Doug Ford government spent $231M to scrap green energy projects

PCs had said cancelling wind turbine project in Prince Edward County would not cost taxpayers

The Ford government’s decision to scrap green energy projects in Ontario is costing taxpayers $230 million, according to newly revealed research by the opposition New Democrats. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

Provincial documents show the Ford government spent more than $230 million to cancel renewable energy projects that included a partially-built wind farm in a cabinet minister’s riding.

The spending was revealed Tuesday in question period by the opposition NDP, who accused the Ford government of throwing away money on scrapping energy projects as the Liberal government did earlier in the decade.

The province’s public accounts for 2018-19 show spending of $231 million by the Ministry of Energy on unexplained “other transactions.”

Inquiries by an NDP researcher uncovered that these “other transactions” were “to fulfil a government commitment to wind down renewable energy contracts” including the White Pines wind farm in Prince Edward County.

Premier Doug Ford promised that electricity ratepayers would not be on the hook for scrapping the wind farm, which was one of the first acts of his government after taking power in June 2018.

Bill Walker is associate minister of energy in the Ford government. (CBC)

“Wasting $231 million to cancel hydro contracts is the sort of thing the previous Liberal government did during the gas plant scandal,” NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns said on Tuesday.

The associate minister of energy, Bill Walker, said the province didn’t need the power from the White Pines project but didn’t deny the cost of the cancellation.

“This municipality was an unwilling host from day one, they did not want the turbines, we did the right thing,” said Walker in question period.

Walker pointed to actions of the previous Liberal governments, whose moves to cancel gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville ended up costing upwards of $1 billion, according to the province’s auditor general.

The NDP researcher had to resort to a roundabout way of confirming that the $230 million listed on the 2018-19 books was spent cancelling energy projects. When government officials did not reply to his queries about the “other transactions,” he asked legislative library staff to find out.

“Costs associated with the wind down and subsequent termination of renewable energy contracts (including the costs associated with the termination of the White Pines Wind project) are not anticipated to exceed $231 million,” a ministry official said in an email to the library staffer.

“Total compensation for the termination of the White Pines Wind project is within the above amount and is still to be finalized, as there are a number of activities, such as decommissioning, that need to take place.”  MORE


Bring your own equipment and wait for work: Working for Uber is a lot like being a dock worker a century ago

Around the world, gig workers are pressing for minimum wages, basic entitlements and better safety.

The gig economy has quickly become an important part of Canada’s labour market, now encompassing as much as three to five per cent of the workforce.

In Toronto alone there are close to 100,000 ride-hail drivers working for Uber, Lyft and other firms – and tens of thousands more doing other gig jobs. And the practice is spreading quickly into many new occupations, like computing, accounting and even social services.

Gig jobs have become a fallback for workers who have a hard time breaking into more stable, traditional positions. Most gig workers are young, and a disproportionate share are from racialized or immigrant communities. Many concerns have been raised about wages and working conditions – including low hourly incomes, uncertain schedules and dangers on the job.


Around the world gig workers and labour advocates are challenging their employers before labour regulators and judges, pressing for minimum wages, basic entitlements (like pensions) and better safety.

Here in Canada, for example, arguments were heard this month in two important cases. One is a Supreme Court of Canada appeal which could allow Uber drivers to sue their employer (which currently channels driver complaints to a stacked arbitration system based in the Netherlands). The other is an Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing to determine whether Foodora couriers in Toronto have the right to unionize.

Both these companies argue their workers are independent contractors – and hence don’t have the normal rights of paid employees.

Indeed, gig employers claim that since their business models are “new” and “innovative,” traditional labour regulations shouldn’t apply. Giving gig workers the same rights as other workers – like a minimum wage, paid holidays, sick leave, pensions and workers’ compensation – would interfere with their dynamic growth. It would disrupt the disruptors.

But what is truly “innovative” about gig businesses’ employment practices? Let’s review the core features of gig work. It turns out that none of them were invented in Silicon Valley; all of them have actually been around for centuries:

Working on demand: Workers are only employed when there is immediate work. That shifts the risks of business fluctuations from the boss to the workers – and it’s been done for ages. For generations, day labourers trekked to docks, mines, farms and factories in search of a few hours’ work. The lucky ones are chosen. The unlucky ones try again tomorrow.

