Switching to electric vehicles won’t avert climate change

More greenhouse gases are released when making an EV than a comparable internal combustion engine

Switching to electric vehicles won’t avert climate changeI’m not a climate skeptic. As an environmental scientist/engineer by training, I think climate change is real. But it’s like every other environmental issue: a more-or-less routine engineering challenge, rather than a world-altering disaster justifying the fever-dreams of the radical greens. I am, however, an electric vehicle skeptic. Or, more broadly, I’m skeptical that electric…

Conservative climate plan falls into familiar traps

Remarkably similar to pretty much every past plan, whether dressed in conservative or liberal phrasing

Conservative climate plan falls into familiar trapsA lot has been written in Canada about the recently-revealed Conservative Plan to Combat Climate Change. Most of that (including my own first take) focused on the carbon tax part of the Conservative Party of Canada’s plan, which is just another rhetorically packaged tax-and-rebate scheme that has become the norm for carbon-tax implementation. Governments levy…

We still need plastics despite Trudeau’s vow to get rid of them

Plastics have allowed a revolution in material science that has vastly improved our quality of life

We still need plastics despite Trudeau’s vow to get rid of themBy now, most everyone has seen the memes of Dr. Evil ordering a change of focus in his campaign to maintain global fear: “Fear of [the last crisis] is no longer working. Release the murder hornets!” To judge from recent news articles, the meme should read: “Fear of COVID-19 is no longer working. Restart the…

Federal government’s vaccine rollout all about politics

Priorities based more on the shortage of vaccines than ensuring vulnerable populations are inoculated

Federal government’s vaccine rollout all about politicsRecent guidance for vaccine distribution published by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) shows how horribly politicized Canada’s pandemic response has been. At the very point of administering the ‘jab of life,’ the government can still not play it straight and follow what’s actually the science, which is the reality of who gets sick,…

The wasted pursuit of social licence for oil exploration

Canada wasn’t targeted for international outrage because it was a threat to the global climate, but simply because it was an easy target

The wasted pursuit of social licence for oil explorationFor several decades, Canada was the focus of a global attack on its natural resource economy, with its oil sands deposits (the world’s third-largest oil reserve) ranked as public enemy number one. Though only a tiny contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (about 1.6 per cent of the total), the oil sands were seen as…

New strategies for when a pandemic becomes endemic

What governments have done in response to COVID-19 has been remarkably injurious to humanity’s general health

New strategies for when a pandemic becomes endemicRecent pronouncements by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest its view of COVID-19 is evolving from a pandemic threat that’s novel and spreading to an endemic threat that has established itself as just another new contestant in the vast ecosystem of organisms that interact periodically with humans. This suggests a need to change strategy. After…

Green enviro-dreams based on fantasy, not science

Energy analyst Mark Mills says we're decades away from renewables providing 100% of the power that drives our economy

Green enviro-dreams based on fantasy, not scienceEnvironmental groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation, remain enamoured of renewable energy, telling followers that the “global push for cleaner, healthier energy is on. With costs dropping dramatically, renewable energy is becoming the best choice for the environment and the economy.” The Green Party of Canada is on board, touting the idea that Alberta “should be ready”…

Mining permit waits hamper Canadian development

Exploration is the critical first stage in mining development. Yet many provinces don't meet their own guidelines

Mining permit waits hamper Canadian developmentEvery year, the Fraser Institute publishes a survey of senior mining company executives that assesses policy environments around the world and the mineral potential of jurisdictions. Those two components are used to create an investment attractiveness index. One thing miners repeatedly tell us is that they’re concerned about obtaining exploration permits: how long does it…

Activist ‘wall’ thwarting Canadian oil exports

The delay of Keystone XL, likely by at least a year, is another blow to Canada and a particularly sharp blow to Alberta

Activist ‘wall’ thwarting Canadian oil exportsProgressives (and some conservatives) have largely stymied President Donald Trump on getting his wall across the U.S. southern border built. Ironically, those same progressives have given the president another wall – encompassing Canada and thwarting oil exports to countries other than the United States. The latest slab in the wall is a ruling by a…

Why are investors souring on Alberta?

