Pipelines

As you may know, I am in favour of the recently proposed pipelines from Alberta to BC.  All of them.  Here is an open letter from the Mayor of Ft. St. John, BC with her comments on Pipeline. It is excellent and she nails it….Just saying.

 

Dear British Columbia citizens,

That is not a current headline but it could be. What would happen to our economy if it was?

I would like to talk to you about energy, pipelines and our natural resources. I am a mum and a grandma and I have lived in the north all my life. I am also the Mayor of Fort St. John — right smack in the middle of one of the world’s largest supplies of oil and gas. I live in a region surrounded by pipelines, wells, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sites and canola and wheat fields. I have eaten the food we grow here and I drink our water. I understand what it takes to extract our natural resources and what it takes to protect our environment. I live it.

I don’t want to try to convince you of anything but I would like to share with you what I know to be true. I strongly encourage you to do some of your own research. Learn more than what you read in a tweet or a Facebook post. I have added some links to reliable resources below for you.
Where does the petroleum we all use every day come from? Canada has some of the largest petroleum resources in the world and yet Canada imports 634,000 barrels of crude oil from foreign countries every single day. That is $26 BILLION of oil imports every year that we could have supplied to ourselves. That product arrives in tankers and is transported to where it needs to go by truck and train right through our communities. And yet we don’t want our own product to flow in pipelines to our communities for our own use or to our ports so we can export it? That just makes no sense at all to me.

So let’s talk about pipelines. I know pipelines are a safe, cost-efficient means of oil and natural gas transportation and emit fewer greenhouse gases than alternate transportation methods. Canada has 830,000 kilometres of pipelines. Three million barrels of crude oil is transported safely every single day. B.C. has over 43,000 kilometres of pipelines. If we took that oil out of the pipelines, we would need 4,200 rail cars to move it. How many of those cars would you like rolling through your community? Between 2002 and 2015, 99.9995 per cent of liquid was transported through our pipelines SAFELY. You probably spill more when you fill up at the gas station.

I understand you don’t want tankers floating down our beautiful B.C. coast. But did you know the the U.S. has been shipping up to 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Alaska to the Puget Sound through the Salish Sea for the last 20 years? Did you know that B.C. has a Tanker Exclusion Zone that has been respected for years? That zone stipulates that full tankers must travel on the west side of the zone but those that are not transporting goods can stay inside the protective zone. Other than one natural gas pipeline, Vancouver Island receives all of their petroleum by barge every day. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone complain about that. According to Transport Canada over 197,000 vessels arrived or departed from West Coast ports in 2015 — 1487 of them were tankers. 400,000 barrels of crude oil is safely transported off the B.C. coast every single day. So, I think we are OK there.

Emissions? 80 per cent of the emissions associated with fossil fuels are generated in their combustion — not their extraction and transportation. If you want to do something about our reliance on fossil fuels then address the demand for them, not the transportation of them. Change starts with consumers, not industry. A large part of the demand for fossil fuels in B.C. is transportation. 33 per cent of our fossil fuels are used to operate cars, trucks, planes, trains and ferries. If we switched all of that over to electricity we would need not just one Site C dam but 15 of them. Which communities do you want to flood to provide the energy for your electric cars? Remember I live 7 kilometres from Site C dam so I have a pretty good understanding of them.

I love this quote from Blair King an environmental scientist and writer:

“We live in a world where all the work we do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. can be undone with the flick of a pen in China or India. No matter what we do, those developing countries are going to get electrical power to their populations — if not with LNG, then with coal; and if not with B.C. LNG, then with lower-intensity (read: dirtier) LNG from one of our competitors. In both cases the end result is higher global GHG emissions than if B.C. LNG was used.”

King is telling us to look outside our province and see the impact we can have on GHG on our planet. Our LNG is cleaner than the stuff already on the market because our regulations are tougher and we emit far less GHG in our production than in other countries. Our natural gas industry is committed to continuous improvement.

I understand that you are concerned about safety. I am too. In Canada we have some of the strictest safety requirements in the world. Canada’s oil and gas producers are continuously improving the safety of their operations and transportation of their products. Emergency Response Plans are customized for each community, covering key areas such as public safety, protection of community infrastructure, and a clear plan of action with local emergency responders. And we have the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission to oversee B.C. projects and the National Energy Board oversees the larger multijurisdictional projects.

