Canada’s remaining vast deposits of bitumen will have to stay in the ground in pretty much any credible low-carbon scenario. How to make the transition, while building new opportunities for fossil workers and communities, is one of the biggest climate challenges the country faces.
Fact Checker Scorches Kenney’s Keystone Claims as Premier’s Political Woes Deepen
The Edmonton-based Parkland Institute is out with a detailed fact check of Premier Jason Kenney’s recent pronouncements on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Maclean’s magazine speculates on whether this is the job Kenney was looking for when he sought the Alberta premiership.
Alberta, B.C. Receive New Funding Under Federal Oil Well Cleanup Program
The Alberta, British Columbia, and federal governments have unveiled a new round of funding to help clean up inactive oil and gas sites in the province, including C$400 million in Alberta and $120 million for B.C.
Line 5 Pipeline Battle Produces Overheated Claims on Job vs. Environment
As officials in Michigan look to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, business interests in Ontario and Quebec are warning of dire economic effects. But others—like Green Party Leader Annamie Paul—say there are opportunities, too, and that presenting the pipeline as a choice between jobs and the environment is a false, and dangerous, dichotomy.
Alberta Fossil Defence Tactics Ripped Right from Fossil Petro-State Playbook, Analysis Shows
Alberta’s government may brandish democracy when it promotes its oil to the world, but its transparent efforts to silence voices of opposition to fossil fuels come direct from the playbook of some of the world’s most oppressive petro-states, says a new report from Toronto-based Environmental Defence.
Time to Move On from Keystone, Ambassador Says, as Biden, Trudeau Talk Climate Cooperation
With U.S. President Joe Biden making climate action a top priority for his new administration, and an analyst warning that the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation will stifle Alberta’s fossil industry for years, Canada’s U.S. ambassador is saying that it’s time to move on and focus on other opportunities in the bilateral relationship.
TC Energy Touts ‘Zero-Emissions’ Plan, Kenney Threatens Court Action as Keystone Cancellation Looms
Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy touted a “zero-emissions” approach to its fossil fuel transportation business, the federal and Alberta government vowed to continue the fight, and Premier Jason Kenney admitted his province stands to lose a billion-dollar gamble as the reality sank in that U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline after he’s sworn in later today.
B.C. Health Officer Permits Workers to Return to Controversial Dam Project
With a conditional green light from British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Site C dam construction crews are embarking on a staged return to work, even as cabinet officials prepare to review a major study that could shut the project down for good.
Federal Climate Plan Garners Positive Response, Creates ‘Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up Moment’ for Alberta Fossils
A new federal climate strategy with a C$170-per-tonne carbon price at its core is receiving a largely positive response in initial media coverage, with news outlets and pundits crediting the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with developing a program that might work—and telling provincial premiers to get with the program.
Provinces May Infringe Charter Rights with Crackdown on Indigenous Land Defenders
TORONTO — Months after a group of Haudenosaunee people set up camp on a construction site near Caledonia, Ontario, a provincial court granted Haldimand County an order permanently forbidding people from “interfering” with any public road.
Trans Mountain Poised for Tree Clearing Despite Promise to Protect Burnaby Salmon Habitat
The federally-owned company building the Trans Mountain pipeline is about to begin clearing trees near sensitive salmon habitat along the Brunette River in Burnaby, British Columbia—even though a company executive swore in an affidavit that the fish would be protected, and two government reports in the last two weeks have concluded there’s no likely justification for completing the project.
As Canada Spends Billions on Pipelines, First Nations Communities Still Wait for Water
Despite being one of the wealthiest nations on Earth and having an abundance of fresh water, Canada can’t seem to find a way to secure clean water for First Nations communities—though it will move heaven and earth to pipe its oil and gas to market.
Freeland Plans Fiscal Update Today as Energy Regulator Report Renews Trans Mountain Opposition
With Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland due to release her long-awaited fiscal update today, the federal government is coming under new pressure to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an economic “white elephant” whose “justification has evaporated” given the threat it poses to Indigenous rights and endangered species.