Piece work compensation: Gig workers are paid by the task, not by the hour. Piece work is a long-standing practice in many occupations (factories, sales, agriculture, and services). But those employers are still required to at least match the minimum wage.

Supplying their own equipment: Gig workers bring (and pay for) their tools, cars, phones, data and other capital equipment. Nothing new there, either. Loggers, fishers, cleaners, hair stylists, tradespeople and others have long been required to bring their own capital to work. Canadian labour law even reflects this practice with special rules for “dependent contractors.”

Paying the intermediary: The platform company positions itself between gig workers and the end-users of their labour (whether consumers or other businesses). And the platform then takes a generous cut: 25 per cent of all revenue, in the case of Uber. For hundreds of years, gang-masters, labour hire agents and other middlemen have exploited the desperation of workers to skim off a rich layer of cream for themselves.

The only thing truly new about gig employment is its use of digital and on-line techniques to assign work, discipline workers (who can now be fired by an app, rather than a human boss), and control the money. That’s more effective than the bulletin boards and classified ads of yesteryear – but it hardly negates the inherent power imbalance between an individual worker and the multibillion-dollar company they work for.

Digital matching technologies hold great potential for facilitating new services and growing new industries. But if that potential is to translate into decent jobs and a better community, gig employers must be held to the same standards as any other business. Their so-called “innovations” don’t give them a free pass on respecting basic rights and protections – the same ones other workers have been fighting to win for centuries. SOURCE

These uses of CO2 could cut emissions — and make trillions of dollars

From concrete to fuels, CO2 from the air can replace CO2 from the ground.

You put your CO2 in there. Shutterstock

It is well understood at this point that carbon dioxide is a deadly pollutant that is heating the atmosphere. What’s less well understood is that CO2 is also a useful feedstock, an input into a variety of industrial processes. From plastics to concrete, CO2 is a basic industrial building block — a valuable commodity.

To many climate campaigners, this suggests that maybe we should use more of it. Maybe, if the industries that use CO2 could be incentivized to increase their use, we could use enough to substantially decrease the amount we emit into the atmosphere.

Use more; emit less. That is the basic idea behind carbon capture and utilization (CCU), one of the hottest topics in clean energy these days.

In my first post in this series, I introduced the concept of CCU and its basic forms. In the second, I took a close look at what is currently the most common industrial use of CO2, namely enhanced oil recovery (EOR), whereby CO2 is injected in spent wells to squeeze out more oil and gas. (It’s complicated.)

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the other industrial uses of CO2 to try to get a sense of how viable they are, what their total potential might be, and whether they might play a significant role in the fight against climate change. Fun times!

One important note: For the purposes of this post, I’m looking at industrial processes. They involve pulling CO2 out of the air — either out of the flue gases of industrial facilities, via traditional carbon capture, or out of the ambient air, via direct air capture (DAC) — concentrating it, and using it as industrial feedstock.

There are also a number of natural ways of gathering more CO2, from planting more forests to sequestering more carbon in the soil. They are interesting and of potentially significant scale, but they deserve their own post. This post is about machines.

direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide
A giant machine to pull CO2 out of the air.  Carbon Engineering

Three important ways to assess CCU technologies

Before we get into the various forms of CCU, let’s keep in mind three important questions we need to be asking about all of them as we take their measure.

The questions are drawn from a giant literature review on CCU, recently released in the journal Nature, which assessed over 11,000 papers and was accompanied by an expert opinion survey. It helps bring into clear focus the key metrics involved in appraising these technologies.

The first question is, does the CCU technology produce a climate benefit? Does it reduce carbon emissions, and if so, how much? Does it sequester carbon, and if so, for how long?

