Future of Energy Options for Saskatchewan - Nov. 05.09

Future of Energy Options for Saskatchewan - Nov. 05.09

Postby Oscar » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:57 pm

Letter to Premier Wall - Future of Energy Options for Saskatchewan - Nov. 05.09

----- Original Message -----
From: Elaine Hughes
To: Office of the Premier
Cc: Ignatieff M. - Lib. ; Duceppe, G. Bloc ; May, E. GPC ; Layton, J. NDP ; SK Green - Leader - Larissa Shasko ; SK Liberal - Leader - Ryan Bater ; SK NDP Caucus ; SK Party Caucus ; Minister ER ; Breitkreuz, G. MP
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 4:19 PM
Subject: Re: Your letter: Future of Energy Options for Saskatchewan - Nov. 05.09

Thank you for your letter, Mr. Wall, most of which I have previously received from you.

(For the benefit of the others on this email, I have copied and pasted it below.)

The non-nuclear message cannot be repeated too often. Mr. Perrins' report also clearly reflects the stand of Saskatchewan residents on this issue: replacing our fossil fuel source of electricity with nuclear power is a no-brainer! It shouldn't even be part of the conversation. The cost (of course it's a risk to taxpayers!) of nuclear power, the danger (of course it endangers our health and the environment - for thousands and thousands of years!) in the uranium mining, processing and burning it as fuel to virtually 'boil water' for tarsands extraction in Alberta/Saskatchewan and/or export to the USA, and the obscenity of burdening thousands of future generations with the radioactive waste - all of it is, frankly - insane!

And, I must say that 8.5% wind production in this province is shamefully low! That's it? That's your goal?

We have no time to 'tinker' with the issue of Climate Change - no time to carry on business as usual while we bury carbon into the earth - no time to think we can continue producing/using fossil fuels like the good old days. Saskatchewan, and Canada, needs to get serious about this issue.

Canada is going empty-handed to Copenhagen in December. "Bill C-311, with tough, science-based reduction targets for our greenhouse gases, offered Canada a real chance to prove to the world that it is serious about tackling climate change. Its passage by Parliament would have given Canada the credibility it sorely needs when it goes to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Now, instead of taking leadership on the environment, Canada will go to Copenhagen with nothing to offer." - NDP Leader Jack Layton

What is Saskatchewan doing to address Climate Change? Where are the province-wide conservation programs? The benefits, as I'm sure you know, are enormous, both in lowering the demand for fossil fuels and in emissions. Why aren't they being developed and put into practice? Why are the residents of Saskatchewan not given direction and leadership in how to participate in protecting the Earth?

Renewable Energy is the ONLY way to go - money needs to be ;iterally poured into huge renewable energy projects - now - wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro - all of it!

I encourage your government to assume some leadership and get serious about funding appropriate industry and entrepreneurs - open closed factories - now - and begin producing wind turbines, solar panels, whatever it takes - just get on with it!

Thank you for your time.

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK

========================

----- Original Message -----
From: Office of the Premier
To: Elaine Hughes
Cc: Minister ER
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 2:53 PM
Subject: RE: MUST READ: Jonathan Porritt: Our nuclear tragedy

November 6, 2009

Thank you for your email. Premier Brad Wall's reply to your letter is attached. If you are unable to open this document, please contact us by email so we may send you the original by mail.

Again, thank you for writing.

Bonnie Krajewski-Riel
Director
Premier's Correspondence Unit
Office: (306) 787-0492

===========================

Copy of the Original Letter Received from Premier Wall on Nov. 06.09
November 5, 2009

Elaine Hughes

Dear Ms. Hughes:

Thank you for your email of October 21, 2009 regarding the future of energy options for Saskatchewan.

It is clear that our growing province faces an increased demand for electricity in the years ahead. To meet this challenge, our government is currently evaluating a wide range of electricity supply alternatives including cogeneration, clean coal, wind, hydro, import contracts, biomass, energy conservation; and yes, the nuclear option.

Having said that, I want to repeat what our government has been saying from the beginning. This government will not participate in any nuclear project that puts taxpayers at financial risk. We share the concerns expressed by many with respect to the costs associated with large nuclear power plants. Nor will we consider any project that may jeopardize our health or the environment.

As you are aware, Dan Perrins has recently tabled his report on the Future of Uranium in Saskatchewan public consultations.

I am sure you would agree that Mr. Perrins’ extensive experience, leadership, and inclusive style produced a fair, transparent, and accessible public input process. This comprehensive process generated a wealth of comments, concerns, questions, and suggestions from Saskatchewan citizens and stakeholder groups. Mr. Perrins also made a number of recommendations on future consultations and potential additional information needs that the government will seriously consider. As such, the provincial government will review the findings and recommendations over the next several weeks.

As noted in Mr. Perrins’ report, more work needs to be done – additional steps are required. To this end, this report has been forwarded to an All-Party Standing Committee on Crowns and Central Agencies. The Committee is currently examining all of the options I mentioned earlier and making recommendations on how the province can best meet the needs for electricity in a manner that is safe, reliable, environmentally sustainable and affordable for Saskatchewan residents.

