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British Columbia is imposing emission limits and financial penalties on its biggest industrial air polluters. Industry accounts for one-third of B.C.'s annual greenhouse gas emissions but hasn't yet been the subject of a targeted reduction program -- unlike homeowners and motorists, who for three years have been paying carbon taxes for burning fossil fuels such as natural gas and petroleum. That's going to change in 2012. B.C.

VANCOUVER — Add Cordova Embayment to the list of British Columbia shale plays attracting big money from the natural gas exploration sector. This week's gas and oil rights auction attracted $404 million in bonus bids, making the June sale the fifth-largest on record — and the Cordova contributed two thirds of that. The area sits in the extreme northeast corner of B.C., east of Horn River Basin — but sharing the same deep shale gas geology as its more famous neighbour.

The independent agency that regulates British Columbia's oil and gas industry has no restrictions on its staff being seconded to the firms they're responsible for watchdogging. The agency confirmed that position after Public Eye learned one of its senior employees was temporarily assigned to work for Encana Corp., Canada's largest natural gas producer. Leading British Columbia environmentalist Will Horter has said that secondment "raises a lot of issues around bias" at the commission.

A booming market for pressure pumping services propelled Calgary-based Calfrac Well Services Ltd. to record secondquarter revenue of $165 million, compared with $105 million in the same period of 2009. Operating income more than tripled to $14.9 million from $4.1 million a year earlier, while its net loss fell to $10 million from $15 million. Meanwhile, it hired an estimated 250 more workers in Canada and 350 to 400 in the U.S. for a total of 2,350 worldwide.

The B.C. government has approved a $6.6-billion plan to build a massive hydroelectric dam on the Peace River, nearly 40 years after it was first proposed. Premier Gordon Campbell and Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom announced the approval of the Site C dam project on Monday morning, while standing on the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, located near the project sitein northeastern B.C. "This is a foundational decision for the future of the province," the premier said in a speech peppered with references to the historic legacy of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.

Canadians and their political leaders are ignoring all the signs of a looming aboriginal insurrection in their midst, warns a prominent military analyst. Douglas Bland, a former lieutenant-colonel in Canada's Armed Forces who chairs defence management studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., says conditions are ripe for a major uprising by first nations people. Full article attached.

VICTORIA -- Premier Gordon Campbell is planning to launch a major "green initiative" next week that will follow much of the script that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has laid down in California to combat global warming. The B.C. Liberal government, which has taken heat from environmental groups and the New Democratic Party for being too slow to take on climate change, is planning to unveil a strategy in Tuesday's throne speech that, for the first time, will support the idea of emission targets for greenhouse gases.

CALGARY * EnCana Corp. said Tuesday it plans to double its natural gas production in five years -- an aggressive goal which left some observers questioning the company's timing. It also jacked up its budget to US$4.5-billion for 2010, an increase of US$750-million from an early projection of about US$3.6-billion, with an additional US$500-million still under consideration, Randy Eresman, EnCana's chief executive, said at an investor conference in Calgary.

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 18 – The US Environmental Protection Agency initiated a comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing to determine whether the tight shale gas production technology potentially could have an adverse impact on ground and surface water supplies.Responding to language in its fiscal 2010 budget, EPA said on Mar. 18 that it would reallocate $1.9 million for the peer-reviewed study this year and request funding to continue it in fiscal 2011, which begins on Oct. 1, 2010.

Major resource projects in British Columbia suffered a double blow Tuesday as one native band used the courts to block a proposed coal mine, while other bands formed a broad coalition to oppose a multibillion-dollar pipeline and the oil-tanker traffic it would generate.The developments signalled a change in the attitude of native leaders who say they are prepared to do “whatever it takes” to stop projects they feel threaten their communities.

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