There are a few overlapping concepts here that are often conflated in popular dialogue, so it’s worth distinguishing them. Here’s how the Nature paper does it:

  • CO2u: utilization of CO2
  • CO2ρ: reduction in CO2 emissions relative to baseline
  • CO2r: removal of CO2 from the atmosphere
  • CO2s: storage of CO2
uses of carbon dioxide
Ways to use CO2. Royal Society

Different CCU technologies involve different mixes of these. Determining the net carbon impact of a CCU technology involves life-cycle analysis (LCA) that takes into account where the CO2 is sourced, how much energy is used in production, where the energy comes from, how much CO2 is released during production, whether any of the released CO2 is captured, how the product is eventually disposed of, and what would have taken place in the absence of the production. (LCA is devilishly complicated and there are currently no widely shared standards governing how it’s done.)

Some uses of CO2 — say, making liquid fuels that substitute for gasoline and diesel fuel — only lock in carbon until the fuel is combusted, at which point it is re-released into the atmosphere. They don’t remove CO2 from the atmosphere so much as recycle it once and then put it back; the Nature paper calls them “cycling” processes. But by substituting a carbon-neutral process for a carbon-intensive one, they reduce net emissions (CO2ρ) relative to what would have happened otherwise.

Other uses of CO2 — say, as part of the cement-production process — lock in carbon for much longer. Concrete won’t permanently keep CO2 out of the atmosphere, but could plausibly store it for a century or longer, so for all intents and purposes it counts as carbon storage (CO2s). The Nature paper calls these “closed” processes.

LFA is complex, and the details matter, but one broad conclusion from the literature is that “the potential for net emission reductions is much larger than for net removals, which appears very modest.” Overall, CCU probably won’t result in a lot of CO2s, but it could produce considerable CO2ρ.

Assessing the climate benefit of different CCU options is paramount. Policymakers should always keep in mind that CCU is not a good in and of itself. It is only worth pursuing insofar as it makes a meaningful climate difference. MORE

‘Insect apocalypse’ poses risk to all life on Earth, conservationists warn

Report claims 400,000 insect species face extinction amid heavy use of pesticides

 The study also indicates that insects, including bees, are vanishing due to damage to nature. Photograph: Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters

The “unnoticed insect apocalypse” should set alarm bells ringing, according to conservationists, who said that without a halt there will be profound consequences for humans and all life on Earth.

A new report suggested half of all insects may have been lost since 1970 as a result of the destruction of nature and heavy use of pesticides. The report said 40% of the 1million known species of insect are facing extinction.

The analysis, written by one of the UK’s leading ecologists, has a particular focus on the UK, whose insects are the most studied in the world. It said 23 bee and wasp species have become extinct in the last century, while the number of pesticide applications has approximately doubled in the last 25 years.

UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen 77% since the mid-1970s and generalists have declined 46%, the report said. There are also knock-on effects on other animals, such as the spotted flycatcher which only eats flying insects. Its populations have dropped by 93% since 1967.

But conservationists said that insect populations can be rescued, by introducing firm targets to cut pesticide use and making urban parks and gardens more wildlife friendly. Scientists said insects are essential for all ecosystems, as pollinators, food for other creatures, and recyclers of nutrients.

“We can’t be sure, but in terms of numbers, we may have lost 50% or more of our insects since 1970 – it could be much more,” said Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex, UK, who wrote the report for the Wildlife Trusts. “We just don’t know, which is scary. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on earth [and] for human wellbeing.”

Studies of insect populations over decades are scarce, he said: “But the overwhelming weight of evidence that exists suggests the rapid decline is a real phenomenon. It really worries me to hear people say we need more long-term studies to be sure. That would be great, but we can’t wait another 25 years before we do anything because it will be too late.” MORE

When Will European Offshore Wind See Negative Bids?

As early as next year, Germany or the Netherlands could see offshore wind developers go beyond zero-subsidy projects and start paying for contracts.

Going down.Going down

European offshore wind developers could go one step beyond zero-subsidy projects and start paying a tariff for contracts.

So-called negative bids are “quite likely” in forthcoming European offshore wind tenders, said Michael Dodd, U.K. and Ireland director at consultancy DNV GL. Such bids would come in markets that have already seen zero-subsidy projects, Dodd added.

Although subsidy-free projects are becoming increasingly common in onshore wind and solar across Europe, so far only a couple of offshore markets have reached that point explicitly.

The Dutch first?

