Category Archives: Ontario CA

Ontario confirms it will join Quebec, California in carbon market

Repost from San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate

Ontario backs California’s carbon market

By David R. Baker, April 13, 2015 3:59 pm

Ontario plans to join California’s cap-and-trade market for reining in greenhouse gases and fighting climate change, the Canadian province’s premier, Kathleen Wynne, said Monday.

If the country’s most populous province follows through, it would greatly expand the size of the market, which California launched on its own in 2012. Quebec joined last year.

“Climate change needs to be fought around the globe, and it needs to be fought here in Canada and Ontario,” Wynne said.

Cap and trade puts a price on the greenhouse gas emissions that the vast majority of climate scientists agree are raising temperatures worldwide.

Companies in participating states and provinces must buy permits, called allowances, to pump carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the air. The number of permits available shrinks over time, reducing emissions. Companies that make deep cuts in their emissions can sell spare allowances to other businesses.        California officials always wanted other states and provinces to join the market. In 2008, six other states and four Canadian provinces (including Ontario and Quebec) agreed in principle to create a carbon market, one that could possibly expand to cover all of North America.

But one by one, California’s potential partners dropped out, and congressional efforts to create a national cap-and-trade system collapsed in 2010. California officials decided to go it alone.

Wynne gave few details Monday about Ontario’s effort. Instead, she signed an agreement with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard to   collaborate on crafting Ontario’s cap-and-trade regulations. For Ontario to join the market, officials with the California Air Resources Board would need to certify that the province’s cap-and-trade rules mesh with California’s. Gov. Jerry Brown would also have to approve.

Brown on Monday welcomed Wynne’s announcement.

“This is a bold move from the province of Ontario — and the challenge we face demands further action from other states and provinces around the world,” Brown said. “There’s a human cost to the billions of tons of carbon spewing into our atmosphere, and there must be a price on it.”

Much like California, Ontario has a significant clean-tech industry, estimated   to employ about 65,000 people.

While Quebec and now Ontario have pursued cap and trade, British Columbia chose another route to pricing greenhouse gas emissions. The province in 2008 established a carbon tax on fuels, using the revenue to cut other taxes.

Alberta, home to Canada’s controversial oil sands, also has a carbon   tax on large emitters, although critics consider it too limited and low to be effective. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last year proposed a carbon tax on heavy emitters, only to meet with resistance from both political parties.

LATEST DERAILMENT: Another train derails in Ontario, Canada

Repost from the The Sault Star

Train derails east of Hornepayne, 0ntario

 March 6, 2015 7:23:34 EST AM

Sixteen train cars derailed near Hornepayne early Thursday.

The derailment happened at 6:30 a.m. about 90 kilometres east of the community, Canadian National Railway says.

Cause is under investigation.

A train, carrying 101 cars, was westbound from Toronto to Edmonton when the incident occurred, said Jim Feeny, director of public and government affairs.

The 16 emptied tanker cars that last contained flammable liquids were “located towards the end of the train,” he said in a telephone interview from Montreal.

No one was injured. No hazardous goods leaked.

Service on CN’s main Northern Ontario line resumed at 4 a.m. Friday.

“The incident is over,” Feeny told The Sault Star. “Service has returned to normal.”

Transportation Safety Board has asked the railway for information about the derailment.

“We’re going to take a look at what we get,” said spokesman John Cottreau. “It’s being assessed right now.”

(with files from Reuters)

Latest derailment: crude oil train derails, catches fire in Northern Ontario

Repost from The Globe and Mail
[Editor: See later update on Canoe:  29 of 100 cars derailed.  Of those, 7 are burning.  “Some of the derailed cars are broken and scattered along the side of the tracks where the snow is chest deep.”  UPDATES ON MONDAY 2/16: Financial Post (main railway line blocked, trains delayed; fire still burning), and Globe & Mail (cleanup underway, bitter cold, spill contained, no waterways affected).  No photos yet.  – RS]

CN train carrying crude oil derails, catches fire in Northern Ontario

 By Eric Atkins, Feb. 15 2015
A CN train in North Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)
A CN train in North Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

A Canadian National Railway Ltd. train carrying 100 tank cars of crude oil has derailed and caught fire in Northern Ontario.

A CN spokesman said there were no injuries in the derailment that happened around midnight on Saturday about 80 kilometres south of Timmins, Ont., on the CN mainline in a remote area inaccessible by road.


Rob Johnston, an investigations team manager with the Transportation Safety Board, said about 25 cars jumped the tracks and an unknown number are still on fire early on Sunday afternoon. He said the train was travelling eastbound at 40 miles an hour when the crew felt an impact and saw flames about 10 cars behind the locomotive. They halted the train and detached the engines and pulled ahead, according to safety procedures.

The TSB investigators, who are not yet on the scene, will face difficult conditions determining the amount of any spill and the cause due to the site’s remote location and the cold weather, Mr. Johnston said in an interview.

“There is a fire at the scene,” said Patrick Waldron. “CN has initiated its emergency response plan and has crews responding to the site. That includes firefighting and environmental crews and equipment.”

The increase in the amount of crude moving on the rails has raised safety concerns that were highlighted by the 2013 tragedy in Lac Megantic, Que., where a runaway train derailed, exploded and killed 47 people. Since then, governments in Canada and the United States have begun phasing in tougher crash standards for tank cars and lower speeds for oil trains. But several trains carrying oil and other petroleum products have crashed and caught fire since the tragedy in Lac Megantic, including derailments in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in 2014.

Oil producers have increasingly used trains to move crude amid a shortage of pipeline space, and to enjoy the flexibility railways offer. The plunge in oil prices has dampened growth in the crude-by-rail business since the fall, but the number of trains carrying oil is expected to rise this year as new terminals are opened.