Green Energy Sector? I don’t think so.

I have to thank Elizabeth May for pointing this out last Friday at the Green Party of Canada Economic Summit in Toronto.

Please turn to page 102 of your copy of Budget 2010. You do have one, right? If by some oversight your copy hasn’t arrived yet, you can download it here.

Read with me, if you will, the first paragraph of the creatively titled section: Green Jobs and Growth.

Canada has established itself as an energy superpower, being the third-largest global producer of gas, seventh in oil production, and the world’s largest supplier of uranium. Our international reputation as a safe and reliable energy supplier creates unprecedented opportunities for exporting our energy products within an integrated North American energy market and to the rest of the world. Our substantial reserves of oil, natural gas and other energy sources make Canada an increasingly attractive destination for global investment. These major new investments will allow us to tap our abundant energy potential while contributing to faster economic growth, creating a significant number of high value jobs and rejuvenating communities, especially in remote and rural areas.

Awesome! It really convinces me that our government is on the right track with Green development. Gas, oil and uranium – it just doesn’t get greener than that. Okay, I’m totally kidding. The second paragraph is no better but the third paragraph is very promising with a discussion of renewable energy sources leading up to these bullet points.

Bullet 1: A billion dollars for “clean energy technologies” through the Clean Energy Fund. Since they’ve already allotted $800 million to carbon capture and storage (CCS) there really isn’t any doubt that it is actually a CCS Fund.

Bullet 2: A billion dollars over 5-years for the Green Infrastructure Fund. No idea? Me neither. So I looked here and, ohmigosh, this is brilliant.

Eligible projects are those that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and cleaner water and fall within any of the following categories: wastewater infrastructure; green energy generation infrastructure; green energy transmission infrastructure and solid waste infrastructure, and carbon transmission and storage infrastructure.

Looks great right up until the end… do you see it? CCS! “The fund will focus on a few, large scale, strategic infrastructure projects.” Definitely something to keep an eye on. To be fair, almost half of the Fund has already been allocated and none of it is for CCS so far. Here are the projects so far – mostly water treatment and energy transmission. I stand corrected.

“But it has to get better!” you say. All right, let’s move on. After some discussion on transforming the forestry sector the Budget moves on to Modernizing the Regulatory System where we find efforts to streamline major projects (insert oil sands and CCS joke here) and this nugget: “Responsibility for conducting environmental assessments for energy projects will be delegated from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for projects falling under their respective areas of expertise” (p104).

No. Seriously. The government is moving Environmental Assessments away from CEAA to the National Energy Board. Say good-bye to any attempts at oversight. Getting angry now? I am.

But it gets better. There is some good ideas on page 105 about Forestry and Accelerated Capital Cost Allowances for renewable energy projects. Good, good, things are looking up. Projects for Great Lakes and Arctic monitoring and the development of Environmental Sustainability Indicators. Not sure how those will provide jobs or grow the Green Economy but they are nice. I’m starting to feel a bit more hopeful. And then…

The section finishes with Nuclear Energy on page 107. The section basically says, and this is a heavy paraphrase, “It’s losing lots of money but we’ll continue to support it!”

Just a reminder that if you want to see Green Economics then you had better Vote Green.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 1:35 pm and is filed under Canada, Economics, environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Green Energy Sector? I don’t think so.”

  1. Jessica Taylor Says:

    hopefully, we would be shifting more and more towards green energy in the future.’:*

  2. Hannah Hall Says:

    we must shift into the use of Green Energy to prevent further pollution of this planet:*.

  3. Food Scales ` Says:

    i think government funding should be diverted on the research of Green Energy and renewable power sources-*:

  4. Money Business Says:

    we are always looking for alternative or green energy because we want to stop polluting the environment ,`~