Pembina Institute

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Ed Whittingham — Feb. 24, 2014

This year, the Pembina Institute will again be joining Scotiabank’s EcoLiving Awards judging panel. Be sure to encourage energy efficiency innovators you know to submit an application by March 15! Read more...

Simon Dyer — Nov. 8, 2013

This week, the Pembina Institute reviewed a package of documents obtained under Alberta’s Freedom of Information legislation about future Alberta and federal greenhouse gas regulations. Read more...

Matt McCulloch — Oct. 31, 2013

“History repeating itself” isn’t typically a positive expression. It usually refers to a series of errors or oversights typically resulting from leaders failing to learn from past efforts. It is with this in mind that Alberta’s forthcoming innovation plans will want to avoid past mistakes and repeat what Alberta has done well. Read more...

Ed Whittingham — Sept. 10, 2013

Judging from the many conversations that unfolded on Twitter over the past few days, there appears to be a lot of confusion around how fee-for-service consulting works and why an organization like the Pembina Institute is committed to producing some of the best sustainability consulting services in the business. As our clients know, our consulting work is one of various approaches that support our mandate — to lead Canada’s transition to a clean energy future. Read more...

Chris Severson-Baker — Aug. 7, 2013

Executives at Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) said little about an ongoing blowout at an underground oilsands extraction site until late last week, when the company held a conference call for investors and analysts, claiming it had identified the cause of the problem and the situation was under control. Yet, in that conference call, CNRL also confirmed that bitumen emulsion — a mixture of oilsands and water — is still escaping from the Clearwater formation 500 metres underground and following an unknown pathway to the surface where it is leaking out of the ground in four distinct locations at a rate of up to 20 barrels a day. Read more...

Nathan Lemphers — May 23, 2013

Earlier this week, five CP Rail tank cars jumped the tracks just outside of Jansen, Saskatchewan, spilling more than 91,000 litres of crude oil. Last month, a similar derailment near White River, Ontario, resulted in a 63,000-litre oil spill.

While these trains were not carrying bitumen from the oilsands, it’s becoming increasingly common to move oilsands by rail, particularly as public opposition to various new pipeline proposals continues to grow and oilsands producers seek other shipping options. Read more...

Nathan Lemphers — April 9, 2013

There’s a carnival in town, and everyone is talking about its main attraction — the mighty resource rollercoaster that is taking Alberta’s and Canada’s economies for a wild ride. Albertans are already paying a premium at the ticket booth, but few have noticed the fine print on the bottom of the receipt: once the carnival leaves town, ticketholders may be left paying for the cleanup costs. Read more...

P.J. Partington — April 5, 2013

In Alberta’s current carbon pricing system, called the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), major industrial facilities must reduce their “emissions intensity” (i.e. emissions per unit of production) by up to 12 per cent, relative to their typical performance or “baseline” level. The target phases in over time, reaching the full 12 per cent requirement in a facility’s ninth year of operation, and remains at 12 per cent after that. Read more...

Cherise Burda — March 18, 2013

Earlier today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade released its bold proposal to address gridlock and expand transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The benefit of the four tools proposed by the Board is that they can be spread among the tax base, be kept relatively low for each tool, such as for a regional sales tax and fuel tax, and not hit one sector or user group hard. Read more...

Jason Switzer — March 11, 2013

At first glance, pairing renewable energy with the oil and gas sector would seem an unlikely match. But behind the curtain, romance could be blooming. As Canadians come to recognize that meaningful and cost-effective climate action may be the key to unlocking market access for oilsands, the appetite for an even-tighter union between these star-crossed industries could be just around the corner. Read more...

Nathan Lemphers — March 5, 2013

Late last Friday, the U.S. State Department released its draft assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline’s environmental impacts, marking a significant milestone toward the impending White House decision on the project’s fate. Read more...

Nathan Lemphers — Jan. 17, 2013

To help inform the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, the Pembina Institute has produced a backgrounder about the climate impacts associated with the proposed pipeline. The backgrounder features new analysis showing that producing enough bitumen to fill the Keystone XL pipeline would lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and inhibit Canada’s ability to meet its climate targets. Read more...

Guest Blogger — Dec. 14, 2012

In this guest blog post, employee engagement expert Paul Edney discusses inspiring sustainble development in the workplace.


Nathan Lemphers — Dec. 7, 2012

Last week I testified at the joint review panel hearings into Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in Prince George, B.C. It was my second time in front of the panel presenting research, on behalf of the environmental group ForestEthics Advocacy, that the Pembina Institute had conducted on the proposed pipeline and tanker project. Read more...

Alison Bailie — Oct. 18, 2012

We know that British Columbia’s electricity is primarily fossil fuel-free and electric vehicles are now available in Canada (with several provinces offering rebates), but if we were in an electric car and had to “fill up the tank” what would we do? Read more...

Jason Switzer — Sept. 24, 2012

There is no shortage of Hollywood films exploring visions of environmental apocalypse — though most of these thankfully fall into the category of sci-fi. But there is another group of filmmakers who are turning a curious and critical eye to today’s energy challenges, documenting the drama, conflict and controversy inherent in how we produce and use energy. 

In many cases, the outcome is powerful, award-winning footage that tells the human side of our energy stories.  Read more...

P.J. Partington — Aug. 9, 2012

The federal government’s just-released 2012 update to Canada’s Emissions Trends is an important report from Environment Canada that explores the trends expected to shape Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions this decade. The release of the first edition last July, along with this week’s updated version, are welcome because emissions projections like these are crucial to assessing the impact of Canada’s policies against the commitments the government has made to Canadians and to the world. Read more...

Simon Dyer — June 26, 2012

Despite the controversy over the federal government’s overhaul of environmental laws in Bill C-38, which recently passed third reading in the House of Commons, federal ministers have stuck to the script, insisting that cutting back on federal environmental oversight is the key to ensuring resource development happens in an efficient and “responsible” manner. However, the recent revision of an application by Shell Canada to expand an oilsands mine illustrates the type of sensible environmental protection and sober reflection Canadians risk losing as a result of the changes outlined in the federal bill. Read more...

Ed Whittingham — June 7, 2012

Those of us who drive cars typically have our favourite road tunes. One of my favourites is Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, off the Physical Graffiti album. Any self-respecting, Zeppelin-loving driver knows a particularly sublime feeling: slowly pushing on that gas pedal to the beat of Jimmy Page’s rising, signature chord progression riff in Kashmir, watching that speedometer creep up to 90 klicks an hour, then 100, 110, 120…. “I am a traveller of both time and space, to be where I have been….” Read more...

Simon Dyer — Dec. 6, 2011

Imagine you were considering getting a mortgage and your bank offered you a fixed interest rate at five per cent. You sign up, but when you go to make your first payment, the fine print states you are actually being charged 60 per cent interest. Would you feel cheated? Would you be able to handle a 12-fold spike in rates? And if you had realized the true cost, would you have signed those mortgage papers in the first place?

That's the situation facing a joint regulatory panel Alberta and Canada established to review the environmental impacts of the next massive 100,000 barrel-per-day oilsands mine, proposed by Shell north of Fort McMurray. Read more...

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