Pipeline to Nowhere?
This report reveals gaping holes in Enbridge's application to build the Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline from Alberta to B.C.'s North Coast.
It raises questions about the actual need for Northern Gateway, given the uncertain demand for the pipeline and it shines a spotlight on oil pipeline overcapacity in North America. It also points out several significant information gaps in Enbridge's application to the federal government, which is currently being considered by a Joint Review Panel. Enbridge's application is the first of its kind to have no shipper commitments and no refinery-specific information.
B.C.'s Green Economy at Work
We hear talk of a "green economy," but what does this really mean? These three fact sheets help to illustrate a world where energy is less polluting, business thrives and jobs are plentiful.
In The Business of Climate Change, we profile six companies that are facing the climate change challenge head-on.
Walking the Green Talk tells the stories of four hypothetical families in B.C. and the changes they can make at home in the next five to 10 years to get ahead of a changing economy and to do their part to help the environment.
Putting a Price on Climate Pollution explains how carbon taxes work and offers four recommendations to make B.C.'s carbon tax more fair and effective.
Powering the Future
You may not know it yet, but British Columbia is on the front line of a revolution poised to reduce the world's dependence on oil. In 20 years, one in every three vehicles on B.C.'s roads could be electric. That adds up to more than one million electric vehicles.
If that many electric vehicles were on the province's roads right now, oil demand would be reduced by about 12 million barrels per year — more than twice the amount of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico during BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster — and B.C.'s annual greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 7%, or 4.7 million tonnes.
To get there, we need governments to continue taking steps to ensure the right infrastructure and incentives are in place.
Find out the top five reasons why electric vehicles are right for B.C. in this fact sheet.
Or download the backgrounder.
Canada's Coolest Cities
"What are Canada's large cities doing to encourage low-carbon choices for personal transportation?" Canada's Coolest Cities, a new Pembina Institute report, answers this question through case studies of Canada's six largest urban areas: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
The study found that the City of Vancouver has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, with plans to become the Greenest City in the World by 2020. As of 2008, Vancouver had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, while its population grew by 27%.
However, the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which covers a much larger geographical area and population, has not achieved the same success. The Vancouver CMA has a much lower share of commuters using transit, bikes or walking than the City of Vancouver.
Leading the Way to Greener Buildings
Local governments in British Columbia are working together to design and implement new green building policies. Participating local governments include Campbell River, Dawson Creek, Delta, Regional District of Nanaimo, City of North Vancouver, Prince George, Smithers, Terrace, West Vancouver, and Whistler.
- Energy performance standards for homes and buildings that are for sale or undergoing major renovations;
- Renewable energy requirements for new homes and buildings; and
- Higher energy performance standards for new homes and buildings.
The project is an excellent opportunity for local governments that want to be leaders on climate change solutions. Participants will go beyond current provincial regulation, reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions and setting the stage for province-wide change. For more information about the Green Building Leaders project, visit www.greenbuildingleaders.ca.
Opening the Door for Oilsands Expansion
The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project would result in a 30% increase in average daily oilsands output, according to a new report by the Pembina Institute. However, the environmental assessment of the project will ignore impacts associated with increased oilsands production, such as increased greenhouse gas emissions, according to the final Terms of Reference.
The proposed project would transport petroleum products from the Alberta oilsands to the British Columbia coast via a 1,200-kilometre pipeline. The Pembina Institute report, Opening the Door for Oilsands Expansion: The Hidden Environmental Impacts of the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline, found that the new pipeline capacity would result in the production of an additional 367,500 barrels of oil each day.
The oilsands are already Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. Oilsands production related to the Enbridge pipeline would produce an estimated 6.5 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to putting another 1.6 million cars on the road.
Oil and Salmon Don't Mix
A new report commissioned by the Pembina Institute has found that the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines pose serious risks to salmon in northern British Columbia. If the project proceeds, more than 700,000 barrels of petroleum products would cross the rivers, mountains and valleys of northern British Columbia each day.
The new report, Pipelines and Salmon in Northern British Columbia: Potential Impacts, found that the greatest threat to salmon comes from the potential for a pipeline leak or rupture. "Experience suggests it is not a question of whether or not a pipeline failure will happen," says Karen Campbell, Staff Counsel with the Pembina Institute. "It is a question of when and where — and how badly it will impact the environment."
The Pembina Institute has called for a public inquiry to fully examine the potential impacts of the proposed Enbridge oilsands pipelines.