon tax. The U.S.-China agreement will also reinvigorate green opposition to Canadian fossil-fuel production of all sorts: the no coal, no gas, and especially the no oil sands people will be using the new announcement as a cudgel with which to demonize anyone who opposes them.
11/18/2014 05:16 EST
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest "Synthesis Report" drawing together the findings of the most recent three-volume set of the Fifth Assessment Report...
11/10/2014 05:52 EST
The Simushir, a Russian-flagged cargo vessel is the newest cause celebre of anti-tanker activists out in British Columbia. Liberal MP Joyce Murray and NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen are waving distress flags over what they portray as a near-disaster that reveals systemic faults in Canada's shipping-safety regime.
10/29/2014 01:19 EDT
Politicians are free to ignore the science, safety and history of hydraulic fracturing. But if the incoming New Brunswick government sticks with its election promise, it will outlaw (temporarily, at least) one of the more innovative ways to extract oil and gas in the 21st century. The science and risk-reward ratio are both on the side of hydraulic fracturing. The potential for a more dynamic economy is staring New Brunswick politicians in the face.
10/06/2014 05:20 EDT
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice's energy policy comments are troubling. According to newspaper reports, Mr. Prentice has embraced the idea of replacing Alberta's coal-fired electrical generation, not with natural gas, but with renewable energy -- wind and solar power. But experience suggests that the bank accounts of Albertans will take a big hit should the plan move ahead.
10/03/2014 06:02 EDT
No reasonable person would dismiss the risks of hydraulic fracturing for gas and oil out of hand. The processes certainly have the potential to cause a variety of environmental ills if done improperly. However, no rational person would fail to understand that Canada's economic wellbeing is tied to the production of fossil fuels, particularly clean-burning natural gas.
09/21/2014 12:32 EDT
In the wake of the Lac-Mégantic oil-by-rail disaster, when a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken field exploded in Quebec, some people began to characterize Bakken crude oil as "uniquely flammable," with an implication that new rail car standards might be required to move the material.
08/16/2014 07:26 EDT
It's one thing to seek to learn from a disaster and it's another thing to incite emotional responses to promote hasty, unwise public policy actions. Despite the fact that virtually nothing was known about the cause of the Mount Polley leak, only two days after the spill, the David Suzuki Foundation had set up an automatic petition portal on their website calling on the province to institute a moratorium on new mine approvals, a suggestion that would imperil a substantial part of B.C.'s economy.
08/12/2014 04:44 EDT
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth like to frame the energy-discussion as if it only has a few very simple dimensions. Theirs is a very simple narrative of environmental protection versus corporate profits. What they don't want to discuss is the reality that right now 2.5 billion human beings are living impoverished lives because they have insufficient access to energy.
07/30/2014 07:22 EDT
The University of Calgary's School of Public Policy has put out an important report that sheds light on an under-discussed dimension of Canada's energy export challenge: the time factor. At this point, most people (we hope) are aware that Canada faces physical bottlenecks in the transport of its energy resources to global markets.
07/13/2014 04:13 EDT
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 gracious of Ms. May to engage with those who may d...
04/02/2014 01:32 EDT
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.
03/21/2014 05:33 EDT
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more