VIDEO: New UBC Study is Bad News for Site C

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VIDEO: Five Facepalm-Worthy Facts from UBC’s New Analysis on the Site C Dam

The Site C dam no longer makes
economic sense and construction on
the project should be halted immediately, according to researchers from the
University of British Columbia. That recommendation comes on the heels of a major new study that examines the
business case for Site C given major changes in economic and energy market conditions since the project was first proposed in the 1980s.

“We brought together a team of experts in energy and engineering and took a look at the business case for Site C as it stands today,” Karen Bakker, professor at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the report, told DeSmog Canada.

“In fact it’s so weak, we’re arguing the project should be paused.”

So what are the facts that undermine the case for Site C? Read more.

Geothermal Makes Breakthrough in Federal Budget … Now What?

For more than a decade, advocates of geothermal energy have pushed for the same kind of treatment other energy producers receive from the federal government — with little progress.

But with the release of the federal budget on March 22, that changed.

The budget included the expansion of financial mechanisms to geothermal, which will allow these emerging renewable energy operators to write off more expenses. The change is significant for geothermal energy, which requires higher upfront investments than wind or solar. Read more.

Canada On Precipice of ‘Huge Step Forward’ For Environmental Assessments

Hope may finally be in sight for fixing Canada’s environmental assessment process, after a four-member expert panel released a promising report on the heels of consultations in 21 cities across the country.

Historically, the focus of Canada’s environmental assessment has been on “avoiding harm” and “significant adverse impacts” associated with new projects, but the new approach recommended by the panel would shift the focus to a “net contribution to sustainability,” said Anna Johnston, staff counsel at West Coast Environmental Law.

“The recommendations that the panel has made address a number of the concerns that were raised by the scientific community,” said Aerin Jacob, conservation scientist for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. “I was pleasantly surprised.” Read more.

B.C. Quietly Grants Mount Polley Mine Permit to Pipe Mine Waste Directly Into Quesnel Lake

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has quietly granted the Mount Polley Mining Corporation permission to drain mining waste directly into Quesnel Lake, B.C.’s deepest fjord lake and a source of drinking water for residents of Likely, B.C., as part of a “long-term water management plan.”

The wastewater discharge permit comes nearly three years after the collapse of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond spilled an estimated 25 million cubic metres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake, in what is considered the worst mining disaster in Canadian history.

No charges and no fines have been laid for the spill that cost B.C. taxpayers an estimated $40 million in cleanup costs and that B.C.’s chief mine inspector, Al Hoffman, found was the result of “poor practices” and “non-compliances.”r0

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