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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pembina Institute Poll Shows Albertans Reject Intensity Targets for GHGs

While one can argue over the sample size of only 500, the results are so conclusive that margin of error makes no difference in the final result of some key findings of the Pembina Institute recently sponsored poll.

One finding from the poll is being billed in the Blogs as Albertans rejecting John Blair’s green efforts on intensity standards for GHG emissions. The polls shows that 70 per cent of Albertans support absolute reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands, compared to 20 per cent who support intensity-based targets. So much for the caricature of the ugly Albertan too often seen as the non-caring capitalists, especially in relation to Canada’s environment.

In fact my firm did some in depth values based research for the forestry industry in the fall of 2005 with over 3000 participants in Alberta. We found then that 84% of Albertan’s believed that environmental protection had to trump economic growth. More information on our work for the Alberta forest industry is at http://www.yourforest.org/, if you are interested.

Alberta’s Minister of the Environment, Rob Renner, says intensity standards for GHG emissions are only interim measures and legislated absolute emission targets are the goal. I wonder if the Federal Minister of the environment, John Baird is on the same page and I surly hope so.

As for nuclear energy as a heat source in Alberta, some rumblings of using geothermal are also out and about. I would think that solution presents more benefit economically, environmentally and even in terms of reliability and safety that nuclear.

I don’t know who is behind the nuclear option scenario and have no problem that it be investigated. The Albert PC party wants the Alberta government to look at nuclear as an option. I hope the Alberta government looks at geothermal as an option to natural gas and nuclear at the same time and with equal or greater enthusiasm.