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  1. Categories: Environment
    Natural gas use up, US emissions down

    Natural gas use up, U.S. emissions down

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently reported their findings that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 10 per cent from 2010 to 2012, as power generators make the switch from coal to natural gas. The Energy Information Administration, part of the Department of Energy, said U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to their lowest level since 1994 — great news for we Ontarians, who get exposed to air pollution from our neighbours to the south.

    Their study collected emissions data from over 8,000 of the largest polluters in their nation. Of the thousands of facilities studied, fossil fuel power plants were the largest source of emissions – at roughly 40 per cent. The most polluting plant, located in Georgia, emitted 21.8 million tons of CO2 equivalent. Other such plants were found in Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They will be the main objective targeted by Washington’s proposed plan to regulate emissions by June of next year. (Ironically, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania have Marcellus Shale gas deposits right under their feet.)

    This comes hot on the heels of the World Health Organization’s cancer agency classifying the very air we breathe as cancer causing. This is the first time experts have made such a classification.

    Data indicates that 223,000 deaths worldwide were due to air pollution and particulate matter. From now on, these pollutants will be classified as Group 1 human carcinogens, alongside asbestos, plutonium, silica dust, ultraviolet radiation and tobacco smoke.

    Obviously, clean, affordable and reliable natural gas can and should be part of the greater plan to move towards a cleaner world.

    Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section provided below.


  2. Categories: Environment

    Transporting Our Energy

    Never has the issue of how to transport Canadian energy been more in the spotlight than it is today. However, we all need to look past the headlines and examine the facts.

    Rail or pipeline? As with all things, we need to diversify.

    Fact is, rail transport of our oil is set to quadruple by the end of this year. That’s a lot of energy being shunted around – energy that could be delivered more efficiently by pipeline. And it’s all due to get even busier because Canadian production is poised to increase by more than 1.5 million barrels a day — roughly 50 per cent more, by 2020.

    Vancouver-based think tank The Fraser Institute recently published a study that concluded pipelines remain the safest way to transport energy. Not only are the volumes higher than by rail, the research also found that pipeline leaks are barely one-tenth those of rail transport. On a per ton-miles basis, rail spills were four times more likely in the U.S. than pipeline.

    Of course, these findings are timely considering tragic derailments on both sides of the border, the aforementioned recent escalation in energy being transported by rail, and the political opposition to major pipeline projects such as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway.

    And yet, this doesn’t mean pipelines should be built without thought or concern, crisscrossing our landscapes. As with all things, we need balance – a rational discussion of facts that will optimize safety, environment and prosperity. Let’s recognize the safety argument with regard to pipelines as the scare tactic it truly is. Let’s also acknowledge there’s no perfect answer. One thing is certain: it requires true collaboration to get the solutions we all need and deserve.

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


  3. Categories: Business, Environment

    Chinese Future Appetite for Natural Gas

    Over the last decade, China’s booming economy has had far-reaching impacts throughout the world. Counting more than 1.3 billion people, China’s economy demands significant quantities of raw materials and energy from throughout the world. Consequently, its deceleration will have an inverse impact.

    But it will also inform the choices they make as a society – particularly in their energy makeup. And that’s good news for Canada’s western natural gas exports.

    Why? Despite China’s GDP cooling from a world-leading 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent this year, and manufacturing and exports weakening, growth in absolute energy consumption is nevertheless rising. Because of their sheer numbers, they don’t need economic growth to require greater amounts of energy, overall. Continuing expansion of their middle class, among other factors will propel their energy consumption to twice that of the entire European continent by 2025.

    Till now, their overwhelming energy demands have been met by coal. Coal provided their flourishing economy with scalable, cheap energy – much the way it did in the West’s Industrial Age. This much coal consumption, of course, comes with massive negative consequences to the environment and public health.

    Over the next two decades, China will turn to clean, affordable and reliable natural gas. After all, it’s the way of all developing economies in history – they must diversify their energy sources. And natural gas is the only scalable, clean-burning energy that makes sense. By 2025, China could be consuming natural gas in quantities close to what the U.S. consumes today. Supplying China will benefit Canada’s Western gas industry like never before.

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

    Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/chinas-next-bet-is-on-natural-gas/article13230372/