Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Tel. 416 410-0432, Fax: 416 362-5231
Vol. 15, No. 8, November 16, 2010
Honoured Reader Edition
This is the honoured reader edition of the Gallon Environment Letter and is distributed at no charge: send a note with Add GL or Delete GL in the subject line to Subscribers receive a more complete edition without subscription reminders and with extensive links to further information following almost every article. Organizational subscriptions are $184 plus HST nd provide additional benefits detailed on the web site. Individual subscriptions are only $30 (personal emails/funds only please) including HST. If you would like to subscribe please visit If you feel you should be receiving the paid subscriber edition or have other subscriber questions please contact us also at This current free edition is posted on the web site about a week or so after its issue at See also events of external organizations at Back free editions from January 2009 are also available.

Gallon Environment Letter is pleased to present an informed Guest Editorial from the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States concerning the recent Congressional Election results. UCS is not some radical fringe environmental group but a well-respected science-based group bringing together more than 250,000 citizens and scientists.

Dr. Knobloch's editorial is a first-class introduction to our own review of the mid-terms. As we have said before, elections can be very inconsistent. This one has been nothing if not that. Whether Tea Partier or left-leaning Democrat, Conservative Party of Canada, New Democrat, or Green party supporter, we think that there is enough in the US mid-terms to cause politicians of all stripes in both countries to give thought to the kind of sustainable future that all our citizens seem to want. We think our analysis suggests it is neither strict Libertarian governance nor a rigid Tea Party future. We welcome your comments to after reviewing this issue.

Last issue, when reviewing green municipal council candidates in Canada, we unfortunately missed David Chernushenko. He wrote to tell us we had missed him; he got elected anyway. We regret the omission and congratulate him for his election to Ottawa City Council in place of Clive Doucet.

In this issue we also look at recent, and very interesting, information about fossil fuel subsidies, a new list of companies achieving some level of excellence in climate action, and the latest "green plan" from Ottawa. Some readers may recall the original Mulroney Green Plan. This one is not quite as good! When speaking or writing for a public audience we try to avoid terms like 'swinging the cat' and 'skinning the cat'. Somehow they just don't seem to be environmentally correct and we certainly don't want People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on our tail. But President Obama does see a link between skinning the cat and climate change, so we conclude this issue with his hopeful comments.

Following our practice of awarding one of the organizations or people that are mentioned in the current issue a 'good environment' recognition and another a 'black hat' award we nominate as follows for this issue: The International Energy Agency for its very environmentally helpful 2010 World Energy Outlook, and Environment Canada for its scarcely useful Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada.

For our next issue we are planning that the theme will be nothing, zero, nada. Some time ago, biologist Clement Kent wrote of the benefits of roadside wildflowers, a benefit gained by doing nothing (not mowing) (GL V13 N11, Nov. 30, 2008). While GL doesn’t recommend doing nothing for the federal government SD strategy, sometimes doing nothing is good for the environment. We’ll discuss this; if you have any examples for this theme please let us know. We'll also be presenting our updated list of environmentally responsible Christmas gifts. They won't be nada, though maybe they should be, but our list of ten will promise much less environmental impact than what you might have been thinking of buying. By the way, thanks to all those who email us with heads-up on issues and links to articles as well as letters of general appreciation for our work; we don’t often enough thank you directly but we appreciate it.

by Kevin Knobloch, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Cambridge, MA: November 3, 2010: Last night an unprecedented number of climate contrarians were swept into office.

How did we get to such a place where attacking scientists and their work is not only acceptable, but helps win elections? And more importantly, what is UCS going to do about it?

First, we must acknowledge that these people didn't get into office on their own. They are backed by big oil, the coal industry, and electric utilities—opponents who have deep pockets and a singular goal of protecting their own interests.

UCS is going to continue to expose these polluting industries and their cronies who knowingly mislead the public about climate science. And we're going to challenge them to get their facts straight.

Because when it comes right down to it, the public's confidence in science and scientists remains high. In fact, just last night in California we saw a tangible example of science trumping industry spin, when voters thwarted an aggressive attempt by out-of-state oil companies to kill the state's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act.

It's examples like this that give me hope and remind me that we can—and will—still achieve concrete victories.

The truth of the matter is that it's been difficult to move Congress for months. The people who are supposed to be representing our interests in the nation's capitol have been too busy carrying water for narrow corporate interests rather than coming together to make real, positive change.

So we're moving forward, with them or without them. As the victory in California yesterday reminds us, there are plenty of other ways to effect change on the issues you and I care about. In the coming months, UCS will:
No matter what changes happen in Washington, D.C., UCS will continue to do what we do best: develop and advance science-based solutions to major environmental and security issues.

I am deeply grateful for your support of our work and look forward to tackling the challenges we have ahead of us together!

