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  1. Categories: Business

    Natural Gas Supporter Moves Up

    Provincial Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has named Sarnia-Lambton MPP (and supporter of Ontario’s natural gas industry) Bob Bailey, as PC critic of oil, gas and aggregates – a part of Natural Resources.

    The elected member is only too happy to serve: “I’ve spent most of my life in industry, either in the construction sector or in the petrochemical sector with Nova and working with contractors in the oil, gas and pipeline division.”

    That same passion is what drove Bailey to create and champion Bill 97 – The Natural Gas Superhighway Act, which aims to increase the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel on Ontario’s major routes. The act also prescribes higher weight limits for LNG vehicles (to account for the increased weight of their unique engines) and tax credits to those who purchase them.

    On September 26, his Bill received unanimous support at Queen’s Park on a second reading of the proposed act. It will result in more access to clean, affordable and reliable natural gas as a transportation fuel. “I’m hoping I’ll get the same thing on the third reading and implement this because I think it’s important to the industry. It’s 25 to 30 per cent cheaper for the industry to use it and it’s 30 per cent cleaner than fuels like diesel,” Bailey added.

    This is all part of Bailey’s clear understanding of the benefits of natural gas – conferring with industry experts and looking for opportunities to create jobs.

    “With almost 600,000 people out of work, we need to do everything we can to encourage industry and… young men and women to go into these careers and make a good living,” Bailey said. “The natural gas sector contributes a billion dollars in Ontario alone, and pays over $170 million in annual taxes to the municipal, provincial, and federal governments.”

    Let us know your thoughts in the comments section provided below.


  2. Categories: Business

    Outdoor Farm Show A Sign of the Times

    Woodstock, Ontario played host to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show (COFS) in early September—an annual event that reigns as the country’s largest agricultural trade show. More than 750 exhibitors and 49,000 visitors attended, many of whom flocked to the New Fuels/New Trucks Expo, an exhibit that featured natural gas-powered light and heavy trucks from Peterbilt and Volvo.

    “Interest is really growing in compressed natural gas,” said Murray Logan, the event’s manager of renewable energy development. “It’s an emerging technology and was a highlight.”

    Though hybrid and electric vehicles were also featured, the stars of the show were compressed and liquid natural gas vehicles. And how couldn’t they be? Fuel expenses can be reduced by up to half when using natural gas over diesel.

    Faromor Energy Solutions (mentioned previously in this blog) was a presenting sponsor, and has installed CNG fueling stations in various locations in rural Ontario to make refueling more accessible to farmers hauling grain, livestock or milk. Moreover, CNG equipment can be adapted to run on biomethane created right on the farm using an anaerobic digester. Needless to mention, when businesses have the ability to create their own fuel, you really get their attention.

    “Farmers are always interested in ways to cut their energy costs. Feedback was very positive with quite a number of attendees seeking follow-up information,” said Logan. “CNG and LNG fueling will gain greater popularity as the infrastructure to support it grows.”

    Chrysler, GM and Ford were also on hand with dual-fuel capable vehicles that can run on natural gas when it’s available and diesel or gasoline when it’s not.

    Do you feel natural gas is being accepted in a wider range of applications than ever before? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section provided below.


  3. Categories: Business

    The Market Should Decide Ontario’s Energy Future

    On September 18, 2013, a C.D. Howe Institute report outlined the policy think tank’s thoughts on how Ontario’s power sector requires a major overhaul to address inefficiencies and rising costs. Its primary recommendation was clear: Ontario’s electricity needs less government involvement.

    The non-partisan organization went on to highlight how the province has an energy oversupply, a mismatch between generator capabilities and supply needs, and policies that have contributed to a rise in consumer prices .

    The report recommends a more “technology neutral” policy: “The province should redesign its electricity generation procurement to incorporate market signals that would attract long-term, least-cost generation sources while avoiding procurement mistakes of the past,” the report added.

    In other words, market forces should decide.

    The report continues: “The government is using the electricity sector to support a range of shifting policy objectives, including job creation, sector-specific economic growth and emissions reduction, without credible examination of whether burdening the electricity ratepayer with the cost is economically efficient.”

    C.D. Howe also argues we would all be paying less for power had we relied on natural gas. The development of new deposits and resulting abundance in supply has made reliable natural gas impossible to ignore.

    What factors should the government consider when designing electricity policy for Ontario? Tell us your views in the comments section provided below.