Policy uncertainty almost certainly plays a role

Why are investors souring on Alberta?Alberta’s economy has suffered in recent years. A major factor was world oil prices, which plummeted in 2014. And limited pipeline capacity, which fetches Canadian oil producers depressed prices for Canadian oil exacerbated Alberta’s economic woes. A number of metrics indicate that oil and gas investment in Alberta is in steep decline. According to a…

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategy

By subsidizing wind and solar power, the government put its green agenda ahead of Ontarians

Fix Ontario’s disastrous power strategyThere is still much work to be done on behalf of Ontario’s energy consumers and taxpayers. In 2005, I released a study called Pain Without Gain with two co-authors (University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick and air quality analyst Joel Schwartz). The subtitle of the piece was that shutting down coal-fired power plants would hurt Ontario.…

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline style

Once again, the National Energy Board will review the contentious project. It's paralysis by analysis

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline styleOn Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil in the United States and Wiarton Willie in Canada ceremonially emerge from their dens. If they see their shadows (meaning it’s a sunny day), they return to their dens for an additional six weeks of winter. And who can forget the classic movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray…

Here’s the carbon tax bill for the average Canadian

The government should admit that its carbon tax will significantly burden families for a climate benefit too small to measure

Here’s the carbon tax bill for the average CanadianIt took some poking and prodding and committee testimony, but now we know what the bill will be for a $50-per-tonne federal carbon tax. In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary assistant economics professor Jennifer Winter revealed the bottom line. Using energy consumption data…

Ottawa lays another brick in the wall to stop Alberta oil exports

Ottawa ignores the evidence with Bill C-48, which will make it more difficult to ship oil and byproducts to lucrative Asian markets

Ottawa lays another brick in the wall to stop Alberta oil exportsAs virtually everyone knows by now, the federal government decided to address Canada’s inability to get pipelines built from Alberta to tidewater the old fashioned way. It nationalized the last viable pipeline project, the twinning of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, and paid $4.5 billion for the existing pipeline. With that purchase, we have…

City hall holds the key to solving Canada’s urban housing crisis

As centres for jobs, education and innovation, municipalities play an outsized role in Canada’s continued prosperity

City hall holds the key to solving Canada’s urban housing crisisBy Kenneth P. Green and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute For mayors, councillors and city staff in Canada’s largest cities, housing affordability is – or should be – top of mind. With the cost of owning a home out of reach for many, and the ability to rent hampered by virtually non-existent vacancies in the…

Trans Mountain pipeline will benefit Canada – at a very high price

Nationalizing the project is far from ideal. It’s an admission that Canada’s regulatory approval process is profoundly broken

Trans Mountain pipeline will benefit Canada – at a very high priceLast week, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the federal government will buy the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project for $4.5 billion. The government plans to construct the pipeline through a Crown corporation, with an expectation of selling it or otherwise transferring ownership in the future. The project will nearly triple the capacity to move…

Why build a pipeline if we prohibit oil tanker traffic?

The federal government's Bill C-48 would indefinitely ban most oil tankers loading or unloading anywhere on the B.C. north coast

Why build a pipeline if we prohibit oil tanker traffic?While the Trans Mountain pipeline saga grabs headlines across the country, Bill C-48, which indefinitely bans most oil tankers loading or unloading anywhere on British Columbia’s north coast, recently had its third reading in Parliament. The bill, which must still pass through the Senate, erects yet another barrier to exporting Canadian oil to markets in…

Priming the pump of bad incentives in Canada

The nationalization of a project with massive profit potential like Trans Mountain is an admission that Canada’s regulatory system is badly – if not entirely – broken

Priming the pump of bad incentives in CanadaThe decision to nationalize the Trans Mountain pipeline is not a victory, it’s a failure. Back in April, Kinder Morgan announced it was halting all “non-essential” operations on its Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project pending an establishment of certainty that the project would continue despite entrenched opposition by the British Columbia government. In a news…

Vancouver mayor’s pipe dreams and twisted perspectives

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's attacks on Trans Mountain pipeline based on falsehoods and nonsensical enviro-rhetoric

By Kenneth P. Green and Elmira Aliakbari The Fraser Institute Not content with his ongoing opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion at home, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is agitating against the project in the United States. “I don’t think this project will go – I really don’t – based on the resistance…