Our New Freshman Class In Their Own Words

"With the possible exception of Tiger Woods, nothing has had a worse year than global warming. We have discovered that a good portion of the science used to justify "climate change" was a hoax perpetrated by leftist ideologues with an agenda."
—Todd Young, new congressperson from Indiana

"I absolutely do not believe that the science of man-caused climate change is proven. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate." —Ron Johnson, new senator from Wisconsin

"I think we ought to take a look at whatever the group is that measures all this, the IPCC, they don't even believe the crap." —Steve Pearce, new congressperson from New Mexico

"It's a bigger issue, we need to watch 'em. Not only because it may or may not be true, but they're making up their facts to fit their conclusions. They've already caught 'em doing this." —Rand Paul, new senator from Kentucky

"There isn't any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth." —Roy Blunt, new senator from Missouri

Reprinted with permission. Union of Concerned Scientists 2 Brattle Square Cambridge, MA 02138-3780 [To sign up for e-mailings go to the home pageand find "Get email updates"] The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. In the US, UCS is a 501(c)(3) organization and all gifts are tax deductible.


California is almost always the leader in presentation of environmental and social referenda, known as Propositions. This election was no exception. In addition, Governor-elect Jerry Brown has a history of support for the environment in his previous two terms as Governor (1974 and reelected in 1978) including an early tax incentive for solar roofs. His Eight Point 2010 campaign includes a point for Clean Energy Job Plan and another for Water for the 21st Century. His eighth point is Civil Rights with uncompromising support for a woman's right to choose.

The Propositions in this election in California included a number related to directly to the environment:

Proposition 21 failed. It would have added a $18 annual surcharge to the vehicle license to fund state parks and wildlife programs. This was seen as a defeat for conservation by some environmental groups especially as parks are a big tourist and movie filming draw and said to be popular with Californians.

Support for Climate Change Action

Proposition 23 did not pass. Had it passed it would have suspended implementation of Air Pollution Control Law AB32 requiring major sources to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming until unemployment drops to 5.5% or less for full year. The current unemployment rate of 12% has existed for two quarters in 2010. It is unlikely that unemployment will fall below 8% over four quarters in the next five years. The State has had only three periods of four quarters or more since 1970 in which unemployment was below 5.5%.

Many regard the 61% voting no as a sign of hope for climate change initiatives in the US. The environmental group NRDC called it "a decisive victory for California's clean energy future." NRDC said that even a few oil companies were part of the coalition which fought to get that no vote. Other groups on the no side were California Labor Federation AFL-CIO, Google, GAP Inc,, Cisco, Patagonia, Levi Strauss & Co., eBay Inc., Symantec, Clif Bar & Company and The North Face. NRDC says that the economic issue of jobs was a key factor, "Jobs in California’s clean energy sector have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average over the past five years, and the clean tech sector attracted $9 billion cumulative venture capital investment from 2005 through 2009."

California is the second largest emitter of GHGs in the US and among the largest in the world. The California Global Warming Solutions Act, known as Assembly Bill 32, was passed in 2006 and sets the target for GHG emissions by 2020 to that of emissions in 1990. This target is a 30 percent reduction of GHG emissions compared to what is expected without the Act.

California also has other state laws to reduce GHG emissions

As well as requiring implementation of measures including market-based measures, AB32 allows the state to recover the costs of administering the GHG emission reduction programs based on a regulation passed in July 2010. For example, high emission entities such as power plants and refiners must pay annual fees some of which will be used to repay monies from special state funds used for loans totalling $83 million under the AB32 program. The fees for the 2010-11 are dependent on the allocations in the California budget.

Tax Monies

Proposition 22 passed. It prohibits the state from taking tax money dedicated to transportation or local government for other purposes even in hard financial times. When California's budget is in dire straits, the State used to reallocate money or delay funds; this passing of this proposition will stop that practice meaning money will be reallocated from somewhere else. However, it does protect public transportation initiatives.

Proposition 25 passed . California has long been stuck because of the two thirds majority required to pass budget and budget related legislation. This prop passed to allow a simple majority for this category but still requires two-thirds to raise taxes.

Although the restriction on taxes limits State action, sometimes in the environment area, environmental groups such as NRDC say that legislators used to be able to veto budget bills until the environmental legislation they didn't want was withdrawn.

Proposition 26 requires certain state and local fees to be approved by two-thirds majority including fees that address adverse impacts on society or the environment caused by the fee-payer's business.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Koch Industries, Inc countered the negative media coverage which they described as from "many who are motivated to do us harm". Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries, Inc is said to be second only to Cargill, an agricultural products conglomerate, as the largest private company in the US with locations in 60 countries and 70,000 employees. Its operations include oil and gas refining, chemicals, pollution control equipment, fertilizers, mineral, polymers and fibers, commodity trading and forest and consumer products.

The Koch Facts says among other things that:
Koch says it funds not only right wing organizations such as the Fraser Institute, Cato Institute and a number of its own foundations to educate citizens on the free market and economic liberty but also gives to other-than right wing and libertarian causes.

