A letter from Alberta, again

I appear regularly on Amanda Lang's TV show on BNN Bloomberg. Inevitably, within a few hours I get an angry email from some man in Alberta. This week's writer was more polite than most in his insistence that only fossil fuels will do and that "renewables (electricity and vehicles) are not price-competitive at Canada's latitude", so I wrote him back:

"Dear _____,

It is well established that fossil fuel-generated electricity typically looks cheaper primarily because most of the costs are borne in ways that are not reflected on the electricity bill, such as health, environment and climate damage. Some details here: https://eco.auditor.on.ca/reports/2018-making-connections/

In Alberta, some additional costs are externalized by oil companies shirking billions of dollars in liabilities to landowners, municipalities and clean up costs. Some details here: https://saxefacts.com/canadas-murky-bailout-deal-for-oil-and-gas-will-cost-us-all/. Now taxpayers are paying billions again to pay for some of the messes left behind.

Renewable electricity is increasingly the cheapest electricity to generate, e.g. https://saxefacts.com/berkshire-hathaway-wind-power-saves-money/. In my upcoming interview with Dan Balaban, Alberta businessman, he reports that Alberta has world-class wind resources. https://saxefacts.com/green-economy-heroes-podcast/

Utility scale storage is also becoming dramatically cheaper, e.g. https://www.hydrostor.ca, https://formenergy.com/.

EVs? Battery costs continue to plunge. https://insideevs.com/news/386024/bloombergnef-battery-prices-156-kwh-2019/More than a year ago it was already cheaper to own an electric vehicle, especially for those who drive longer distances, even without counting the environmental impact. https://www.corporateknights.com/channels/clean-technology/faceoff-electric-vs-gas-cars-on-cost-15555966/. Electric vehicles have orders of magnitude fewer parts than internal combustion engines, so are cheaper to assemble and maintain and may last much longer. https://www.plugndrive.ca

It is not my responsibility to persuade you of anything. There is ample information available on these questions, and there are many good reasons why smart money managers are divesting from fossil fuels. https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/commitments/

More Posts

Indigenous climate action and moose

I was delighted to listen to the most recent episode of the Indigenous Climate Action pod, called "In the Know - Respect the Moose". This episode focusses on the animals' long-term relationship with indigenous peoples across Canada, and how that...

Read More

Of course land is not interchangeable

So the Ford government will protect some land somewhere in exchange for its dozens of abusive, developer- friendly MZOs? That only makes it ok if land is interchangeable like Lego blocks. Which is nonsense. Of course they should expand protected...

Read More

Can PACE take off?

Municipalities across Canada are grappling with how to honour their climate emergency declarations and net-zero commitments. To reach net-zero by 2050, municipalities would have to ensure deep energy efficiency and /or renewable energy retrofits in an average of ~3% of...

Read More

Blockbuster report from International Energy Agency, Net Zero by 2050

Last week, a blockbuster report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Net Zero by 2050, confirmed that virtually everything Doug Ford has done on energy policy is taking us in the wrong direction. This is a big deal. You know the tide is...

Read More

Carbon pricing talk

I am keeping up a regular schedule of climate talks, all on zoom these days. Two popular climate talks are trying out policy options through the #En-ROADS climate simulator, and an Introduction to Carbon Pricing in Ontario. You can join...

Read More
View All Posts