Keystone Decision May Be a ‘Tough Moment’ for U.S.-Canada Relations, Biden Ally Warns
With the federal and Alberta governments mounting an all-out diplomatic effort to prevent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, a close political ally of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is warning the new administration’s decision on the controversial project will be a “tough relationship moment” for the two countries.
Indigenous Investor Offers $1B for Keystone XL Pipeline as Possible Cancellation Looms
Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy and Natural Law Energy announced a tentative agreement yesterday that could bring up to C$1 billion in new investment and the imprimatur of three Indigenous treaties to the struggling Keystone XL pipeline.
The details of the deal allow nearly a year for Natural Law to raise the funds it will need to seal its investment—or, presumably, to step away if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden follows through on his promise to cancel Keystone once and for all.
Canada Boosts Fossil Subsidies to $14.3B Per Year, Joins Saudi Arabia as G20’s Top Two Oil and Gas Funders
Canada averaged US$14.3 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2017 and 2019, earning it top ranking alongside Saudi Arabia as the two G20 countries with the most generous subsidies for oil and gas production, according a scorecard issued last week by three international think tanks.
Biden-Harris Win ‘Likely Spells the End’ for Keystone XL Pipeline [Sign-on]
President-elect Joe Biden’s convincing election win last week “likely spells the end of the Keystone XL oil pipeline,” The Canadian Press reports this week, even as the Trudeau government pushes the controversial and beleaguered project to the “top of the agenda” for its rebooted relationship with the United States.
Alberta Auditor General Slams Fossil ‘War Room’ for Undocumented Sole-Source Contracts
Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie took aim at the Jason Kenney government’s hapless fossil industry “war room” in an annual report that identified more than C$1.7 billion in accounting errors, inaccurate projections, and other “adjustments” in the provincial budget.
Alberta Caribou Plan Allows Fossil Drilling Right Away, Delays Habitat Protections Five Years
The federal and Alberta governments have signed on to a protection plan for the province’s caribou that gives them five years to develop and implement range plans for the endangered herds, but allows fossil drilling in some of their habitats to start up right away.
$100M Federal Grant Pays Fossils for R&D They Should Fund Themselves, Climate Hawks Contend
The Trudeau government faced immediate criticism yesterday after re-announcing a four-year, C$100-million budget promise from March 2019 to help the fossil industry commercialize emerging technologies.
Horgan Takes Fire for Boosting Fossil Subsidies as B.C. Election Nears [Sign-On]
With British Columbia five days away from a provincial election October 24, and mail-in voting already well under way, Premier John Horgan’s New Democrats are taking fire for doubling down on the subsidies the previous Liberal government had extended to the province’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
Canada Signs G20 Energy Statement that Endorses Fossil Bailouts, Never Says the Word ‘Climate’
Canada has signed on to a G20 energy communiqué led by Saudi Arabia that endorses fossil industry bailouts, contains not a single use of the word “climate”, makes no reference to the G20’s now 11-year-old promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, and endorses the host country’s perverse definition of a “circular carbon economy” that is long on unproven carbon capture technologies and short on meaningful commitments to actual decarbonization.
Trump Tweets Plan for $22-Billion Freight Line from Alaska to Alberta
Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers are hoping for another export route to Asia after Donald Trump said he would issue a presidential permit to build a C$22-billion freight rail line between Alaska and Alberta.
Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction
A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.
Line 5 Pipeline Reopens After Regulators Complete Safety Review
Calgary-based Enbridge Energy has received permission to restart normal operations on the east leg of the aging Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac, after a review by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “did not identify any integrity issues” caused by an anchor support being pulled out of place, apparently by a contractor’s support vessel.
September Throne Speech Will Include ‘Ambitious Green Agenda’, Trudeau Says
The federal government’s Speech from the Throne will lay out an “ambitious green agenda” that sets the stage for a “long-term recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, leads the way on Canada’s shift to renewable energy and response to the climate crisis, and looks out for people working in industries affected by the transition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News Wednesday.
