Air Water Land - Magazine Contents —June 2009
Editor's noteIn the crosshairs
When it comes to fossil fuels, nothing is more abundant or widely available than coal. But as we all know, burning coal is a major emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). And while we read a lot about the problem of GHG emissions in Canada’s oilsands region, given the abundant use of coal in our country it should come as no surprise that coal-fired power plants can no longer escape being in the Canadian government’s crosshairs.
Up in the airIndustrial Heartland awaits guidance of emissions as “Solomon-type” decision on who should pay looms
In the wake of a series of delays and cancellations of industrial facilities across the province, an Alberta Environment deadline to curb nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions at upgraders and refineries in the Industrial Heartland has quietly come and gone.
Alberta has laid out a plan to make oilsands development more environmentally friendly by bringing forward tough new regulations for oilsands tailings ponds.
Leaving a smaller footprintDevon Canada’s new green way of constructing pipelines draws on collaboration
There’s a story coming out of Alberta’s upstream oil and gas industry. It’s a tale of conspiracy, of meetings between people who don’t normally talk. Industry is involved. The government too. And as with many stories related to oil and gas, it involves quite a bit of dirt and ends with a major, long-lasting impact on the environment.
No longer kingOnce-mighty coal is in the crosshairs as government looks for ways to reduce emissions
Coal-fired power plants are the likely first target of the federal government’s push to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent from current levels by 2050.
Uncentred approachSpreading out electrical generation through small decentralized facilities benefits environment
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the world’s increasing interest in environmental sustainability is the corresponding shift in the thinking that accompanies it. In many cases, less now really is more. At the same time, bigger isn’t immediately assumed to be better.
Alternative energyBig changes ahead for U.S. biofuels
U.S. efforts to wean itself of imported oil took another step forward in May when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a proposal to change biofuel standards.
Renewable energyHappy to be in hot water
Toronto-area homeowners are being given the chance to save on their hot water heating costs—possibly as much as $260 annually—under an innovative solar water heating program.
Water, water everywhereEngineer-turned-advocate Kim Sturgess is on a mission to protect Alberta’s freshwater resource
Looking out a window of the Alberta Research Council building in Calgary—home to her company Alberta WaterSMART—Kim Sturgess doesn’t seem to notice the late spring snowstorm. She is thinking about a campsite on Lake Annette near Jasper, Alberta, a place she will visit this summer with her white German shepherd, Chinook.
Just the factsClearing the air
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy says it’s time to jettison “top-down regulatory programs that expand government’s bureaucratic whimsy and make our environmental programs more intrusive, but no more effective” when it comes to energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases in western Canada. So the Winnipeg, Manitoba, think-tank came up with 10 suggestions of its own.