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Alberta

Where Iron and Earth Meet – Oil & Gas Workers for Renewable Energy

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Iron and Earth is a Canadian non-profit organization led by oilsands workers who advocate for a balanced approach towards a green energy transition. The organization was founded in 2015 during the economic crisis that led to the termination of thousands of oil and gas workers nationwide. It began as a collective of boots-on-the-ground employees who had experienced the hard times brought on by the boom-bust nature of the oil and gas industry, and wanted to be a part of the movement to diversify and build resilience in Canada.

According to the Iron and Earth mission statement, Where Iron and Earth Meet, “There’s a place for the oilsands, and there’s a place for renewable energy. The intention is not to shut down the oilsands, but to see they are managed more sustainably while developing our renewable energy resources more ambitiously.” 

Dialogues surrounding sustainability and diversification often place renewable energy alternatives at odds with the oil and gas industry, with little room for productive discussion. Iron and Earth provides a platform for oilsands workers, business owners, non-profits, politicians and consumers to meet at the same table and collaborate effectively to build a more sustainable future for all Canadians. Rather than contribute to divisive narratives that position oil and gas and renewable energy as mutually exclusive industries, Iron and Earth advocates for a balanced approach towards diversification, sustainability and a renewable transition.

“Iron and Earth is proof of the dichotomy of people working in the oil and gas industry who care about the environment very, very much,” says Bruce Wilson, board member for Iron and Earth. “There is a diverse array of political affiliations and backgrounds within the organization, from individuals presently working in oil and gas to those who have recently transitioned, to those who have never worked in the industry at all.” Wilson joined Iron and Earth in 2018 after more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry, including 17 years with Shell International. 

By focusing on industry overlaps, Iron and Earth highlights the ways in which fossil fuels and renewable energy can be beneficial, reinforcing sectors that can produce positive outcomes for the Canadian workforce and the global climate crisis. “Fortunately for many of the workers who are affected by the ongoing boom and bust cycles of the oilsands, many renewable energy jobs require the same skills and tradespeople that are currently working in the Canadian oil and gas industry” (1).

Iron and Earth streamlines the transfer of skills between industries by offering a number of programs and resources to support workers seeking to transition away from fossil fuels into renewable energy.  This includes offering training, classroom education, and hands-on experience to broaden the understanding of industry overlaps that will aid oil and gas workers in finding their fit in clean technology.

These processes and resources operate with respect to the reality that transitions away from oil and gas into renewables can be a daunting and difficult process for many. Former Canadian oil and gas worker and current Iron and Earth spokesperson, Nick Kendrick, came to Iron and Earth in 2018 after reaching a fork in the road in his own career path. After 5 years in oil and gas, Kendrick was faced with the employment insecurity many workers in the Canadian oil and gas industry are familiar with. “When I started in oil and gas, prices were booming,” he says, “but by the time I got up north, the industry was struggling. People were getting laid off, and I realized it might be time to make a move.” 

Kendrick made the decision to return to school at the University of Calgary, where he pursued a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Energy. It was there he connected with Iron and Earth for his capstone project, where he facilitated the drafting of a strategic path forward for the organization. This included mapping out geographic locations that offered the most opportunity to deliver impactful training workshops and support upcoming renewable energy projects, as well as encourage Indigenous participation.
“Leaving oil and gas for renewables is a very scary thing, especially in Alberta,” says Kendrick, “I admire how Iron and Earth’s approach is not to completely abandon the oilsands. They’ve been very foundational for Canada, but they’re not sustainable. It’s time to help each other progress onto something new.”

In September 2020, Iron and Earth unveiled their Prosperous Transition Plan, framing the future for Canada’s green transition. The Prosperous Transition Plan boldly calls on the Trudeau Government to invest $110 billion over the next decade into a green recovery for Canada. The plan highlights four focal points of the Canadian economy: workforce, business, infrastructure and environment. With an emphasis on repurposing oil and gas infrastructure and getting people back to work, Iron and Earth’s Prosperous Transition Plan focuses on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, decarbonizing the economy and addressing inequality to ensure a prosperous future. 

With more than 1000 active members across Canada from a variety of industrial trades, Iron and Earth is continually expanding and advocating for ethical, legitimate solutions to facilitate Canada’s transition to renewable energy. “These are not utopian suggestions,” says Wilson, “they are pragmatic solutions that require purposeful, ambitious action from the government … Change and thrive is the business model for the future.”

To learn more about Iron and Earth’s mission and Prosperous Transition Plan, visit https://www.ironandearth.org

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Batherson’s shootout winner gives Senators 4-3 win over Flames

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CALGARY — Drake Batherson scored the game-winning goal in a four-round shootout to give the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

Connor Brown, Ryan Dzingel and Colin White each scored a goal for the Senators (9-17-1) in regulation. Tim Stutzle also scored a shootout goal.

Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, and Noah Hanifin scored for Calgary (11-12-3). Matthew Tkachuk added a shootout goal of his own in the loss.

Matt Murray made 30 saves for Ottawa. Jacob Markstrom made 18 saves for Calgary.

Brown scored the first goal of the game with 6:12 to play in the first. He fired the puck from behind the right face off circle. The puck redirected off a Flames defenceman before sliding through Markstrom’s legs.

Dzingel scored for the second consecutive game to give his team a 2-0 advantage before the intermission. He finished a two-on-one play, taking a pass from Chris Tierney before tapping the puck past Markstrom.

Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson and Calgary Flames forward Zac Rinaldo fought each other within the opening three minutes of the second period, in the hopes of sparking their respective teams.

It worked, briefly, for the Flames. Giordano scored his third of year 88 seconds later, firing a shot that deflected off Senators’ forward Josh Norris before beating Murray.

But the Senators would restore their two-goal advantage thanks to Colin White’s seventh goal of the season less than four minutes later.

Gaudreau scored in the third period to bring the Flames, once again, within a goal. It was his 11th of the season. The Flames would finally even the scoreline thanks to a goal from Hanifin with over eight minutes to go in regulation. It was the second goal in two games for the Flames defenceman.

Calgary thought they had the game won later in the third as Brown tried to give the Senators the lead with his second of the night. With Markstrom out of position, the puck struck the right leg of Flames defenceman Juuso Valimaki and away from the goal.

The Flames and Senators hoped overtime would decide things, but to no avail. Batherson’s shootout winner would give the Senators two points and leave the Flames with just one.

NOTES: The Flames had eight power play opportunities Sunday night, but only scored once with the man advantage….

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Former world champion Kevin Koe earns third straight win at Tim Hortons Brier event

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CALGARY —
Kevin Koe remains unbeaten at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Koe’s Wild Card 2 rink defeated Eddie MacKenzie of Prince Edward Island 12-5 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 at the Canadian men’s curling championship.

MacKenzie’s squad dropped to 0-2.

Koe, a four-tine Canadian champion and twice a world gold medallist from Calgary,  took control of the match early, scoring three in the second for a 4-0 lead.

Koe’s rink added four more in the fourth end to go up 8-1 before adding three in the sixth for an 11-3 advantage.

Koe rounded out the scoring with one in the eighth, after which the two teams shook hands.

Koe’s takes on Team Canada’s Brad Gushue (2-0) in the evening draw.

In other early action, Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone (2-1) downed Newfoundland & Labrador’s Greg Smith (0-3) 6-3; Quebec’s Michael Fournier (2-1) defeated Nunavut’s Peter Mackey (0-2) 15-1; and Ontario’s John Epping (2-1) got past Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald (1-2) 12-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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