The Oil and Gas Commission is our provincial agency responsible for regulating oil and gas activities in B.C., including exploration, development, pipeline transportation and reclamation. Core responsibilities include reviewing and assessing applications for proposed industry activities, engaging with First Nations, cooperating with partner agencies, and ensuring industry complies with provincial legislation and all regulatory requirements. International delegations come to B.C., as world leaders, to learn how we have partnered environmental protection with resource extraction. I think the Oil and Gas Commission does a good job of protecting the interests of citizens.

Many of you have concerns about the rights of our Indigenous Peoples. I will not speak for them but I will provide you with a quote from Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council:

“I think industry is now willing to be a partner (with First Nations). They want to come with the First Nations together. We are depending on these pipelines for the success of the Canadian economy.”

Here is the link to the full article.

So let’s talk about the economy. B.C.’s energy sector offers some of the largest provincial economic opportunities in a generation. It is estimated that, in 2010, 11.2 per cent of the provincial exports came from the natural resource sector. That was over $21 billion worth. Canada’s oil and natural gas sector contributes $1.5 billion to the provincial government but it is estimated that it could go as high as $2.4 billion per year. This is money for health care, education and infrastructure. The resource sector is the foundational stone upon which the B.C. economy was built, and it is as important today as ever.

440,000 Canadians are employed because of the oil and gas sector. A recent study by Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, shows the huge economic value of the natural resource industry in B.C., and in particular the Lower Mainland. Cross’s report demonstrates that over 55 per cent of resource-related jobs and income (direct, indirect and induced) flow to the Lower Mainland. This means those workers contribute to our economy by renting or buying homes, buying groceries, enjoying a quality life and shopping at their local businesses.

Let’s lead the world in resource extraction, continuous improvements and long-term planning.

Let’s be leaders in reliable and renewable energy development.

Let’s support Canadian industry and stop buying foreign oil.

Let’s grow our economy by meeting our domestic needs and exporting our abundant resources.

Let’s live well now and in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to be an informed citizen.

Sincerely,

Lori Ackerman, Mayor of the City of Fort St. John.

For more information, visit Resource Works, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Canada’s Energy Citizens.

The TRUMP ERA

It certainly has been entertaining and fascinating to watch the political emergence of Donald Trump. Like him or not, he has really turned the USA upside down. The Main Stream Media were wrong, the pollsters were mostly wrong, the political pundits were mostly wrong and despite the criticism of the man he got elected. They said he could not win Ohio. Michigan? Are you kidding? Florida? No way. But out of over 3100 counties, Trump won 2600. Clinton won 500. Almost everyone made the wrong call.

I know, Hillary won the popular vote but mostly in Greater NYC.  It doesn’t matter.

Since November 8, Trump has been going full steam ahead. He is picking exceptional people for his cabinet. How could one not like a guy named Mad Dog Mattis? The Stock Market has soared. Record close in New York today. A number of corporations are in the process of, or considering moving some of their manufacturing back to the States & people are excited. Well, maybe not the Democrats. Trump is flying around the country giving thank you speeches to the voters.  Clinton is throwing a party for her wealthy donors.  I like the former.

Trump, despite his faults, is a doer! I love the story about the skating rink in Central Park. The city had spent several years and $13 million dollars trying to renovate it but there still was no ice. Trump went to Mayor Ed Koch and offered to fix it. He did. Ahead of schedule, under budget. He brought an ice maker from Montreal to make the ice, naturally.

Tighten your seat belt, hang onto your hat, 2017 is going to see some remarkable activity in the USA.
Just saying…

In Nanaimo, The NEST BISTRO

 

We had heard about The NEST so decided today to try it out for lunch. It’s in Nanaimo on Skinner Street just down the hill from Gina’s Mexican. You know, the purple house on the hill.

Having looked at the website of The NEST we were anxious to actually eat some of their great sounding food. We were not disappointed. My favourite girl ordered the Paprika Prawns which arrived in a delicious creamy sauce. She loved them. It was an appetizer but certainly enough for a light lunch.

I chose the daily special which was a Beef Curry Noodle Bowl and it was both substantial and delicious. In fact it was a bit too much for me for lunch. Of course I was saving space for a slice of their in house made Cheese Cake. It was outstanding and we shared it. The House wine is a nice Italian Pinot Grigio at $7 a glass.

