climate change

Comments on New Brunswick’s Proposed Output-Based Pricing System

These are the comments of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance on the province’s proposed Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS).

Our organization recently intervened in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reference case on carbon pricing (as a member of the umbrella group, ‘Climate Justice, et al.’). We intervened on the side of the federal government. We did so, not because we were thrilled with the federal plan, which is far from perfect, but because it had become obvious that provincial governments appeared to not comprehend the immediacy or seriousness of the approaching climate crisis.

Unfortunately, we are sad to say that New Brunswick’s proposed OBPS validates our observations and concerns.

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What we don’t know can hurt us

Commentary by Jim Emberger
[A slightly edited version of this appeared in “The Telegraph-Journal” and ”The Daily Gleaner” on May 17, 2019, under the the title ‘Public not well-informed on climate change’.]

I recently met a crew from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who were installing a new structure to count salmon smolt on the Tay River. In recent years the count has been disappointingly small, so new and better information is needed.

It’s always heartening to see dedicated people working to save our environment, but this morning I was left feeling that their task was like trying to hold back the tide. I had just read the United Nations report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It concluded that human activities have pushed one million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

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Don’t play games with equalization

written by Rod Hill, Telegraph-Journal Wed Mar 27 2019

Premier Blaine Higgs’s government is four months old and already there is, in my opinion, good news: the idea of an Energy East pipeline is surely dead. Yet since plans for the pipeline were abandoned by TransCanada in 2017, Energy East has lived a zombie-like existence, failing to die in the minds of many people.

They refuse to recognize the reality that, given long-term projections of oil sands production, such a pipeline was redundant after the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by President Trump and other pipeline expansions. Yet despite this, Premier Higgs remained steadfast, demanding that Quebec accept Energy East if it wanted to use New Brunswick as a corridor for its hydroelectricity exports to New England.

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“Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

By Jim Emberger. Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript – March 11, 2019

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.” Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

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Federal carbon tax ‘overreaches and invades’ N.B. jurisdiction: court docs

ADAM HURAS, Telegraph Journal, 7 February 2019

The Trudeau government’s carbon tax “overreaches and invades” provincial jurisdiction, according to New Brunswick’s legal argument filed in a Saskatchewan court that aims to challenge Ottawa’s looming price on carbon. The province’s attorney general’s office has filed a factum ahead of the prairie province’s carbon tax court challenge set to be heard next week.

New Brunswick sought to intervene in the case as the Higgs government attempts to fight the carbon tax slated to be handed down by Ottawa beginning in April.

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NBASGA given Intervener Status in Saskatchewan Carbon Pricing Case

For immediate release: February 6, 2019

[Le français suit]

FREDERICTON — Today, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) announced it has been accepted as an intervener in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case against the federal carbon tax.  NBASGA will intervene in support of the federal government and against New Brunswick.

“Climate change is happening here and now, and it needs a fair, effective and immediate response,” says NBASGA’s Jim Emberger.  Winter and summer flooding, storm surges from intense storms and sea level-rise, droughts, heat waves and other climate change effects are already disrupting the lives, livelihoods, and well being of New Brunswickers, and are predicted to get worse.

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Fracking In 2018: Another Year Of Pretending To Make Money

by Jim Emberger (from Huddle Today)

January is a popular time for reviewing the previous year to see where we are now. Since I write about the shale gas industry and global warming, let me share some annual reports from both, along with some commentary.

Fracking in 2018: Another Year of Pretending to Make Money: This has my vote for best title. The author notes that the 60 largest U.S. fracking companies have been accumulating losses at about $80 million per year for a decade. Investors and lenders lost $70 billion in loans due to 330 North American bankruptcies following the price crash of 2014, and last year The Wall Street Journal calculated industry debt around $180 billion.

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End ‘profligate use of fossil fuels’

Commentary by Jim Emberger,Telegraph Journal, 7 December 2018

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance initially gave Premier Blaine Higgs’s throne speech a decent review. We’re now having second thoughts. In the speech, the new government made a strong statement against “inter-generational theft,” which it defined as stealing the future from our children by creating debt today that they would have to pay back.

That being a moral principle, we assumed it would be applied universally. The most poignant example of “inter-generational theft” is the failure to address climate change and environmental degradation by continuing our profligate use of fossil fuels.

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For our Physical (and Economic) Well-being, Leave the Gas in the Ground

by Jim Emberger, for Huddle.

There has been much discussion recently about the economic case for bringing fracking to the province versus the health and environmental risks of doing so.

The authors of a recent Huddle article (New Brunswick’s Ban On Fracking Must Be Overturned) framed their economic argument for fracking with the quote, “The development of ‘natural resources’ is one of the biggest drivers of business investment in Canada,” and they then argued that there is lots of investment money going to the fossil fuel provinces, while New Brunswick misses its share.

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