B.C., Alberta aim to increase ‘energy literacy’

Working group set up by Premiers Christy Clark and Alison Redford wants to increase education in schools, public

An oil tanker is surrounded by a containment boom as it loads crude oil at Westridge Terminal in Burnaby.

A B.C.-Alberta government working group on energy development has issued its first report, recommending efforts to “increase the public’s energy literacy on oil transportation, production and impacts on daily life.”

The group was set up by B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford last summer, after they agreed to co-operate on ways to increase oil and gas development and export. Headed by deputy ministers from both provinces, the working group released its first report this week.

The report notes a “disconnect between public perception and the reality” of the importance of oil and gas to the Canadian economy. The industry is the largest contributor to Canada’s balance of trade, and investment of $55 billion in new capital projects in 2012 alone.

It also records that Canada is losing an estimated $50 million a day in potential revenue due to lack of access to oil customers outside the United States, and acknowledges that without additional pipeline capacity, crude oil will increasingly be shipped by rail.

To respond to “misinformation on numerous fronts” on technology, economic benefits, environmental issues and regulatory practices, the report suggests increased effort in communities, First Nations and schools.

One program cited as an example is the Canadian Geographic Energy IQ Program, a partnership between the magazine and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to “provide an interactive educational experience for students in the classroom on the prevalence of energy.”

Redford and Clark agreed last year to support B.C.’s five conditions for new heavy oil pipelines from Alberta to the Pacific coast, and Alberta’s proposal for a national energy strategy to improve access to markets for Canadian energy. B.C.’s conditions include “world class” spill prevention on land and at sea, which the report describes as an evolving target.

The report paints a rosy picture of oil spill response off the coast, despite a study done for the B.C. government last year that found little capacity to recover crude oil spilled off the North Coast.

The report also describes the need for better movement of goods from B.C. ports to Alberta’s industrial areas, an effort called “Project Cargo.”

It calls for improvements to highways, airports and ports at Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

 

Just Posted

Video: Sicamous Museum gifted with model of historic CP Rail hotel

Calgary family with ties to the area commissioned intricate model for museum

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to the Okanagan

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone Award Foundation charity weekend in Kelowna

Crash disrupts Highway 1 traffic west of Chase

Reports indicate crash took place near Planter Road intersection

Firefighters respond to bus fire on Highway 1

Smoke in coach bus reported to have been caused by overheating, driver and passengers safe

Update: Washed out South Okanagan road temporarily closed for assessment

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Our history in pictures: Early four-way stop in Salmon Arm

This photo was taken at the four-way stop where Wharf Road intersects… Continue reading

Column: Parallel parking surveys and precedent

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

Woman in hospital after being thrown off horse

She was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital from Okanagan Falls

Okanagan art gallery releases their theme

Fine arts painting will be the point of focus for this year’s event

South Okanagan search and rescue help injured climber

Search and rescue called on the assistance of a helicopter to help retrieve an injured hiker

Okanagan nature centre fundraiser goes western

Allan Brook’s Nature Centre Wine and Wild West Fundraiser is on July 6

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Most Read