The NEST is quite a cute spot on two levels with a small bar as well. We had a window tableso took advantage of the cold blue sky day. The service was very pleasant and efficient. Added bonus is a view of Lordco Auto Parts.

Check out their website before you go.  It includes a good commentary on the Owners/chefs as well as the menu.  Open for lunch and dinner.

Right beside The NEST is a large free parking lot too. It’s a good spot and we would certainly return.

Just saying…

Vendee Globe 31 days.

 

As this single handed sail boat race continues there has been some high drama in the southern Indian Ocean. The only Japanese skipper, Kojiro SHIRAISHI had retired and is heading for Capetown after breaking his mast. French sailor Kito DE PAVANT hit an unidentified underwater object which destroyed his keel housing.
Since he was now taking on water he was expected to be rescued by the French supply ship Marion Dufresne. De Pavant, 55 years old had battled through more than 48 hours of strong winds and big seas.

Sébastien Josse, who was in third place in the Vendee Globe, has had his toughest night of the solo round the world race so far, after his port foil was damaged yesterday. His boat slammed into the bottom of a 4 metre wave. Since the incident his main concern has been for himself, the boat and the damaged foil, altering his route to avoid the worst weather. He has now retired from the race and is heading to Australia.

img_6387New Zealander, Conrad Coleman, had an electrical fire on his boat burning up wires to his auto pilot. He was able to extinguish them and successfully rewire the pilot and continue racing.

That puts Paul Meilhat in third place, but he is 1300 nautical miles behind the number two boat of Alex Thomson. The leader Armel LE CLÉAC’H, is now 132 nm ahead of Thompson.

The race is in its 31st day and the lead boat still has 12,571 miles to go. The leaders are now just south west of Tasmania. Armel LE CLÉAC’H has averaged 18.3 knots in the past 24 hours and covered 441 nautical miles or 817 kilometres. Consider that the large BC Ferries cruise at 18-20 knots. For a sailboat to be capable of that speed continuously for 24 hours with only one man aboard is remarkable.

29 boats started a month ago, 22 are still in it.

Just saying…

 

Netflix for Foodies

 

 

If you subscribe to Netflix and if you fancy yourself as a foodie there are a host of interesting shows from which to choose. Some feature restaurants and chefs, others combine food and travel, still others are historic or documentaries.

Also, some feature wine. Today, we are watching ‘A YEAR IN CHAMPAGNE‘, which is a semi documentary in the Champagne region of France. It describes the region, the vinyards, the wine and includes a trip in the cellars. All you wanted to know about champagne and more.

Try the series, THE MIND OF A CHEF. It has 3 seasons to watch for a total of 50 episodes. FOR GRACE chronicles one Chef opening a new restaurant. We recently watched the series  AVEC ERIC, featuring New York Chef Eric Ripert who does the foodie thing in Australia, Korea and Puerto Rico. A Netflix original CHEF’S TABLE is really well done. THREE STARS describes the effort required to earn a Michelin Star.

A COOK ABROAD features 6 chefs visiting various countries. CHEF’S TABLE, FRANCE  is great too.

If you enjoy pubs the feature, THE IRISH PUB is for you. Another documentary is SUSHI,THE GLOBAL CATCH, is  fascinating as it explores the history of Sushi. THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO explores the history of the famous chicken dish. FOODIES is an interesting look at a collection of international food bloggers and is worth a watch. If you are a steak aficionado, try STEAK REVOLUTION.

Good, informative shows that you may enjoy. All on Netflix.

Just Saying…

 

Vendée Globe Race

After 26 days of sailing The 60 foot racing sleds are now in the Southern Ocean between Capetown and Australia. The lead boat once again is Alex Thomson driving the HUGO BOSS.  He is 18 miles ahead of  Armel LE CLÉAC’H on the BANQUE POPULAIRE. The third placed boat is 528 miles behind them. The last boat is 5000 miles behind and has not yet passed the Cape of Good Hope. Here is some amazing footage taken by the FRENCH Navy yesterday. It shows the astonishing and sometimes frightening speed of these boats. Thomson said “sometimes my boat is more like a submarine”.

Thomson has covered almost 10,000 nautical miles with 14,500 miles to go.  But in the treacherous Southern Ocean anything can happen. With at least. Month and a half to go. Stay tuned!