Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 17:35 • James Wilt
kinder morgan IPO climate change

Kinder Morgan is providing potential investors with shoddy information, according to a complaint filed with the Alberta Securities Commission by Greenpeace Canada last week.

The formal complaint contends the company’s draft prospectus — a legal document prepared for investors ahead of its massive $1.75 initial public offering (IPO) — failed to properly disclose future Asian oil demand and the financial impacts of climate policy.

It turns out that Kinder Morgan used demand forecasts that assume “business as usual” for oil consumption, which effectively means no serious attempt to keep global warming below two degree celsius.

Friday, March 10, 2017 - 10:05 • Carol Linnitt
BC Liberal political donation scandal investigated by RCMP

Elections BC will refer its ongoing investigation into potentially illegal political donations made to the BC Liberals to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer announced Friday.

This investigation has been referred to ensure that it will in no way impede Elections BC’s administration of the provincial general election scheduled for May 9,” an Elections BC bulletin states.

This referral will also ensure that there is no perception that Elections BC’s ability to administer the general election in a fair, neutral and impartial manner is in any way compromised. Tweet: “The scope & timing of this matter make RCMP the most appropriate to continue this investigation.” #bcpoli #BCelxn17The potential scope and timing of this matter make the RCMP the most appropriate agency to continue this investigation.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 15:44 • Carol Linnitt
BC Liberals Kinder Morgan Political Donations Scandal

Elections B.C. has been asked to investigate political contributions made to the BC Liberals by high-ranking Kinder Morgan staff, including president Ian Anderson.

The democracy advocacy group Dogwood submitted a formal complaint to Elections B.C. this week after discovering a series of political donations from individuals connected to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project that received provincial approval in January 2017.

The complaint comes on the heels of a bombshell investigation by the Globe and Mail that revealed corporate lobbyists were illegally reimbursed for contributions made to the B.C. Liberals.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 09:09 • Judith Lavoie

The ramshackle regulatory system governing B.C.’s mining industry is profoundly dysfunctional and the public has lost confidence in the province’s ability to protect the environment and communities from poor mining activities, says a new report from the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre.

The wide-ranging report, released Wednesday, was commissioned for the Fair Mining Collaborative — a non-profit group that helps First Nations communities assess mining activities — and recommends that the provincial government establish a Commission of Public Inquiry to investigate B.C.’s regulation of the mining industry.

A judicial inquiry is needed because mining is a multi-billion dollar industry that can create jobs and great wealth, but can also create “catastrophic and long-lasting threats to entire watersheds and to critical public assets such as fish, clean water, wildlife and public health,” according to the report, which is signed by ELC legal director Calvin Sandborn and law student Kirsty Broadhead.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 14:10 • Carol Linnitt
BC Liberals receive over $1 million natural gas industry donations

The gas industry has donated more than $1 million to the BC Liberals since the last provincial election, according to a new analysis done by the Wilderness Committee.

The companies and industry groups are involved in extracting B.C.’s gas (via fracking) and building gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations.

Tweet: “Industry receives billions in BC tax breaks & subsidies from the very gov't they’re paying to elect” @Climate_PeteThis industry receives billions of dollars in provincial tax breaks and subsidies from the very government they’re paying to elect,” Peter McCartney, climate campaigner at the Wilderness Committee, said in a press release.

Gas industry donations since 2013 total $1,007,456.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 11:10 • James Wilt
Calgary Flood 2013

There’s just no way around it: building codes are deeply boring documents.

The most recent National Building Code of Canada clocks in at 1,400 jargon-filled pages.

Despite being a snore fest, it’s on its way to becoming an incredibly important tool in preparing new buildings for the worst impacts of escalating climate change and extreme weather events, such as flooding, hail and rain.

That’s thanks to a brand-new $40 million federal government investment in the National Research Council, which is responsible for updating the building code every five years; the last one was released in 2015, meaning the next version will be released in 2020.

Tweet: “It’s the first time the government has talked about building code and #climatechange in one breath.” @ICLRCanadaIt’s the first time that the government has talked about building code and climate change in one breath,” says Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. “It’s very important.”

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 15:14 • Judith Lavoie
B.C.'s Biggest Wind Farm Just Came Online — But Future of Wind in Province Bleak

On wind-swept ridgelines, surrounded by pine-beetle ravaged forests, the massive turbines at B.C.’s largest wind power project have started turning.

The Meikle Wind project, built by Pattern Development, will increase wind power capacity in the province by more than one third — to almost 674 megawatts — and will be able to generate energy for up to 54,000 homes, according to Mike Garland, Pattern CEO.

The wind farm, 33 kilometres north of Tumbler Ridge, has a 25-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro and benefits to the province include an expected $70-million in payments for property taxes, Crown lease payments, wind participation rent and community benefits over 25 years.

The wind farm uses the latest technology, with blade tips reaching as high as 170 metres, and the ability to individually control each turbine to capture maximum energy from the wind.

It’s another step forward in the evolution of wind technology,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

Wind farms are now truly power plants.”

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 10:01 • Carol Linnitt
BC pipeline incident map offline

Since January 1, 2017 there have been more than 50 accidental releases from pipelines and oil and gas facilities in Alberta. These spills and leaks, ranging from large to small, from hazardous to non-hazardous, happen almost every single day.

Don’t believe it? You can check for yourself via the Alberta Energy Regulator’s incident reporting dashboard where spills are documented and information about volume, location and response is made available to the public.

In B.C., however, the provincial regulator’s pipeline incident reporting page has been offline for eight months (yes, you read that correctly).

DeSmog Canada has been reporting on the missing map since October and the issue was recently taken up by the Globe and Mail.

In a province where the public debate over increased oil pipeline capacity has consumed so much energy, Tweet: “Lack of transparency about BC’s management of its existing system is surprising” @justine_hunter @maryforbc #bcpolithe lack of transparency about the province’s management of its existing system is surprising,” wrote Justine Hunter as politicians returned for the spring sitting at the legislature.

George Heyman, environment critic for the B.C. NDP, said getting the map back online should be a priority for the province.

It’s shocking that the portal and the online incident report would be offline for such a significant amount of time,” Heyman told DeSmog Canada.