Trans Mountain a pipeline to prosperity and stability

First Nations support pipelines, including Trans Mountain. Abandoning the project will be a severe blow to those communities

Trans Mountain a pipeline to prosperity and stabilityBy Joseph Quesnel and Kenneth Green The Fraser Institute Alberta Premier Rachel Notley forgot one group of Canadians when she cheered a recent court ruling relating to the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. “It wasn’t that we won the decision, it was the court wouldn’t even hear it. So, it was a pretty definitive…

Dropping the gloves over pipelines

Kinder Morgan's acknowledgement that doing business in Canada may not be worth the trouble represents a watershed moment in Canadian economic history

Dropping the gloves over pipelinesEarlier this month, pipeline company Kinder Morgan announced it will suspend all “non-essential” activities and “related spending” on the federally-approved Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In unusually clear language, Kinder Morgan explained that it can’t invest more money into a project that it can’t ensure will see completion. Kinder Morgan chief executive officer Steven Kean said…

The high cost of pipeline obstructionism in Canada

Our lack of capacity to cheaply transport crude is costing us billions. Policy-makers need to recognize the urgent need for pipelines

By Kenneth P. Green, Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute In recent months, Canadian crude oil prices have dropped relative to other international benchmark prices, costing the economy billions in foregone revenues. The recent increase in the Western Canada Select (WCS) price discount compared to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is largely due to…

A flicker of hope in Canada’s gloomy energy climate

B.C.’s proposed tax incentive plan for an LNG facility in Kitimat is a step forward. But more must happen to revitalize Canada's economy

A flicker of hope in Canada’s gloomy energy climateBy Kenneth Green and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute The British Columbia government recently announced it will provide a large tax incentive to promote the building of a natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Kitimat. The announcement is a bright spark in an otherwise gloomy environment for energy transport and export infrastructure. The Kitimat…

Manitoba mining industry buried by policies, taxes

Mining investors dramatically downgrade Manitoba in annual survey. Only the provincial government can fix this

Manitoba mining industry buried by policies, taxesBy Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Manitoba is no longer a top-ranked jurisdiction for mining investment because of government policy uncertainty, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies. Every year, the Fraser Institute surveys mining companies around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive –…

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new level

B.C.’s government seems intent on crippling the Canadian economy and tearing apart inter-provincial relations

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new levelThe B.C. government has thrown yet another wrench in the gears of the Canadian provincial comity with a declaration that it will create a new regulatory process for pipeline approval and restrict how much bitumen can be moved through pipelines into the province. The government, led by Premier John Horgan, also announced it will create…

Is Ottawa really committed to new resource development?

It's doubtful. Its plan to “improve” the NEB actually makes it more difficult and costly for business to navigate

Is Ottawa really committed to new resource development?By Kenneth Green and Ross McKitrick The Fraser Institute The federal government recently announced its plan to “improve” the National Energy Board. The language of the announcement is all “sunny ways,” promising to be all things to all stakeholders. But the promises are incompatible. The announcement says the new approval process for major energy projects will…

Digging into mining investment growth

Mining investors will flock to jurisdictions that have attractive policies, and capital will follow, along with the ancillary benefits of jobs and tax revenue

Digging into mining investment growthBy Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Ontario has received some good news from mining investors. Those investors now see the province as one of the top 10 most attractive regions for mining investment worldwide, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies. Every year, the institute surveys miners around the…

Canada paying the price for pipeline intransigence

Increasingly, the U.S. will compete with Canada for oil export markets, while more of its domestic needs are met by its own producers

If Canada’s governments won’t push to get pipeline projects built, Canadians will be the poorer for it. Canada’s overwhelming dependence on one market for its oil and gas exports comes with a serious price tag. Canadian Western Select crude oil sells at a substantially lower price than oil from other jurisdictions, such as West Texas…

The urban squeeze myth laid bare

Concerns about density are misplaced – Toronto and Vancouver have plenty of room to grow up and grow more affordable

The urban squeeze myth laid bareBy Josef Filipowicz and Kenneth P. Green The Fraser Institute Headlines about housing affordability in Canada mainly concern two cities – Toronto and Vancouver. In both cities and their surrounding areas, rental vacancies hover at or below one per cent, and home prices remain historically high. So Canada’s most desirable markets face tremendous pressure to…