The company says, "Our environmental commitment manifests itself in these ways:
Then follows a list of a number of anecdotal improvements said to be environmentally beneficial and a list of some of the categories of affiliates and their environmental features. Koch says it has received 180 awards for environment, health and safety. It denies that it is one of the top 10 polluters in the US, ranked so by Greenpeace, saying the this accusation is confusing pollution with legally permitted emissions, which are a necessary by-product of manufacturing. The company says it isn't a climate denier but rather Greenpeace is the denier by denying rational and honest dialogue on the underlying scientific debate regarding climate change.

Apparently the free market philosopy is ok with using public resources (not only the natural ones such as oil but also the courts). Koch's lawyer sent a request for correction to the New Yorker which published an article by Jane Mayer called "Covert Operations: the billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama" in the August 30, 2010 issue of the New Yorker.


In Canada, the company employs about 2,500 people. Flint Hills Resources, also based in Wichita Kansas, is one of Canada's largest crude oil buyers and exporters to support the company's petrochemical business and Canadian customers. It operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta. Georgia-Pacific LLC, based in Atlanta, has manufacturing facilities especially lumber and building materials in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

Other Koch companies include InVIST B.V. which makes fibres used in clothing, carpets, plastic bottles, automobile interiors, air bags and other products under trademarks such as Lycra(R) and Stainmaster(R). One of the largest plants is in Kingston, Ontario, and another is in Maitland, Ontario, with an office in Mississauga. Pollution control equipment is handled by Koch Heat Transfer Company (Sarnia, Toronto, and Calgary) and and Koch-Glitsch(Calgary and Uxbridge). Koch Exploration Canada and affiliates develop and trade oil and natural gas properties in Canada and elsewhere with an office in Calgary. Koch Fertilizer complex is in Brandon with distribution in Watson and Tuxford, Saskatchewan, and Oak Bluff, Manitoba.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


The Tea Party, which isn't a political party, has a manifesto, whose proposers elevate themselves to represent all citizens, "We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom."

The "Contract From America" consists of the following ten points:
1. Protect the Constitution
2. Reject Cap & Trade (1)
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
6. End Runaway Government Spending
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy (2)
9. Stop the Pork
10. Stop the Tax Hikes

To GL, it doesn't make any sense that the grass-roots would on their own initiative put Cap and Trade as second only to protecting the Constitution. Incumbents who voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a 1,500 page bill, were often labelled in attack ads as having voted for cap and trade which is in the bill but is not its entirety. Many environmental advocates found the bill too weak.

On many of the Republican/Tea Party web sites, no mention at all was made of the environment and climate change though the sites did mention cap and trade which was represented purely as a tax even though it is a market-based instrument as an alternative to command and control regulation of greenhouse gases. Some of these same climate-avoiding Tea Party and Republican candidates also promised to gut regulations. Environmental regulations prevent, to some extent, companies from polluting and exploiting natural (read public) resources without paying for damage to the environment. To GL, a consistent failure to mention that environmental agenda directly in the platform seems to be a form of fraud.

It is difficult to know whether there is cohesiveness in the platforms. For example, one of the freshly elected politicians serving on the GOP transition team, Martha Roby, did not sign the “Compact From America” pledge. She was elected to Congress from Alabama and her website presents no environment issues except the mention of cap and trade. Her web site states, "And we need to send the clear signal that the Democrats’ cap-and-tax scheme is dead-on-arrival." and "Speaker Pelosi has used her power to ram through a government takeover of health care, the stimulus bill, cap-and-tax, and billions of dollars of government spending and debt." Tim Scott elected to Congress from South Carolina took the pledge and is also on the GOP transition team. His campaign web site highlights energy independence as a key issue but suggests it is also important to protect the natural environment.  He also attacks cap and trade especially for the “burdensome regulatory structure on carbon, one of the building blocks of life."  But he at least suggests a role for government even though he too doesn't detail to what extent pollutions is permissable for energy independence, “through tax incentives, research and development grants, and lifting of restrictive regulation – can create the conditions necessary to allow the private sector to innovate, create American jobs, stimulate the economy, and develop clean energy solutions.” His energy platform includes more fossil fuel exploration and drilling but also renewable energy.
Although experts and environmental advocates agree that the price of fossil-fuel-based energy has to rise to deal with global warming, the reality of politics means that politicians fear losing their seat. The danger for climate action in the US may be less from the Republicans but from Democrats and even the President who withdraw their necks to prepare for the 2012 election. And of course with Canada’s current government committing to no action without the US, it has a ricochet effect in global climate negotiations.

(1) the detail on the cap and trade says, "Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures." GL notes that the evidence is the opposite: failure to act soon means running the risk of damage and disaster which could be very expensive, more than what it would cost to prevent excessive carbon emissions.

(2) the detail on the energy issue says, "Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and job."