Also, on October 28, 2009 SaskPower announced that it is launching two new programs that will more than double wind power production in the province and remain among the leaders in wind generation in Canada. The Green Options Plan and the Green Options Partners Program will add another 200 megawatts (MW) of wind power to SaskPower's generation capacity.

When the new wind generation is brought into service, wind power will make up about 8.5 per cent of SaskPower's total generating capacity - among the highest percentages in the country. The expansion of wind power will reduce the corporation's CO2 emissions by approximately 225,000 tonnes a year.

Again, thank you for your interest in Saskatchewan’s energy future.

Brad Wall

Premier

cc Honourable Bill Boyd
Minister of Energy and Resources

======================================

MUST READ: Our nuclear tragedy

From: Elaine Hughes [mailto:tybach@sasktel.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:52 AM
To: Office of the Premier; Breitkreuz, G. MP
Cc: Duceppe, G. Bloc; SK NDP Caucus; SK Party Caucus; SK Green - Leader - Larissa Shasko; SK Liberal - Leader - Ryan Bater; GlobalResearch.ca; Greenpeace Canada; Ignatieff M. - Lib.; Layton, J. NDP; May, E. GPC; Perrins, Dan - UDP

Subject: MUST READ: Jonathan Porritt: Our nuclear tragedy

Premier Wall

I seriously hope that you and your government take the time to read this article.

QUOTE: "For me, nuclear power is the lazy option. Stick up a few more reactors, don't say too much about costs per kilowatt hour (let alone costs for each tonne of CO2 abated), dump the responsibility of dealing with the waste on future generations, and don't worry too much about the state of the grid or the impact on renewable energy."

Mr. Porrit makes many excellent points - you'll recognize them as being the same ones made by many of the presenters at the UDP consultations!

We can't all be wrong, Mr. Wall!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK

==========================================

Our nuclear tragedy


The idea that a few new reactors can solve climate change is attractive – and completely unrealistic

by Jonathan Porrit, The Guardian, October 20, 2009

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... 09/oct/20/
nuclear-power-reactor-olkiluoto-greenhouse/print

If you are a minister in a government that spent its first 10 years in office talking on and on about the merits of energy efficiency and renewable power, but actually doing very little about it, then conjuring up a programme of nuclear power as a "get out when all else fails" sort of makes sense.

If you are chief executive of a large energy company in a country where the regulatory system does not permit you to make much money on your renewable investments, and no money at all from selling fewer electrons (to increase efficiency) rather than more, then taking a punt on a couple of nuclear reactors definitely makes sense. All the more so since you can pretty much guarantee that the government will pick up the tab for anything that goes wrong.

If you're a citizen of that country and increasingly concerned about climate change and the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, then you might reluctantly conclude that there's no alternative but to replace nuclear reactors that are due for decommissioning.

If, like me, you are the former chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, which battled in vain for years to persuade the government that there are far better ways of meeting objectives on climate change, then all these pretexts for resuscitating our moribund nuclear industry remain utterly unconvincing.

The commission came to that opinion after nearly two years of research. We reviewed all available data on costs, waste, uranium, emissions reduction, safety, proliferation, security risks, and the impact of any new reactors on energy options. As dispassionately as we were able, we highlighted both the benefits of nuclear power and the disbenefits in each of those areas. The majority of us (with two of 18 commissioners dissenting) came to the conclusion that the disbenefits clearly outweighed the benefits.

A lot of it comes down to who you believe. For those with long memories, it's still difficult to attach much credibility to the promises of the nuclear industry. Two years ago it was the consensus view that companies bidding for new reactors would require no subsidy. Six months ago that bold (and some would say preposterous) assertion was put aside with a much more honest acknowledgement from E.ON, EDF and others that substantial amounts of public money would be required after all. Indeed, the case was made that the government would have to stop subsidising renewables in order to prioritise nuclear.

This change of heart may well have been influenced by the fiasco at Olkiluoto in Finland, where the new reactor is already massively behind schedule and over budget. This is the same reactor design that will apparently be rolled out here in the UK. Even the staunchest advocates of nuclear power concede that it's extremely difficult unearthing the true story about its cost. We do know, courtesy of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, that UK taxpayers face a bill of at least £70bn over the next 20 years or so for cleaning up the legacy of our existing nuclear facilities. Faced with that kind of reality, as we move into a period of inevitable austerity, it remains incomprehensible to me that the Treasury has now set aside its traditional scepticism about nuclear power.

For me, nuclear power is the lazy option. Stick up a few more reactors, don't say too much about costs per kilowatt hour (let alone costs for each tonne of CO2 abated), dump the responsibility of dealing with the waste on future generations, and don't worry too much about the state of the grid or the impact on renewable energy.

. . . SNIP . . . .
Oscar
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