But going forward, said Dodd, developers seeking large pipelines might be tempted to pay for a lease in a low-risk market such as Holland so they can make up for any projects that fail to go ahead in more difficult environments. “It’s them buying the option,” Dodd said.

Based on events so far, the Dutch market appears to be the most likely candidate for the emergence of negative bidding, he said.

“We saw some aggressive strategies in the previous round in the Netherlands,” said Dodd. “The types of players that were playing in that auction are looking for ways they can reduce even further. If you go beyond zero, there’s only one way you can go. The Netherlands is probably where you may see it first.”

Europe’s first no-subsidy offshore wind project emerged in 2017 in Germany, when utility EnBW and Dong Energy (now Ørsted) opted to go without subsidies for plants due to come online by 2025. The developers effectively bet on continued reductions in wind’s levelized cost of energy, while taking advantage of the German government’s willingness to cover grid-connection costs.

The grid-connection issue was also key when Holland tendered its Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 and 2 sites in 2017. Competing in a packed field, the Swedish developer Vattenfall concluded that not having to pay for a grid link could allow it to dispense with subsidies for offshore wind power from 2022 onward. The company walked away with 750 megawatts of capacity.

German lawmakers banned negative bidding in the country’s April 2018 offshore wind solicitation, which was for 1.6 gigawatts of capacity. This was mainly to discourage unrealistic offers from large firms looking to cut out smaller rivals.

Dutch policymakers had no such qualms in their second Hollandse Kust Zuid tender in 2018. They stipulated there would be no government support for the 760 megawatts on offer across the Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 and 4 lease sites, leading to intense speculation over the prospect of negative bids.

In the end, developers including Vattenfall, Engie, Ørsted and Eneco (in a consortium with Shell and Van Oord) shied away from negative bidding. Vattenfall again won the contest, giving it more than 1.5 gigawatts of unsubsidized offshore wind capacity in Holland.

Germany and the Netherlands remain atypical markets, experts point out. The governments’ willingness to cover grid connection costs and to avoid imposing other significant duties on project developers equates to little downside if a developer ultimately is unable to complete a no-subsidy project.

But Andrei Utkin, senior analyst for global power and renewables at IHS Markit, said Europe effectively has already seen negative bids in other markets once future wholesale prices are factored in.

“In a way, when we compare the French and U.K. winning bid levels with forward prices, we already see negative bids: forward baseload prices for year-ahead delivery are above those levels,” Utkin said.

More and more renewables coming onto the grid will result in more curtailment and lower wholesale power prices, he said. “As a result, the price that renewables will be able to capture in the market will decrease as well, going below their levelized cost of energy and potentially triggering the need for government support.”

What comes next

According to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a permit for the development of 700 megawatts in the Hollandse Kust Noord wind farm zone site will be tendered in the fourth quarter of this year. MORE

How the American environmental movement dealt a blow to Alberta’s oilpatch

Activists identified perfect target: Keystone XL pipeline, and they think it worked

Students protesting against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline march to the residence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2014. U.S. environmentalists are taking credit for organizing a broad enough resistance against the pipeline to delay it and slow down production growth in the Alberta’s oilsands. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The strategy to stifle Alberta’s oilsands came together in a hotel near a mall in Minneapolis over a decade ago.

It was the fall of 2008, and a group of environmental activists spent part of a conference there brainstorming tactics for slowing down the growth of the oilsands — and they identified pipelines as the most vulnerable target.

One in particular fit the bill: Keystone XL — a 1,897-kilometre pipeline to be built by TC Energy that would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would link up with the company’s existing pipeline network.

Their fateful decision at that meeting to throw money and organizational effort into attacking the proposed pipeline opened a difficult new chapter for the oilpatch.

Now, those activists are claiming victory.

A decade later, Alberta crude is increasingly choked off from international markets; growth forecasts have been cut in half; iconic Canadian energy companies are rebranding themselves or moving head offices; and parts of Western Canada are simmering with talk of separatism.

‘Keystone was a turning point’

Several American activists interviewed in recent days cited the tactical decisions made in 2008 as setting the stage for the industry’s current woes.

“Keystone was a turning point,” said Kenny Bruno, an organizer and author in the environmental movement who helped shape the anti-pipeline strategy.