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


A web site, Elections Forum, whose stated goal is "Helping Christians vote for, not against, their Biblical values" lists recommendations made by Craig Huey. The recommendations include yes to Proposition 23 which would have put California greenhouse gas program on almost permanent hold. Many of the recommendations were Libertarian or Independent candidates with some Republicans such as two thumbs up for Tea Party endorsed candidates Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett Packard CEO and Republican candidate for Senate who was not succesful.

The photo and name on the page is the same as the Craig Huey who is publisher of the industry newsletter, Direct Response, and president of Creative Direct Marketing Group (CDMG). His web site says, he has won "major marketing awards for breakthrough campaigns for multimillion-dollar sales." According to that web site, "Clients have included: Data Transmission Network (DTN), Chevron,Standard & Poor’s, SurfControl, Accutrade, Household Finance Bank,Permanent Portfolio Mutual Funds, Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch and over 1,000 other companies."

On the whole, very few of the candidates recommended won so maybe GL is right to think being Christian, Conservative or both doesn't exclude one from choosing protection of the environment and action on climate change. However, one of the propositions recommended by Haley was Proposition 26 which requires a 2/3 majority for new fees including environmental fees. Since AB32 includes such fees, California's climate initiative may be set back after all. GL doesn't know how much effect information sources such as Huey and the multitude of others had on that vote.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Democrat Peter Shumlin won the race for Governor of Vermont with a strong environment agenda which included:protecting the patchwork of working farms and forest for a sustainable, local agricultural economy.. Farm to Plate and Farm to School Programs and stopping cuts to funding of land conservation were other promises.
A key part of the campaign was a continuation of his plan to block licensing of an aging nuclear reactor, Vermont Yankee owned by Entergy, which has had major safety problems. The license was granted 38 years ago with a provision that at its end of 40 years, the people of Vermont could decide about its license renewal. In February 2010, Shumlin was among the Vermont Senate members who denied a renewal in 2012. As a result of his platform and an action by the town to declare eminent domain, the company has put up the plant for sale. In the context of liberties and the free market, the nuclear industry relies entirely on big government to protect it from liability.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


The League of Conservation Voters and other US environmental groups released a poll (1) by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner which indicated that cap and trade wasn't a big reason for the defeat of Democrats in the midterm election. In an open ended question about the most important reason for their vote choice, only 1% of voters who chose the Republican candidate mentioned that their choice against a Democrat had something to do with energy or cap and trade. Even when given a list of six arguments including  the cap and trade issue, only 7% of the voters choosing Republicans over Democrats selected the cap and trade energy tax. The LCV suggests that election results show Americans continue to support the environment, "According to the poll, Americans will look to the next Congress to further transition the U.S. to a clean energy economy that creates jobs, reduces pollution and increases national security."

(1) The poll results are based on: "a survey of 1000 voters in 83 battleground districts who cast ballots in the 2010 race for Congress. The survey was conducted November 1st – 2nd, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level." The sample included "all congressional districts that either the Cook Political Report or the Rothenberg Political Report called toss-up, tilt or lean. Districts where neither candidate voted on the American Clean Energy and Security Act were excluded." GL: The 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House but not the Senate and includes cap and trade and other complementary measures. The Bill is also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill, for its sponsors in the House of Representatives, Democrats Henry Waxman (California) and Ed Markey (Massachusetts). A number of environmental groups and scientists were critical of it because it was too weak to achieve what are seen as necessary targets especially by giving allowances free to utilities.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


The League of Conservation Voters has for years made a list of Dirty Dozen which targets candidates regardless of political affiliation who have a voting record "against clean energy and conservation and are running in races which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome." This year's Dirty Dozen numbered 13 because it included California's Proposition 23. Seven of the 13 were defeated including some high profile Tea Party endorsed candidates. The Dirty Dozen were:

Prop 23 DEFEATED (by a no vote as a yes vote would have been a loss for the pro-environment side)

Sharron Angle (NV-Sen) DEFEATED
Roy Blunt (MO-Sen)
Ken Buck (CO-Sen) DEFEATED
Carly Fiorina (CA-Sen) DEFEATED
Ron Johnson (WI-Sen)
Blanche Lincoln (AR-Sen) DEFEATED
Christine O'Donnell (DE-Sen) DEFEATED
Pat Toomey (PA-Sen)

Michelle Bachmann (MN-06)
Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Richard Pombo (CA-19) DEFEATED
Tim Walberg (MI-07)
Again GL doesn't know how much the LCV's choices affected the results.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


            Subject: Global Warming and Population

Dear Friends,

If any fraction of the observed global warming can be attributed to the action of humans then this is clear and unambiguous proof that the human population of the Earth, living as we do, has exceeded the Carrying Capacity of the Earth. It is thus an inconvenient truth that any serious efforts to address global warming have to center on family planning. A recent study by the London School of Economics for the Optimum Population Trust of Great Britain showed that a dollar spent on family planning gives FIVE times the reduction in emissions of CO2 as does a dollar spent on engineering solutions. Our leaders and our public need to understand these facts.

