I'm not denying that at face value (i.e. at street) the efficiency of a trolley bus or electric LRV is superior to that of an internal combustion engine propelled vehicle.
As a civil engineering student studying energy systems and future energy technologies, Alberta is one of the worst offenders in Canada to continue using fossil-fuel driven plants and the way the system is designed, they simply pay off a $15 CO2e fee to continue producing gobs of energy at the cost of human health. Yes, they're regulated, but is it similar to diesel emissions? What are the diesel emissions at street level compared to plant emissions? Are they much higher? Lower? This kind of study cannot be easily captured, and this information is not readily available because private corporations want to hide their GHG emissions.
There are lots of papers on general energy use. Electricity is not a source of energy. But the fossil fuels to produce it are. That's my argument; not at street level - the electricity that moves trolley buses may not be produced through renewable sources, meaning that there are still a large amount of life cycle emissions lingering around.
And at the rate of which people are progressing, and which our cities are growing, the increased strain on the existing grid network will far surpass supply that can be provided by renewable sources.
Yes, fossil fuels are bad. But the way things are being developed right now, renewable technologies cannot completely cover human energy requirements.
I also want to make it clear that I'm not in any way against trolley buses, but just the poor implementation in Alberta. And yes - I've read the trolley coalition report - and some arguments are a bit too general in it.