Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studies

Disturbances by humans or nature change the balance of fungi in soil, potentially making it harder for seedlings to regenerate

Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studiesDisturbances can hit Alberta’s lodgepole pine forests hard – including life under the soil, new University of Alberta research shows. Fungal communities that nourish pine tree roots are being altered by both human-made and natural disturbances, which can stress forests and make it tougher for pine seedlings to regenerate, said Jean Rodriguez Ramos, a PhD…

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruin

The government of Premier Jason Kenney has decided to end a 44-year moratorium on open-pit coal mining in southern Alberta

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruinDesperate times sometimes lead to catastrophic measures. In Alberta, the beleaguered provincial government is in a financial situation that could be characterized as desperate, suffering from the double-whammy of collapsed resource revenues and, of course, the massive spending required to address the social wildfire known as the COVID-19 pandemic. The desperate measure that the United…

Who will lead Alberta to a new energy future?

How well prepared is Alberta for the disruptive change coming to the province’s energy sector?

Who will lead Alberta to a new energy future?This past week has seen further waves buffeting the oil industry. Millions of people around the world marched on Friday demanding climate action, and British Columbia won a court ruling that temporarily blocks Alberta’s turn-off-the-taps legislation. Against this backdrop, the recent Energy Disruptors conference in Calgary was timely indeed. The event brought about 1,500 energy…

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous game

Weaken the regulatory framework at your peril. Sloppy regulation begets sloppy industrial operation. And that drives investment away

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous gameGrant Sprague and Bev Yee, Alberta deputy ministers of energy and environment respectively, are very capable senior bureaucrats. Here’s hoping they bring to bear all their skills for the review of the Alberta Energy Regulator. They should keep in mind that the review ought not to be the witch hunt the current political framing suggests…

Albertans can’t hide from climate change as election debate rages

Many politicians would rather look to the past than mobilize to fight our greatest challenge

Albertans can’t hide from climate change as election debate ragesThe Alberta provincial election is a case study of the collective Canadian avoidance of climate change. Albertans are told to focus on either cutting various government programs or making deficit expenditures on new social programs, arguing about the pros and cons of taxes (especially carbon taxes), and a generalized hope for a return of high…

Taking advantage of Alberta’s world-class renewable energy resources

Dan Balaban of Greengate Power Corp. talks about the company’s footprint in Alberta and its big plans for expansion

Taking advantage of Alberta’s world-class renewable energy resourcesDan Balaban is president and CEO of Greengate Power Corp. What is Greengate Power and what does it do? Balaban: Greengate Power is a renewable energy company based in Calgary. We are a developer of utility-scale wind and solar energy projects, providing a low-cost and clean source of power for Albertans by taking advantage of…

Huge hike in GHG emissions in Alberta’s oil and gas extraction industry

Alberta experienced a 4.1% decline in household emissions from 2009 to 2016: StatsCan

Huge hike in GHG emissions in Alberta’s oil and gas extraction industryAlberta's oil and gas extraction industry emitted the equivalent of 118 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, up 28.7 per cent from 2009 to 2016. That contributed significantly to Alberta producing the most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, according to a new study released on Wednesday by Statistics Canada.   The federal agency said GHG emissions…

Preserving Bighorn too important for political squabbles

Natural beauty distinguishes Alberta from so many places. Let’s follow the will of the majority and protect this beautiful region

Preserving Bighorn too important for political squabblesIt’s disappointing to see that the Alberta government's proposal to create new protected areas in west-central Alberta has led to a partisan political brawl.  Over the last week, the government cancelled public information sessions for the Bighorn Country proposal because of reports of intimidation and threats by opponents to the proposal. The local MLA, Jason…

Alberta government announces $1.2B in renewable energy projects

The new developments are expected to create about 1,000 jobs and generate about 760 megawatts of affordable renewable electricity

Alberta government announces $1.2B in renewable energy projectsThe Alberta government says private companies are partnering with First Nations to invest around $1.2 billion in renewable energy projects in Alberta. The intent is to create new jobs and continue with record-setting low power prices for Albertans. The government has announced five new wind projects as part of Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program. It includes…

Alberta groups awarded $8 million in energy efficiency grants

Multi-year grants intended to create jobs throughout the province

Alberta groups awarded $8 million in energy efficiency grantsTwelve organizations in Alberta are receiving $8 million in multi-year grants to promote energy efficiency throughout the province and create more jobs. On Tuesday, Energy Efficiency Alberta announced the grants ranging from $29,000 for a one-year project to $2.6 million over three years. The announcement includes a complete list of the 12 recipients. “By working…

Connecting the dots in the summer of smoke

Right across Canada, dramatic signs of climate change are casting a pall on the landscape

Connecting the dots in the summer of smokeThe last five summers at Skelhp, on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, have been progressively drier. We’ve had one significant wildfire nearby, in Sechelt Inlet, which wafted ash in a big brown plume over our regional air shed. The smoke from this fire three years ago caused us to close all the windows in the July heat…