With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,
Albert A. Bartlett; Professor Emeritus of Physics
University of Colorado at Boulder, CO; 80309-0390
Phone, Department Office; (303) 492-6952
See Website: AlBartlett.ORG

DVDs of the talk, "Arithmetic, Population and Energy" by Professor Emeritus Albert A. Bartlett of the Department of Physics and the book, "The Essential Exponential for the Future of our Planet" are available from the General Book Department of the University of Colorado Bookstore. This book contains reprints of Prof. Bartlett's papers on exponential arithmetic, energy, population and sustainability.

More information is available online, www.CUBookstore.COM CU Bookstore, Campus Box 36, Boulder, CO, 80309-0036 Phone (303) 492-7599; FAX (303) 492-0420; Toll Free, 1-800-255-9168
     DVD Price: $12 plus shipping and handling
     Book Price: $18 plus shipping and handling
(Prof. Bartlett accepts no royalties from the sales of these DVDs and books.)

Papers can be downloaded from the website: www.AlBartlett.ORG The talk, "Arithmetic, Population and Energy" can be seen in eight parts on YouTube; http://www.YouTube.COM/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY
Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.
GL notes that we are happy to have Dr. Bartlett discuss the population issue to keep it on the radar screen but can't deal with the onslaught of emails on that topic which have nothing to do with the environment so if anybody wants to discuss this further, please take it up with him directly.]


The Auditor General's Fall report addressed a number of issues related to environmental assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A number of the infrastructure projects funded by the Economic Action Plan have potential environmental risks and according to a Cabinet directive (1), new programs requiring ministerial approval must have a Strategic Environmental Assessment during planning to assess potential environmental risks. The Auditor General found the SEAs were completed and covered by necessary components for Knowledge Infrastructure Program, the Marquee Tourism Events Program, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, and the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program. The audit didn't, however, evaluate the SEAs themselves.


Departments tended to fund infrastructure projects which didn't require environmental assessment or if an assessment was required, the project could still be completed by March 31, 2011.

The government introduced exclusions to eliminate environmental assessment for a wider range of projects by changing the Exclusion List Regulations of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2). These changes were made without public consultation. While originally these exclusions were to be temporary, they were made permanent in legislation implementing Budget 2010. Some conditons apply to the exclusions e.g. distance of less than 250 metres to local, province, or federal environmentally sensitive areas could trigger an environmental assessment but could still be excluded from requiring an EA.

93% of the project proposals reviewed by Infrastructure Canada were excluded from environment assessment. The application form submitted was used to make the decision that the project didn't need environmental assessment. The AG found that of a sample of 53 projects, all excluded from EA, 35 projects lacked sufficient information to make a decision in favour of exclusion.

(1) The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, Privy Council Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 2004.

(2) The Canada Gazette provides explanation about the reasons for the Exclusion List extension. No consultations were taken for what is described as "this urgent regulatory package." The regulations were to be in effect until March 31, 2011.
Canada. Canada Gazette, Part II. SOR/2009-88 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: Regulations Amending the Exclusion List Regulations, 2007. P.C. 2009-391 Ottawa, Ontario: March 12, 2009.

Office of the Auditor General of Canada. OAG Chapter 1—Canada’s Economic Action Plan. 2010 Fall Report. Ottawa, On: 2010.


In the last GL, we bemoaned the loss of Clive Doucet from Ottawa City Council if he lost the mayoralty campaign but Doucet must have helped to educate the people in his ward about the importance of the environment because they have elected David Chernushenko to be Councillor - Capital Ward. He writes, "I have been known to be a little bit green myself! The challenge is not Capital Ward, but so many of the other wards." David has been a member of the National Roundtable for the Economy and the Environment and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada.(see GL V11 N13, Nov. 13, 2006 and V14 N7, Sept. 25, 2009)

Chernushenko has also released a new film Powerful: Energy for Everyone which is now out and available for bookings, as well as sales on DVD.
More details here:

A more complete biography of David Chernushenko can be found at


In its 2010 World Energy Outlook the International Energy Agency builds on last year’s report to say that current global policies and trends are on an energy pathway which is unsustainable. The International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organisation which acts as energy policy advisor to 28 member countries including Canada and the USA (essentially the same group as the OECD) says the age of cheap oil is over but oil prices will increase by much more if action on decarbonizing energy is not taken. A low carbon future has lower oil energy prices than a fossil-fuel based one. The report discusses three scenarios, the current policy trend (the highest oil energy prices by 2035), a new policies trend (middle oil energy prices) and the most stringent the 450 policy trend (lowest oil energy prices). China’s increasing import of oil is a key factor in pricing. Current oil supply and demand are less sensitive to price than they used to be.

