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Canadian Energy Policy and the Struggle for Sustainable Development

Canadian Energy Policy and the Struggle for Sustainable Development

Edited by G. Bruce Doern
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 305
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    Canadian Energy Policy and the Struggle for Sustainable Development
    Book Description:

    In recent years, energy policy has been increasingly linked to concepts of sustainable development. In this timely collection, editor G. Bruce Doern presents an overview of Canadian energy policy, gathering together the top Canadian scholars in the field in an examination of the twenty-year period broadly benchmarked by energy liberalization and free trade in the mid-1980s, and by Canada's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

    The contributors examine issues including electricity restructuring in the wake of the August 2003 blackout, the implications of the Bush Administration's energy policies, energy security, northern pipelines and Aboriginal energy issues, provincial changes in energy policy, and overall federal-provincial changes in regulatory governance. They also demonstrate that, since per capita energy usage has actually increased in the past several years, sustainable development remains very much a struggle rather than an achievement. When the Kyoto Protocol and its requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are factored in, the Canadian record is especially dubious in basic energy terms.Canadian Energy Policy and the Struggle for Sustainable Developmentis key to understanding many of the issues in Canada's endeavour to live up to its energy-related environmental responsibilities.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7216-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Chapter 1 Canadian Energy Policy and the Struggle for Sustainable Development: Political-Economic Context
    (pp. 3-50)

    This book examines selected key energy policy issues and challenges that have confronted Canadians over the past twenty years, the period during which the struggle for sustainable development began. Its purpose is to provide a broad political-economic analysis of how energy policy has evolved over the last twenty years and also of how and why energy policy ideas, interests, and governance approaches have changed. It also examines key energy policy and political issues facing Canada in the short-term future. This book, which draws on authors whose academic and practitioner backgrounds include political science, economics, law, and science, is the first...

  6. Chapter 2 The Changing Nature of National and Continental Energy Markets
    (pp. 51-82)

    The past twenty-five years in Canada and the United States have witnessed a wholesale move away from direct state intervention in the terms and conditions of contracts between buyers and sellers of energy. In the mid-1970s, governments in these two countries, and in Mexico, were heavily involved in determining the conditions under which both international and intranational trade in energy products would be allowed to occur. By the end of the 1970s, however, the first steps toward energy market deregulation had been taken. By the time the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in 1988, the role of the...

  7. Chapter 3 Energy Policy and Sustainable Development
    (pp. 83-104)

    Energy is essential for sustainable development. This fact poses two challenges for policy, one at the front end of energy fuel cycles and one at the back:

    1Meeting demand: Are there adequate, affordable, and accessible energy supplies to sustain anticipated growth in global economic activity?

    2Impact: How can energy be used to achieve global economic goals without undermining the environmental support systems that sustain human civilization?

    Demand for energy services, driven by population and economic growth, is increasing steadily. In developing countries, energy is required to provide basic needs. Two billion people lack access to modern forms of...

  8. Chapter 4 Accounting for the Uncountable: Valuing the Environment in Energy Policy
    (pp. 105-127)

    This chapter has three purposes. The first is to make the case that environmental issues will be the driving force behind energy policy for a sustainable development world. To this end, I will look at the characteristics of past energy policy and analyse the links between energy and the environment. The second is to provide a framework for such a policy that is meaningful in environmental management terms but also grounded in a utilitarian context that is consistent with our democratic institutions.¹ The third is to point out the vital necessity of implementing such a policy and of developing and...

  9. Chapter 5 Electricity Restructuring in Canada
    (pp. 128-150)

    Although in principle electricity restructuring can mean any change in the structure of the electricity sector, the most significant changes in recent years have been those that have introduced competition to supplement or displace prices that were previously set by regulations. This chapter focuses on the introduction of competitive generation markets for determining wholesale electricity prices and for providing incentives for investment in new generation. In a competitive market, wholesale prices are set by the interaction of supply and demand, not by the interaction of monopolists and regulators. If supply is down and demand is up, the price will be...

  10. Chapter 6 Canada-U.S. Electricity Trade and the Climate Change Agenda
    (pp. 151-173)

    One of the most contentious debates in Canada in recent memory has been over the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. In early September 2002, following a highly divisive political debate, the prime minister announced at the Johannesburg, South Africa, World Summit that the Canadian Parliament would be asked to vote on ratification of the Kyoto Protocol (Chrétien, 2002). Since that announcement, the climate debate has intensified. The sharpest point of controversy involves economic costs. This chapter does not endeavour to answer the cost question directly; rather, it looks at the Canadian electricity sector in the context of the Americans′ decision...

