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Coal

The bank is the target of a new campaign by a well-funded advocacy group with a record of forcing policy change.
Despite their efficiency and cost, fossil fuels aren't better energy sources than solar, wind and tide, even though renewables require separate storage for large-scale deployment. Fossil fuels pollute the environment, cause illness and death, accelerate global warming and damage or destroy ecosystems. They'll also eventually run out.
In what shall forever be known as Electricity Week, the Alberta government managed to flip the switch on five massive changes to the province's electricity system. Alberta's electricity market was broken. Now the Alberta government has fixed it.
According to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, phasing out coal will reduce emissions in Canada by five megatonnes. That's great news, but it's soured when you remember that the government just approved the Pacific Northwest LNG project, which is expected to add 11.5 to 14.0 megatonnes worth of emissions each year.
So how did this red-sweatered troll, posing as an undecided voter, get selected to appear on stage at such an event to ask, "the question"? Typical, it turns out. For starters, he made no prior mention of his deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. Just a concerned, undecided voter.
Maybe the lifestyle we've come to know as "normal" really isn't normal -- or sustainable -- after all. It may feel normal because it's all we've known, but, examined rationally in a larger context, it seems more like the fast lane to resource depletion and environmental ruin.
Burning finite fuels in huge plants to generate electricity is no way to power the future. Meeting global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming requires a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Feed-in tariffs are an effective way for governments to encourage that shift.
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore documentary that catapulted climate change onto the global agenda. Here's a quick look at developments over the past decade, both the inconvenient and the convenient.
The Alberta government's plan to phase out coal and ramp up renewables is unequivocally a good thing. Costs for renewables have dropped sharply and coal just isn't worth it when you factor in the health and carbon costs.
Transalta is one of Alberta's largest electricity generation companies and they own and operate a lot of Alberta's thermal coal generation assets. They recently held their annual general meeting and the news and quotes coming out of it are enough to give you pause. So let's look into this.