The 450 policy trend is the only one that would keep the rising temperature to no more than 2 deg. C, the target for the Copenhagen Accord. This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions for an atmospheric concentraction of no more than 450 parts per million of CO2 equivalent. Already failure to act has added $1 trillion for the period 2010-2035 compared to last year's WEO 2009. The delay in action also reduces global GDP in 2030 by 1.9% compared to the 2009 WEO at 0.9%. The increased costs are because the world has to make faster and deeper cuts because of the lack of commitment to early action.

There is lot of talk these days about peak oil with a meaning that the world is already on the downward side of a depleting supply. Peak oil has a different definition when WEO says that world energy resources are expected to be adequate for demand for beyond 2030 but peak oil is a point where the world voluntarily cuts demand. Otherwise, the report states "The continuation of current trends would have dire consequences for climate change. They would also exacerbate ambient air quality concerns thus causing serious public health and environmental effects, particularly in developing countries." The key recommendation is that policies be directed to ensure peak demand for oil, coal, natural gas and unconventional sources such as the Canadian oil sands not because of constraints on the resource but to meet the goals of keeping warming to no more than 2 deg.C. Decarbonizing energy is essential to avoid the economic burden of fossil fuels due to too high a demand and to prevent serious damage to the global environment.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

In September,2009, the G-20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh agreed to "rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption."

Subsidies lower energy prices, encourage waste in consumption of energy, lead to price volatility due to market signals being ignored, encourage fuel smuggling and contamination and take away support from more energy efficient technologies and renewables. They encourage depletion of resources and reduce money in nations' budget. Most of the subsidies are in non-OECD countries and amountrd to $312 billion in 2009. Removal of all subsidies by 2020 is estimated to cut energy demand by 5% compared to the baseline with subsidies. This would amount to 4.7 mb/d (millions of barrels per day) by 2020 or 1/4 of the current US demand. Complete phaseout of subsidies would reduce CO2 emissions by 5.8% or 2Gt (gigatonnes) in 2020. Together with removal of subsidies, pricing of carbon would be needed by 2035 in the amount of $90-120 per tonne of CO2.

WEO says that renewables are entering the market but need support to boost their competitiveness. Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is the single most effective measures to cut energy demand.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


A new report by EnviroEconomics under contract to the International Institute for Sustainable Development provides an estimate of Canada's subsidies to the oil sector in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government. It doesn't say whether the subsidies are good or bad but describes the extent of the subsidies, who gets the transfers and what are the environmental and economic outcomes.

Subsidy types include:
The report concludes that while both provincial and federal governments have taken steps to phase out some subsidies, new subsidies have been introduced to replace some of these. The study looked at 63 subsidy programs to the oil sector (18 in Alberta, 19 in Saskatchewan, 9 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 17 at the federal level). The estimate that the annual subsidy is $2.8 billion a year. A breakdown by province and federal level is given as well as many details and numbers such as oil industry characteristics.

The subsidies drive increased production especially in the unconventional oil of the oilsands and therefore increase greenhouse gas emissions. The taxes and royalities received are insufficient to offset the subsidies paid. There is a growing subsidy obligation on governments as oil production is expected to double between 2010-2020..

GL thinks it isn't going to be the last word as there is lots of room for debate about the value created vs resources used but it certainly supports the idea that the oil, gas and coal industry many of whose members vociferously promotes the idea of the free market, are making money from publically-owned resources and subsidies from the public purse.

Sawyer, Dave and Seton Stiebert, EnviroEconomics Inc. Fossil Fuels - At What Cost? Government support for upstream oil activities in three Canadian provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. For the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) . November, 2010: Geneva, Switzerland.


The Conference Board issued its 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project as the Canadian partner of the Carbon Disclosure Project CDP. CDP provides a standardized framework for reporting of corporate carbon emissions and management strategies. Investors then consider these disclosures. Participating investors include the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Bank and others which consider management of the carbon footprint in allocation of capital. Some purchasers such as Dell, PepsiCo and Walmart also use the climate information for consideration in purchasing. Three companies in 2010 set carbon-neutral goals: BMO Financial Group (1), Groupe Aeroplan and TD Bank Financial Group. GL hasn't studied the other two, but BMO announced it had achieved its carbon neutral goal in August.

For the past four years, the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index had recognized 16 respondents with exemplary disclosure practices. The best in class, The Royal Bank of Canada, has been recognized in each of the four; ten have scored three times and seven have made the list twice indicated a relatively high commitment on the part of the leaders.

The 2010 list (in alphabetical order) is:
ARC Energy Trust
BMO Financial Group
Barrick Gold
Cameco Corporation
Cenovus Energy
Emera Inc.
National Bank of Canada
Nexen Inc.
Pason Systems
Royal Bank of Canada
Russel Metals
SNC-Lavalin Group
Stantec Inc.
Telus Corporation
TransAlta Corporation

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A Progressive Conservative Federal Government, led by Brian Mulroney, was elected in September 1984 and re-elected in November 1988. Six years later, in December 1990, the government put on the table a five-year Green Plan with an attached budget of about $3 billion.