  11. Chapter 7 Sustainable and Socially Efficient Electricity Production: How Will Ontario Satisfy the Criteria?
    (pp. 174-199)

    The deregulation, restructuring, and privatization of electricity markets has become a popular agenda for many countries, provinces, and states. The notion that electricity generation, transmission, and distribution is a natural monopoly and, therefore, should be either stateowned or heavily regulated is increasingly being challenged. Supposedly, once electricity markets are opened to new suppliers, incumbents will be pressured to achieve more efficient production, and new and innovative technologies will enter the market. However, the supply, transmission, and distribution of electricity is a more complex and integrated process than the ones for providing ordinary private goods, and the secure supply of electricity...

  12. Chapter 8 Albertaʹs Oil and Gas Industry in the Era of the Kyoto Protocol
    (pp. 200-222)

    On 2 September 2002, the world turned upside down for the Alberta oil patch. At the Johannesburg Summit on a Sustainable Environment, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced that Canada would both ratify and implement the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. Canada′s formal commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 6 per cent below 1990 levels was widely perceived by various oil patch representatives and also by the provincial government as having a negative impact on the industry. The Alberta oil patch had been living in the shadow of the Kyoto Protocol since its very inception in December 1997...

  13. Chapter 9 The Smartest Steward? Indigenous People and Petroleum-Based Economic Development in Canadaʹs North
    (pp. 223-245)

    The winter 2002 edition ofThe Far North Oil and Gas Reviewput a photograph of Northwest Territories Premier Steve Kakfwi on its cover, with this rather triumphant headline: ′Full Circle: Kakfwi comes around.′ Inside, the explanation: ′As a young man in the 1970s, Stephen Kakfwi vociferously opposed a Mackenzie Valley pipeline. As president of the Dene Nation in the 1980s, he fought to secure Dene rights to self-determination and a fair land claims process. Now, with the latter two issues largely behind him, Northwest Territories Premier Kakfwi has become the North′s most vocal pipeline supporter′ (Sarkadi, 2002, 23). This...

  14. Chapter 10 Northern Gas Pipeline Policy and Sustainable Development, Then. And Now?
    (pp. 246-271)

    In 1977, Canada and the United States agreed to build a natural gas pipeline from the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska along the Alaska Highway through the Yukon and down into British Columbia and Alberta. This route was selected after extensive hearings. It triumphed over competing routes across the North Slope of the Yukon and down the Mackenzie Valley. This pipeline was never built. Now, twenty-seven years later, we are again considering building a pipeline, and perhaps more than one. The basic justification for a northern pipeline is that demand for natural gas in North America is increasing and that...

  15. Chapter 11 Alternative Dispute Resolution in Energy Regulation: Opportunities, Experiences, and Prospects
    (pp. 272-292)

    When a conflict arises between two or more parties, there are two main approaches to resolving the dispute: adjudication by a third party, and joint decision making by the disputants themselves (Kheel, 1985). Canadian energy regulators, as quasi-judicial agencies, have traditionally employed the former means of resolving disputes in the energy sector.¹ A formal public hearing enables energy companies and parties affected by their applications to present their concerns to a third party, the energy regulatory board, which hears the various positions and renders a decision on the matter, approving, rejecting, or requiring modifications to an energy application. In recent...

  16. Chapter 12 The Alberta Energy Sectorʹs Voluntary Approach to Climate Change: Context, Prospects, and Limits
    (pp. 293-310)

    Voluntary action is a key element of the climate change strategy proposed by Alberta and, to a lesser degree, of the plan developed by the federal government. Both governments intend to use voluntary sectoral agreements to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets that will serve as a basis for domestic emissions-trading schemes. Although questions have been raised about the efficacy and reliability of purely voluntary, industry-driven approaches (Sax, 1999; Hornung, 1999), there is positive energy-sector experience with voluntary measures.

    The thesis of this chapter is that Alberta has adopted this voluntary, sectoral-agreement approach in addressing provincial GHG emissions, especially energy-sector...

  17. Chapter 13 Conclusions and Related Energy Policy Challenges for a Martin Liberal Government
    (pp. 311-336)

    The purpose of this book has been to examine key energy policy issues and challenges for Canadians over the past twenty years and into the early 2000s. Rooted in a broad interdisciplinary analysis by both academics and policy practitioners, it has explored and explained how energy policy has evolved over the past twenty years and also how and why energy policy ideas, interests, and governance approaches have changed. Drawing on the contributing authors and on other literature, chapter 1 set the context for change by introducing key political-economic factors and forces such as the following: the current overall federal energy...

  18. Contributors
    (pp. 337-341)