O’Toole Needs a Credible Climate Plan to Win a Federal Election, Analysts Say
Newly-elected Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will have a harder time delivering on his promise to form a national government if he can’t convince Canadians he cares about climate change and has a plan to do something about it, according to opinion analysts cited in The Narwhal’s explainer on the new leader and his policies.
O’Regan Touts Bright Future for Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Industry Investment Plunges 30%
Canada’s tar sands/oil sands have a continuing and growing role to play, with their output increasing over the shorter and longer term as the country strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan told the Financial Times in an interview published this week.
Twitter Storm Greets Wilkinson Defence After Pandemic Produces 25% Cut in Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is pushing back on Twitter—and receiving a small Twitter storm in return—after The Canadian Press reported a 25% cut in the country’s environmental monitoring program for the Alberta tar sands/oil sands due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fossil Lobby Demands Changes to ‘Overly Prescriptive’ Federal Bailout Rules
Canada’s fossil lobby is complaining about federal bailout programs designed to help companies weather the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming the conditions they’re required to meet are “ineffective and overly prescriptive,” the Globe and Mail reports.
Robinson: Canada’s Climate Inaction Could Undermine ‘Historic Reputation for Environmental Leadership’
Canada is at risk of undermining its “historic reputation for environmental leadership” if it fails to match its words on climate change and an ambitious green recovery with action, former Irish president and United Nations human rights commissioner Mary Robinson writes in a post this week for the Globe and Mail.
Canada, U.S. Pursue ‘Joint Interest’ in Getting Pipelines Built
Canada has opened discussions with the Trump administration to find a path forward for oil pipeline projects, Bloomberg News is reporting this week, citing a Globe and Mail interview with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.
Taxpayer Funds Could Trigger Pandemic Recovery Loans Above $100 Million Per Fossil Company, EDC Says
Loan guarantees and other forms of financial risk management from Export Development Canada (EDC) could clear the way for bank loans well in excess of C$100 million to help individual fossil fuel companies weather the financial storm produced by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving taxpayers to help cover the banks’ losses if the companies can’t make good on their borrowing, The Energy Mix has learned.
Canada Flunks Climate Test with ‘Policy Full of Loopholes’ for Assessing New Projects
Canada’s new impact assessment rules for power plants, pipelines, and other major infrastructure fall far short of the climate test environmental organizations have been calling for, and only require a path to net-zero emissions for projects that will still be in operation in 2050, under a new federal framework unveiled last week.
Kenney Government Announces $1 Billion for Petrochemicals, Continuing Push for Keystone XL
The Jason Kenney government has made a flurry of funding announcements aimed at “diversifying” Alberta into its next wave of dependence on fossil fuels, with a continuing push to get the Keystone XL pipeline built, a new agency to woo foreign investors, and C$1 billion over 10 years earmarked to bring new petrochemical capacity to the economically beleaguered province.
A weekend analysis piece on CBC News lays out the “tightrope” Finance Minister Bill Morneau is walking as he tries to manage the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis—and indirectly points toward the just, green recovery that is still the most realistic cornerstone for the post-pandemic economy.
Details on Diversification Scarce as Alberta Cuts Corporate Taxes, Reannounces Keystone Subsidy
A faster corporate tax cut, a C$600-million infrastructure investment, and reannounced funding that was already allocated in the province’s spring budget are key elements of a highly-touted, $10-billion recovery plan for Alberta that is already taking fire for being far more tame and fuzzy than its architects claim.
Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects
Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.
Analysis: Fossil Lobby Keeps Pitching as Federal Green Recovery Discussions Get Complicated
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) showed a previously unsuspected sense of humour last week, pitching the federal government for another round of tax breaks that would “level the investment playing field” and help it attract financial support in its moment of greatest need.
BREAKING: Canada Leads G20 in Per Capita Public Financing to Oil and Gas
Canada has lavished at least C$13.8 billion per year in public financing on oil and gas projects since signing on to the Paris climate agreement, making it the fossil industry’s highest per capita source of public finance in the G20, and their second-largest overall benefactor after China, according to a blistering new report issued today by Oil Change International and Friends of the Earth U.S.