A Conservative Party of Canada Federal Government was elected in January 2006. By June of that year, reports were circulating that the government was seeking to remove the term "Sustainable Development" from all communications of the Department of Natural Resources Canada and perhaps even from communications of other departments, including Environment Canada. Almost five years later, in October 2010, one of the last acts of a Environment Minister Jim Prentice. quitting to become executive at a bank, was to issue a document entitled "A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada".

Against such a background, one might be inclined to feel that issuance of such a document is a big step forward for the Harper team. Unfortunately the strategy is little more than a list of vague promises, so much so that Gallon Environment Letter feels that applause should be withheld until much more concrete results are demonstrated.

The original Green Plan contained 174 pages, many of them describing specific commitments for policy and program initiatives. The new Sustainable Development Strategy contains 71 pages with much "vision" and few measurable commitments. Indeed, the report actually states that the federal government is striving to ensure that the goals that will be established are "aspirational". Our edition of the Oxford Canadian Dictionary defines "aspirational" as . . . hang on, it doesn't even have the word! But "aspiration" is "a strong desire to achieve an end; an ambition". We can only hope that the Strategy's statement that "This vision will continue to evolve over time as Canada moves closer to a more sustainable future" actually comes to pass.

The report states that, in setting priorities for Environmental Sustainability, the government has adopted four priorities:
I. Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality;
II. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability;
III. Protecting Nature; and
IV. Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government
But on Climate Change, for example, there is nothing beyond a restatement of the existing commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. Most informed observers believe that, as a result of lack of supporting initiatives, the possibility of the government achieving this target is already close to zero!

Although the FSDS was subject to public consultation it still shows marks of having been thrown together in some haste, perhaps to be completed before Minister Prentice's retirement date. For example, a section on Managing Threats to Ecosystems: Reduce the frequency and consequences of environmental emergencies that affect Canada; Implementation Strategies for Environmental Emergences (sic) states nothing more than "Refer to the appropriate implementation strategies outlined under Target 6.4: Managing Threats to Ecosystems – Alien Invasive Species." Even GL cannot believe that Environment Canada's experts believe that the only threats to Canada's ecosystems are alien invasive species. In another section, under the heading "Reduce nutrient inputs into Lake Simcoe by 2012" one implementation strategy is "Manage/deliver Great Lakes results binationally, between Canada and the United States through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA)". While Lake Simcoe, as part of the drainage basin of the St. Lawrence River, is notionally covered by the GLWQA, it is pretty tough to see how the GLWQA can be a strategy for reducing nutrient inputs to Lake Simcoe by 2012.
GL sees the FSDS as more of an election document than a real government setting of new directions. Indeed, the document itself states that "For the first time, Canadians can see, all in one place [the FSDS], the Government of Canada’s environmental sustainability priorities and our progress in achieving them." GL's response: we've looked at the Government of Canada’s environmental sustainability priorities in the FSDS and we find them hopelessly inadequate to achieve the kind of Sustainable Development that we believe that Canadians, and others around the world, are seeking.

Having said that, we do commend the document to our readers as a useful summary of what the government is and is not doing in the environmental arena. Key headings are:
Good reading!

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GL had an opportunity to attend the Recycling and Waste Management Exhibition in Birmingham, UK, in September. The very large exhibition illustrated how much more advanced the UK is than Canada when it comes to recycling strategies, even though Canada started its Blue Box programs well before recycling became a major industry in the UK and even though Canada may still be leading with quantities of materials collected. The UK approach, which we will discuss in a future issue of Gallon Environment Letter, relies more on the presence of both municipal and retailer recycling depots than is the case in much of Canada, though Britain does use curbside collection as well as depots.

Many booths at the RWE addressed some or several aspects of recycling. A significant number of booths were devoted to technologies and systems for recycling of plastics and another large number exhibited recycling of textiles. These were not hoped-for technologies but companies that are making money from various aspects of recycling today.

In the plastics area, the big development are the machines that can sort plastics by resin type and by colour. Most of these are multi-stage machines, taking out one or two resin types or colours at each stage, but one or two that we saw undertake the complete sort in a single pass. One technology takes mixed household waste in plastic garbage bags, opens the bags, screens out fines and magnetic materials, then uses a mix of sensors to sort the garbage into polypropylene, polyethylene, PET, PE film, paper, organics, metal, and an RDF and waste fraction, all at a rate of 12 tonnes per hour. Other machines that were on display, and in some cases being demonstrated, could sort glass, mixed paper, plastic flake, mixed metals, and other materials. The manufacturers claim over 99.9% accuracy, thus making recycling of plastic packaging economically feasible.

