The New Normal: The Two Faces of Canadian Fracking

Martin Collins, Regional Planner with British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Commission defends fracking as beneficial to livestock and farming, despite the use of 750 chemical additives, known carcinogens

Part III of The ECOReport Earth Day Investigative Special Report on the Water/Energy Nexus

By Robert Lundahl and Roy L Hales. Produced by Robert Lundahl

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1 Martin Collins was surprisingly talkative, for someone directly answerable to British Columbia’s Cabinet. Though his superiors, the Chair and six Vice Chairs of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), were all appointed by Cabinet or the Ministry of Agriculture, the ALC ostensibly operates as an independent tribunal.

That’s convenient for his superiors. Collins was set up, as was the ALC, in a remarkable “responsibility dodge” under the most dire of circumstances, following revelations of the severity of the California drought.

In his “day job,” Collins is the Regional Planner for the Okanagan, Interior and Northeast regions.  Everything about the self professed “paper pusher’s” voice and mannerisms, suggests he would like to be transparent, but Collins is caught in a closing vice between disingenuous government officials practicing a unique and charm-free version of Canadian “double speak,” and the world’s energy producers, hell-bent on fracking British Columbia’s last best agricultural resources and opportunities for food security.

Government officials don’t much care if Collins is squeezed by the avarice of deception on one side and “sector collapse” on the other, as the North American economy drops millions of people into potential deprivation. No water, no food.

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Conflict of Interests: British Columbia Allows Productive Agricultural Land to be Flooded for Site C Dam

Doublespeak on Government Policy Follows California Drought Revelations

Part II of The ECOReport Earth Day Investigative Special Report on the Water/Energy Nexus

Written by Roy L Hales and Robert Lundahl. Produced by Robert Lundahl.

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1In addition to being one of the province’s most promising agricultural areas, the Peace River Valley sits on the Montney shale formation and is location of the proposed Site C Dam. This is “double trouble” for agriculture in British Columbia, as not only has the area been proposed to be flooded, but it is now flooded with speculators and energy companies wishing to frack the life out of the place before it is.

With the revelations of the severity of California’s drought coming at Canadians a mile a minute, uncertain pressures on the food supply from Canada’s trading partners in an ever drier California  stand starkly in opposition to energy profiteering and collusion by the Provincial  government and the Cabinet. Amid predictions of $7 heads of broccoli on the horizon, the government acted all right, but it acted not to protect the food security of Canadians, but to protect the pocketbooks of energy companies.

In a deft deployment of “finger pointing,” a Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson recently informed the ECOreport that the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) makes the decisions regarding land zoned for agricultural use . “The ALC is an administrative tribunal – arm’s length from government – and government does not interfere in that independent decision-making process.” He did not mention the fact two weeks prior to our interview, the Cabinet of British Columbia removed land from the ALC — and from agricultural use — for the Site C Dam flooding.

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Almond Acreage Expands While Cities Forced To Slash Water Use

Originally Published on Daily KOS

by Dan Bacher

A coalition of environmentalists on April 20 blasted Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and other corporate agribusiness interests for continuing to plant thousands of acres of new almond trees during the drought while Governor Jerry Brown is mandating that urban families slash water usage by 25 percent.

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Does BC Prioritize Fracking Over Food?

Climate Change, Politics & Agriculture in Canada’s Pacific Province

Part I of The ECOReport Earth Day Investigative Special Report on the Water/Energy Nexus.

Written by Roy L Hales and Robert Lundahl. Produced by Robert Lundahl.

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1California’s drought is a North American disaster-in-the-making. Most of British Columbia’s fresh produce is grown in California. Though Canada’s Pacific Province exports a large variety of fruit and vegetables, it grows less than half the food it needs. Only 5% of the province is in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and, thanks to Bill 24, this could shrink to as little as one half of one percent (0.5%). Looking at the lands whose protections are being relaxed, one has to ask, does BC prioritize fracking over food?

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US Leads the World in EV Adoption

Originally Published on Click Green

The United States currently leads the world in the number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road, capturing 41% of the global market. Though the market can be traced back to the early-to-mid 1990s with the release of the Chrysler TEVan and the General Motors EV1, it wasn’t until the second wave of vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, both introduced in 2010, that plug-in electric cars started to become a success in the US.

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What Is California‘s New Normal?

By Roy L Hales, Peter Bettendorff & Robert Lundahl

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1People tend to think of California’s drought as a local problem, only it happens to provide most of the North America with fruit and vegetables.

When you consider that vegetables are mostly composed of water, one has to ask what will happen when it runs out? ECOreport’s Peter Bettendorf recently asked this question at Napa Valley’s Master Gardeners Annual Tomato Sale. There was genuine concern as people tried to cope with the question, What is California’s new normal?

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Commission approves fishing closure on Sacramento River

Applies to all fishing for 5.5 miles of  Sacramento River

Originally Published in the Fishsniffer & Daily KOS 

by Dan Bacher

The California Fish and Game Commission on April 17 unanimously approved a controversial emergency regulation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to close 5.5 miles of spawning habitat in the Sacramento River above the city of Redding to protect winter-run Chinook salmon from around April 27 to July 31.

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US Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Increase For Second Year In A Row

Originally Published on Click Green

For the second year in a row, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States have increased, according to the latest official figures.

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Has The U.S. Reached “Peak Oil” At Current Price Levels?

Originally Published at Oilprice.com

By Leonard Brecken

Last night the EIA once again capitulated on the myth that rig counts don’t matter and the productivity of wells would largely offset, leaving the industry on a continuous path to higher output. The current consensus of 500,000 B/D additional growth in 2015 US production now appears very much at risk.

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