Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: August 18, 2020
Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:
Study: BC Carbon Tax Ineffective at Reducing Emissions
Earlier this month the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) looked at a number of policy efforts intended to offset greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions. From their analysis, CERI concluded that unlike some policies in neighboring countries, British Columbia’s carbon tax policy resulted in little-to-no reductions in GHG emissions.
The CERI study looked a number of economic policies across the globe, focusing in on the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), California’s (linked with Quebec) Cap-and-Trade System, BC’s Carbon Tax System, and Alberta’s Specified Emitters Regulation (SGER).
When comparing BC’s GHG emissions policy with others, CERI concluded the BC carbon tax policy solely boosted economic activity but had no effect on reducing emissions—it’s intended goal:
“Since the objective of regulatory policy is to reduce emissions, our results suggest that the carbon tax policy in British Columbia failed to achieve its goal. In fact, oil prices have been found to have a bigger effect on emissions in BC than carbon tax.”
CERI also concluded Alberta’s SGER policy did not achieve any reductions in emissions. Even more so, CERI found that SGER policy may have even increased GHG emissions:
“Alberta SGER policy did not reduce GHG emissions as well. In fact, the SGER policy had a statistically significant positive impact on GHG emissions. Consistent with other literature, we find a positive correlation between GDP and GHG emissions indicating that an increase in economic activity generally increases GHG emissions.”
Trans Mountain Contributes US$3.1 Million to Upgrades in Clearwater, Alberta
Clearwater County, Alberta, located in the province’s northeast corridor, signed a US$3.1 million funding agreement with Trans Mountain last week.
The funding will provide crucial upgrades to the county’s drinking water, wastewater management and sewer treatment systems. The upgrades to Clearwater’s water systems will be part of a massive overhaul of the county’s existing infrastructure and will help support the Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s worker accommodation camp. The initiative ensures the camp minimizes impacts on the community and provides a lasting benefit for the region.
In a press release, Trans Mountain’s President and CEO Ian Anderson conveyed that from the project’s onset, the Trans Mountain pipeline would make a positive impact on the communities it crosses paths with:
“When we began planning the Expansion Project, we made a commitment to work with communities to minimize the impact of construction activity and maximize the long-term benefits for local communities.”
The local government and its residents are set to benefit from the Trans Mountain expansion in many ways. After the expansion is complete, the local Clearwater government will receive nearly $900,000 annually paid in local taxes. In addition, a community benefits agreement was announced in 2015 with the District of Clearwater for $390,000 that will go towards funding community projects and local education and training opportunities.
Leslie Groulx, the District of Clearwater’s Chief Administrative Officer wrote that the expansion project will fast track nearly a decade’s worth of improvements:
“The District is very thankful and appreciative of the development of a funding agreement to complete the necessary infrastructure improvements for our water and sewer systems to be able to serve the Trans Mountain camp. These three projects alone will fast track our infrastructure upgrades the equivalent of 10 years, and that is assuming we were successful in applying for grants to fund and complete them. It has been a pleasure working with the team at Trans Mountain this past six years to bring this to fruition.”
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