Many booths were demonstrating various textile and shoe recycling systems. Some involved sorting of the materials, separating those that were good for resale markets in the UK or in other countries, and selling the balance for cutting as rags or shredding for textile fill. Others make use of pieces of old clothing and leather for manufacture of new products. One of the largest booths at the show was occupied by the Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd, a wholly owned company that specializes in recycled clothes, shoes and textiles. The UK government estimates that 24% of recycled clothing is now being recycled - 498,000 tonnes a year that is diverted from landfill. Another company specializes in recycling bras into solid fuel.

There is little in the UK waste stream that some exhibitor at the RWM Exhibition was not recycling. British Polythene Industries supplies over 300,000 tonnes of film products each year and its recycling plants reprocess over 64,000 tonnes into new products. One interesting technology recycled scrap glass into sand that was used in landscaping and in bunkers on golf courses. The technology is small enough that it can be installed behind the building containing the pub bar, one of the largest generators of glass bottles around.

Dry batteries, fluorescent lights, and wood are collected at municipal depots in many towns. False teeth are recycled to recover the precious metal content they contain. Compact discs are being collected at recycling depots throughout the country. Some companies are providing guides to setting up very extensive recycling programmes in homes, offices, and stores. Recycling programs featured at the show include those run by for-profit companies, not-for-profit companies, municipalities, and social enterprises. One social enterprise claimed to have created 465 jobs in the last 12 months for previously long-term unemployed people and injected over half a million pounds (that’s money not waste) into the local economy over the same period.

The RWME show also highlighted industrial and commercial recycling opportunities with many companies offering to take a wide range of waste products and manufacturing materials. One that caught our eye, perhaps because of the number of companies offering the service, was wallboard (known as plasterboard in the UK) recycling. Apparently the economics for this are good and wallboard manufacturers in the UK are including up to 25% gypsum recovered from old wallboard in the new product.

GL was amused to notice that, at the RWE, there was even a company that will take old metal recycling bins and dumpsters (known in the UK as skips), and repair them and repaint them for reuse. The freshly renovated skips certainly looked a lot nicer than the industrial size recycling bins we regularly see around the Toronto area.

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A few weeks following the Recycling and Waste Management Exhibition in Birmingham, UK, the Canadian Waste and Recycling Expo was held in Toronto. The UK version far exceeded the Canadian version in size and scope, particularly with respect to recycling initiatives and technologies.

The Toronto show focused to a large extent on waste management hardware: trucks, bins, wheels and bearings, and the like. There was quite a large collection of recycling collection bins mostly similar to that which a visitor would already have seen around the streets of a major metropolitan area in Canada. There was very little on recycling programs, very little in the way of equipment to sort recyclable materials, something that was prominent at the Birmingham show, and virtually nothing to do with markets for recyclable materials. Without meaning to disparage any profession in any way, comparison of the two shows gave GL the impression that recycling in Canada is dominated by mechanical engineering whereas recycling in the UK is at least partly dominated by the high technology and entrepreneurial sectors.

One sorting technology we did see was Pellenc ST from France, with a North American distributor in Quebec. The system is capable of sorting recyclable plastic packaging by resin and colour in sizes up to 14 inches maximum dimension at a rate of up to 6.6 tonnes per hour.
Several companies were demonstrating software for managing curbside collection routes to minimize driving distances and reduce fuel use. A prominent display featured a collection truck automatically picking up and emptying a household bin, then transferring the accumulated materials to the packer section of the truck.

One European waste collection bin system that was exhibited is from Finland with North American distribution. Molok bins are attractive large collection bins for waste, compostable organics, or recyclables with 60% of the bin hidden underground. The bins are emptied using a truck mounted crane. GL felt that they are not the best design we have seen but their availability from a North American source may make them attractive in many situations.

Another collection technology that caught our eye was a self-contained Compactor/Collector from Modern waste Products, a Woodstock, Ontario company. The bin is able to contain 4600 litres (6 cubic yards) of material with a compaction ratio of approximately 6 to 1. The system is in trial use at an Ontario Tim Hortons and should soon be available on a commercial scale.
The Austrian Trade Commission in Toronto was exhibiting some advanced waste management systems available from vendors in that country. We were impressed with the detailed analysis of waste to energy opportunities that they presented - we will present a review of new technologies for waste management in a future issue of Gallon Environment Letter.

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Extract from an answer from President Obama during the Q&A of his first press conference following the mid-term elections in the United States:

"The EPA is under a court order that says greenhouse gases are a pollutant that fall under their jurisdiction. And I think one of the things that's very important for me is not to have us ignore the science, but rather to find ways that we can solve these problems that don’t hurt the economy, that encourage the development of clean energy in this country, that, in fact, may give us opportunities to create entire new industries and create jobs that -- and that put us in a competitive posture around the world.

So I think it’s too early to say whether or not we can make some progress on that front. I think we can. Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem."

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