“It really did impact the industry — as we intended.”

Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at the Washington-based Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), agrees that the effort helped at least curb growth even if, overall, oilsands output continues to rise.

“We really did stop expansion,” Swift said.

Activist Jane Kleeb, right, of the group Bold Nebraska, celebrates after U.S. President Barack Obama denied permission to build the Keystone XL pipeline in November 2016. Trump later overturned that decision, but the project remains in limbo. (Nati Harnik/The Associated Press)

While delays in large oil projects are now fairly common, in 2008, it was near inconceivable that the United States would reject a pipeline — especially one from Canada, Swift said.

In November of that year, activists reviewed the protest methods employed up to that point and concluded they needed new tactics.

Bruno said they talked about protesting at refineries or lobbying industrial users such as shipping companies that might be using fuel sourced in Alberta.

The problem with targeting refineries and companies, however, was there were so many of them that altering the behaviour of one would have a limited impact. Isolating Alberta oil within a company’s fuel supply was also impractical, Bruno said.

But when it came to pipelines, at the time, there were only a few major cross-border projects in the works.

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Pipeline still in limbo

Bruno, a New Yorker who has worked for a number of climate NGOs, including Oil Change, Greenpeace and Corporate Ethics, was among those advocating the view that stalling just one pipeline could do disproportionate damage to the industry.

He and others at the meeting identified the one pipeline project furthest from completion — Keystone XL, for which a permit application had been submitted just weeks earlier, and they zeroed in on it as their target.

“We felt, first of all, that it was linchpin infrastructure for the expansion,” said Bruno. “And second, because there were only a few pipelines, if you could stop one, it would be a big deal.… For the first few years, I assumed we were going to lose the campaign. But, you know, I’m a New York Mets fan. You still fight.”

TC Energy’s pipeline facility in Hardisty, Alta., the proposed start of the 1,897 km long pipeline. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/The Associated Press)

Environmental groups had contested various aspects of oilsands expansion over the years, including previous pipeline projects and ecological impacts, such as deforestation.

What changed at the 2008 meeting, however, was the decision to co-ordinate efforts and throw all of their energy at stopping one project, said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a chief program officer with NRDC who attended the meeting.

And it worked, she said.

“At that time, [Alberta oil] was seen as the next Gold Rush. Every major oil company in the world was there,” she said. “That’s changed. and it’s changed for several reasons.”

Eleven years later — after numerous court battles, protests along the planned route and outside the White House and several delays, including one rejected presidential permit from then-president Barack Obama — Keystone XL remains in limbo.

Several other pipeline projects have been subsequently stalled in the U.S. and Canada while others have either been cancelled or simply abandoned.

Drag out and delay

An organizer of the first big Washington protest against Keystone XL, Bill McKibben, said the conflict over that pipeline created a template for future challenges.

He described the broader strategic goal this way: drag out and delay fossil-fuel projects and make them more expensive while alternative energy gets cheaper.

“Nothing gets built for free anymore, without a lot of resistance,” said McKibben, founder of the group, who has more recently turned his focus to contesting banks that fund oil projects.

If activists manage to delay fossil fuel projects long enough, clean energy gets cheaper and more viable as an alternative in the meantime, says U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibben. (Chad Pawson/CBC)

“Sometimes, we win those fights; sometimes, we lose them. But even when we lose them, if you delay these projects a year or two years or three years, that’s the time the engineers need to drop the cost of a solar panel or a wind turbine another 10, 15, 20 per cent. And the economics [for investing in oil] gets worse and worse and worse.”

It would be a wild exaggeration to say these activists have achieved all their goals.

Global emissions are up and show no sign of peaking as they continue to surge in China. U.S. oil production has more than doubled in several years.

Even Canadian oilsands production is up — it’s practically doubled over the past decade.

One Canadian pipeline project, Enbridge’s Line 3, is close to completion. The Trans Mountain expansion and Keystone XL are still in the works.

So, can international climate activists really claim to have put a dent in Canada’s oilsands?

“I don’t think they’re wrong at all,” said Andrew Leach, an energy economist at the University of Alberta. “It’s massive.… It’s made a huge difference.”

