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Ian Gillespie, the owner of Creative Energy, has plans to turn the city's the city’s largest natural gas steam plant into a low-carbon energy system

A weekly roundup of news and views on energy, mining, forestry, and more

The B.C. Utilities Commission has rejected a plan for a low-carbon power plant, proposed by the City of Vancouver and developer Ian Gillespie. Creative Energy is a company owned by Gillespie, who planned to build an underground network throughout parts of the downtown peninsula to supply heat and power to new buildings. It would have relied on new projects being mandated to hook up to the Creative Energy system to ensure enough customers to justify the cost of the new infrastructure. However, the commission rejected the proposal because it couldn’t support the idea of requiring customer to buy power from a monopoly. Gillespie has previously been red-flagged by the utilities commission. (The Globe and Mail)
 
Blocking the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant would “sabotage” Canada’s comparative advantage in energy markets, the Business Council of B.C. has told members of the federal cabinet. “We are writing to express our concerns with ongoing negative commentary from certain environmental groups who are opposed to fossil fuel development in Canada,” wrote council president Greg D’Avignon, “and specifically, to proposed energy projects in British Columbia.” He argued that Canadian LNG exports would allow other countries to transition away from more carbon-intensive methods of generating power. On Monday, October 3, Ottawa is expected to announce its decision on the $11.4-billion LNG plant. (Vancouver Sun)
 
In what some are hailing as a “Paris moment,” at least 55 countries have announced support for an aviation agreement that would reduce the environmental impact of international air travel. Government officials from the U.S., China, Canada and most of Europe are gathered in Montreal this week for final negotiations on a deal to cap greenhouse gas emissions from international jet flights. Russia and India, both with large international aviation traffic, have yet to signal their support, expressing concern that an offset program could be an economic burden on developing countries. (The New York Times)
 
Two trees in Alberta and British Columbia have the same genes—but have adapted to different climates. The discovery, part of a research paper published last week in the journal Science, could have practical applications for the forestry industry. The group of researchers, which included several from UBC, found that lodgepole pine and interior spruce shared 47 genes which were helping the trees adapt to varying climates throughout the two provinces. “The trees are having to use the same genes over and over again because that’s just the best way to do it,” said Sam Yeaman, an assistant professor at University of Calgary. “It’s a neat window into how evolution works.” He said the ongoing research could help foresters to determine which trees to plant in a changing climate. (Calgary Herald)