‘A Major Turning Point’: Trudeau Unveils $1.7 Billion for Abandoned Wells, Resists Fossils’ Bailout Demands
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled C$1.7 billion in new funding to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells and another $750 million to combat methane leakage, part of a $4-billion package for sectors affected by the coronavirus crash, while rejecting fossil industry calls to suspend climate action and regulations during the pandemic.
Fossil Lobby Demands Massive Deregulation in ‘Crass Attempt to Exploit Global Pandemic’
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) called on the federal government to suspend more than 30 environmental regulations, laws, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in a 13-page letter issued March 27 and released last week by Environmental Defence.
Pandemic Response Should Mobilize Around Low-Carbon Solutions
With the coronavirus pandemic devastating the global economy and pushing world oil prices over a cliff, the federal government has two potential options in dealing with the oil and gas industry. It can give in to the predictable lobbying from fossil fuel interests, or it can use the virtual shutdown of the economy for industry mobilization. A post for Policy Options by Mitchell Beer
Fossil Bailout is ‘Hours or Days Away’, Morneau Pledges
A federal aid package for Canadian fossil companies is just hours or days away, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a Senate committee Wednesday, as the industry’s capital spending cuts hit C$6.5 billion and the price of western Canadian crude oil fell as low as US$9.09 per barrel.
In Conversation: Green and Just Pandemic Recovery Would Help People Who Are Hurting, Stewart Says
Keith Stewart is senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada. He’s been focusing his pandemic response on directing government bailout funds to a green and just recovery, at a time when much of what “seemed natural and normal and inevitable about the way the world works” no longer does.
Invest Bailout Dollars in People, Not Fossil Companies, Climate Campaigners Urge Trudeau
The federal government is under intensifying pressure to invest its widely-anticipated oil and gas bailout wisely, with a group of environmental, labour, and faith groups representing about 1.3 million people urging Ottawa to direct the funds to workers and families, not fossil companies.
Unregulated Tar Sands/Oil Sands Emissions May Undercut Canada’s Methane Reductions
Although Canada can still meet its 2025 deadline to reduce methane releases from conventional oil and gas production by 40 to 45%, those gains could be wiped out by methane increases in tar sands/oil sands operations that aren’t subject to regulation, a new report concludes.
Morneau Unveils Business Loans, Kenney Seeks ‘Unity’ as Coronavirus Crash Roils Alberta
Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled C$10 billion in new credit for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney called for greater “unity” and less partisanship, and Alberta fossils announced deep cuts in their 2020 spending plans as Canada began grappling with the double-hit of a coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and crashing global oil prices.
Alberta Increases Carbon Tax to Match Ottawa’s, While Manitoba Proposes Lower Rate
Despite continuing court action seeking to overturn the federal floor price on carbon, Alberta has announced an increase in its industrial carbon tax, while Manitoba looks to introduce a tax regime that still falls short of the federal one.
Four Former Climate Negotiators Demanded Trudeau ‘End the Hypocrisy’, Reject Teck
Days before Teck Resources dealt the final death blow to its own tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, four former Canadian climate negotiators called on the Trudeau government to “end the hypocrisy” and reject the project, pointing out that Canadian fossil production is still projected to skyrocket in spite of the country’s promises to cut emissions.
Wilkinson Links Teck Decision to Rising GHG Emissions from Alberta Oilpatch
Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has put Alberta on notice that its rising greenhouse gas emissions will be a factor in the federal cabinet’s impending decision on the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.
Pembina: Emissions 70% Above Global Average Put Tar Sands/Oil Sands on ‘Collision Course’
Carbon emissions per barrel that are still 70% above the global average, and still on the rise, are putting Alberta tar sands/oil sands producers on a “collision course” with Canada’s climate targets and with changing expectations in global markets, the Pembina Institute reports in a study released Wednesday.
