The ECOReport - What Works? What Doesn't? And What can we do about it? Exploring issues from different perspectives, leading to a range of differing opinions.

Should Ontario Build Wind Turbines On Migration Routes?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1When the first winter’s snow covers their hunting grounds, Ontario’s Golden Eagles head south. Many fly along the shore of the Great Lakes, crossing into the United States when the shores are close. This is a major flyway and, according to an article in the Kingston Field Naturalists, “12 million migratory birds pass through” Ontario’s Prince Edward County every year. Some, like the Golden Eagle, are endangered species. Many fall prey to the whirling blades of wind turbines. One of the wind projects sited on this flyway, Wolfe Island, reputedly has the “highest avian mortality in the province.”  Across the border in Michigan state, Huron County intervened on behalf of the birds impose to a 3 mile set-back from the lake. There is no corresponding fly through zone in Ontario. Submissions for two new wind projects – Whites Pines and Ostander Point – are among those being considered for Ontario’s Large Renewable Procurement. The province will not release a list of proposed projects until August 7, when the submission deadline ends. Should Ontario build wind turbines on migration routes?

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“Gas Man” Says Do Not Equate Gas With Coal Or Oil

President of The International Gas Union Argues that natural gas is not just a another fossil fuel 

Originally Published in Energy Post

By Karel Beckman

Natural gas can help safeguard the planet: it can become the world’s major energy source, be a factor for peace and help save the climate, says Jérôme Ferrier, President of the International Gas Union (IGU) and the French Gas Association in an interview with Energy Post. But, he adds, to enable gas to fulfill these roles, policymakers will have to make a clear choice in favour of gas over oil and coal. “They have to discriminate!”

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Western Europe Is The #1 Choice For Foreign Investors

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Western Europe is the #1 choice destination for foreign investors, according to this year’s EY Foreign investment survey. Half of the respondents indicated it was the most attractive region to establish operations and 59% expect the financial climate to get even better. Investors with a European presence were more likely to rank it first (55%), while other respondents tended to prefer North America or China.

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Cleaning Up The Santa Barbara Oil Spill

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1It has been eight days since a 24-inch Plains All American oil pipeline ruptured. Though the pipeline was manually shut down after 45 minutes, approximately 105,000 spilled and 20,000 of that entered the ocean. Volunteers are combing 8 miles of affected shoreline, skimming oil from the  ocean, and rescuing wildlife. Close to a thousand people are cleaning up the Santa Barbara Oil Spill.

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Plant Species Defending Themselves Against Deer

After Predators Were Virtually Eliminated From The Gulf Islands

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The European arrival in British Columbia resulted in an explosive growth of the deer population. This is particularly true in the Gulf Islands, where there natural predators (cougars, bears and wolves) have virtually been eliminated. Deer populations can be as high as 170 animals per square-kilometer. Now there are reports of plant species defending themselves against deer.

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A Veritable Paroxysm Upon The Land

The Rise of IPPPs in British Columbia

Originally Published on Pique

By Leslie Anthony

Imagine the Sea to Sky corridor as a scene of widespread destruction, trees levelled in every direction, piled helter-skelter as if vast swaths of forest had been taken out by the sweep of a giant’s hand, and with steep mountainsides below magnificent peaks, formerly green, now scarred brown by rockfall and displaced soil, tell-tale clouds of dust hanging in the air. A veritable paroxysm upon the land.
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Site C Dam Project Needs To Be Delayed For Two Years

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1After a careful examination of BC Hydro’s analysis of the Site C Dam project, energy economist Robert McCullough concluded, “Nobody in their right mind would build anything today.” The 5,100 GW of electricity this facility would produce is not needed. It probably will not be needed before 2028. Ratepayers will save $200 million if construction of the Site C Dam is delayed for two years. In fact, “A longer delay will very likely generate higher net savings.” This was one of many factors that led McCullough, the economist who busted Enron, to conclude the Site C dam project needs to be delayed for two years.

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Santa Barbara Disaster Was Inevitable

Big Oil’s capture of the regulatory apparatus

Originally Published on the Daily KOS

By Dan Bacher

The same region devastated by the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969 is now the scene of a massive clean up of crude oil by the state and federal governments and volunteers. The international and national media have spread throughout the world the startling images of the oil soaked beaches, birds, fish and ecosystem in a deluge of TV, radio, newspaper and internet reports.

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El Nino bad for Washington drought, good for California

Originally Published by Washington State University News

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

PULLMAN, Wash. – Despite recent rains, the drought settling over Washington state that spurred the governor to declare an emergency last week is likely to grow worse – driven by a strengthening El Nino weather pattern from the Pacific Ocean.

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Coming Soon: Residential Demand Charges

Originally Published on RMI Outlet

By Matt Lehman

Demand charges for commercial and industrial customers have long been a part of the electric industry. Since utilities need to build infrastructure to meet both instantaneous and long-term requirements, the utility bill contains both an energy charge, which measures the amount of electricity a customer uses over time, and a demand charge, which measures how much power is used at any given point in time.

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What Works? What Doesn't? And What can we do about it? Exploring issues from different perspectives, leading to a range of differing opinions.