Friday, 6 July 2007

Natural Gas versus Green Houses: Size Appears to Matter

Quebec and the St. Lawrence river could end up having two ports with big natural gas processing plants in the near future. On Thursday an environmental report released by a joint provincial-federal commission approved the complex for Levis, just down river from Quebec City and across from the lovely, bucolic Ile d’Orléans. Shortly before a similar commission gave the green light to a project on the Lower St. Lawrence at Gros Cacouna. In both cases, the need for natural gas as a clean energy source was cited, as were the supposedly environmentally-sensitive development plans.

The question arises, of course: what about energy conservation? We are going to be dependent on carbon-based fuels for a long while, but more effort must go into using those fuels more efficiently and taking steps to cut down on demand for them. Insulating individual houses, for example, isn’t as flashy as building big plants, but the benefits can be enormous. As we all know, however, size matters, in government projects at least.

Fireweed grows abundantly along the edge of the St. Lawrence where big developments are scheduled.

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