The tactics might arguably be ineffective as a policy to slow down climate change — but, he said, it’s impossible to deny the protests against Keystone XL helped restrain Canada’s pipeline capacity, and the shortage of capacity is one of several factors bedevilling the oilsands.

U.S. President Donald Trump reversed Obama’s rejection of the pipeline with an executive order signed on Jan. 24, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Legal and other challenges pending

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to revive the pipeline project, Keystone XL’s problems aren’t over yet.

It still faces court challenges in Montana from several Native American tribes and environmental groups as well as opposition in Nebraska from dozens of landowners.

Activists’ newest strategy on Keystone XL is to delay the project beyond Trump’s first term and hope a Democratic president might cancel the permit in 2021.

The Clean Energy Barn was built directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in Polk, Nebraska, by the advocacy group Bold Nebraska. It has solar panels and a wind turbine. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, said in a recent earnings call that it remains committed to the pipeline, which would take about two years to build.

“There’s just no way they’re going to have this [Keystone XL] pipeline built before a new president is elected,” said Nebraska activist Jane Kleeb, founding director of the advocacy group Bold Nebraska.

Kleeb was instrumental in connecting national climate groups with landowners fighting Keystone XL in her state.

“People long before me … really planned out that if we stopped Keystone XL … that we would then start to constrain the production altogether,” Kleeb said.

I think what they’re really angry at is physics and chemistry. We can’t take all the carbon that Alberta would like to sell to the rest of the world.– Bill McKibben, environmental activist

“That’s a major accomplishment that, quite frankly, I don’t think anybody fully grasps. They think we were just fighting one pipeline.”

Vivian Krause sees it differently. The Canadian has earned a name writing and lecturing critically about U.S. financing of Canadian environmental charities and says the protests have done nothing to help the planet and lots to enrich the protest movement as an industry.

Krause, who maintains a blog called Fair Questions, said she’s compiled tax records showing that one organization alone, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, has spent $4.5 million in grants since 2007 on the Tar Sands Campaign and that money flowed to the NGOs opposing Keystone XL.

A protest by Native Americans, ranchers and politicians opposed to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in Pierre, S.D., in October 2014. American Indian tribes in South Dakota and Montana have launched lawsuits against the project. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

She said she began compiling the financial data as a hobby but now gets paid to deliver presentations to companies in the energy, banking and business sectors, among others.

If environmental groups cared about greenhouse gases, Krause said, they would have moved on from fighting Alberta after the provincial NDP government of Rachel Notley implemented emissions caps.

“Why are you still pounding Alberta?” she said. “It hasn’t kept oil in the ground. … I think it’s a flawed strategy.”

She said the main effect of the fights over pipelines has been to encourage energy investment in the United States rather than Canada.

U.S. activists inspired by Canadian opposition to oilsands

The American groups insist they’re fighting projects wherever they can — and not singling out the oilsands, as the Alberta government accuses them of doing.

Kleeb said she feels sympathy for Alberta oil workers who won’t be able to rely on Keystone for jobs but has no regrets about her cause.

In her view, delaying the pipeline has safeguarded Nebraskans’ property rights and forced necessary conversations about the future of energy.

Swift and McKibben also take exception to an oft-repeated suggestion that it has been primarily Americans who are leading the fight against Canadian oil.

First Nations protesters gather on the front steps of the British Columbia legislature during a demonstration against the Northern Gateway Pipeline project in Victoria in October 2012. American activists say their protest movement was inspired in part by Canadian protests against pipelines. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

Swift, McKibben, Bruno and Casey-Lefkowitz all said they first heard concerns about oilsands expansion in the 2000s from Indigenous and environmental activists in Canada.

“These are the heroes of this story,” said McKibben, who used to live in Canada and even went to grade school with former prime minister Stephen Harper.

He dismissed some of the frustration in the oilpatch as a “tantrum” stemming from having to confront the reality that it’s impossible to meet global emissions targets and still fully develop the oilsands.

“I think what they’re really angry at is physics and chemistry,” he said. “We can’t take all the carbon that Alberta would like to sell to the rest of the world.” SOURCE