Stewart: Cabinet Decisions on Wet’suwet’en Blockades, Teck Will Show What Ottawa Stands For
With crucial decisions coming up or in progress on the Wet’suwet’en blockades and the proposed Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta, Canadians are about to find out what the second-term Trudeau government in Ottawa really stands for.
And the answer to that question might turn on how the federal Liberals “decide to address a crucial imbalance in their political calculus,” writes Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart, in an opinion piece this week for CBC News.
Liberal MPs Declare a No-Win, Canadians Split as Pembina Scorches Teck Project Review
With a federal cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine looming by the end of the month, some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own caucus members are declaring the project a no-win proposition for the minority Liberal government, while polling shows Canadian voters split on the project.
Climate, Trans Mountain, and Clean Energy Were Top Three Topics in Canadians’ Letters to Trudeau
The climate crisis, the Trans Mountain pipeline, and the clean energy economy took the top three spots on the list of issues Canadians addressed in their emails and letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019.
Freeland Holds ‘Bridge-Building’ Session with Western Municipalities
A new group of municipal leaders from western Canada held meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly earlier this week, during a day-long task force gathering in Leduc, Alberta organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Teck Mine a ‘Pretty Easy No’, Liberal MPs Tell Trudeau in Raucous Caucus Meeting
Liberal Members of Parliament are taking a loud stand against Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receiving an “earful” at a caucus meeting Wednesday, Huffington Post Canada reports.
Appeal Court Rejects First Nations’ Trans Mountain Challenge
The Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater First Nations vowed yesterday to continue their fight after the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously rejected their challenge to the federal cabinet’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Wilkinson Wants More Detail After Teck Promises Net-Zero by 2050
Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s waiting for more detail before deciding whether Teck Resources’ promise to make its operations net-zero for emissions by 2050 will influence cabinet’s decision on the company’s C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine proposal.
Cabinet Could Delay Teck Decision, as Company Says Mega-Mine May Never Be Built
Maneuvering around Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands proposal is heating up, with Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying Cabinet review of the project may be delayed, while Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it’s “anyone’s guess” whether his company will build the C$20.6-billion project if it’s approved.
41,500 Petition Signatures Urge Wilkinson, Federal Cabinet to Reject Teck Frontier Mine
Climate campaigners delivered a petition with 41,500 signatures to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s North Vancouver constituency office Friday, demanding the federal Cabinet reject Teck Resources’ proposed C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta.
Wilkinson Tips Early Moves on Just Transition Act, Tougher 2030 Carbon Target
The second-term Trudeau government is considering kicking off its legislative response to the climate crisis with a new Just Transition Act, adjustments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and new carbon reduction measures aimed at exceeding its Harper-era goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030, iPolitics reports, citing an interview late last week with Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
Ottawa Won’t Offload Trans Mountain to First Nations While Legal, Political Risk Remains
The federal government won’t try to sell off the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the new Indigenous owners it hopes to attract as long as the project is beset by legal and political risk, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week.
Morneau Cites Climate as ‘Central Focus’ of 2020 Federal Budget
The climate crisis will be a “central focus” of the 2020 federal budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told students at Toronto’s Ryerson University Monday, during a kick-off event for this year’s pre-budget consultations.
75% Say Carbon-Free Transition Helps Canada Over Long Term
Three-quarters of Canadians see the shift to less carbon-intensive energy as a necessary transition that will help the country over the long term, even if it raises the cost of living, according to a new Abacus Data survey conducted for Vancouver-based Clean Energy Canada.
Wilkinson Weighs Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Megaproject Against Net-Zero Carbon Pledge
Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says he’s grappling with how Teck Resources’ C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mining megaproject fits in with Canada’s climate commitments, with a decision on the controversial project expected in the first three months of the year.
Alberta Faces Skepticism for War Room Announcement, Trashes Its Own Claim that Carbon Tax Hurts GDP
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is having a rough week, with two veteran journalists questioning the potential impact of his much-anticipated fossil war room and his own government’s court documents undercutting his claim that the previous NDP government’s carbon levy harmed the province’s economy.
Ottawa Approves Alberta Tax on Industrial Carbon Emitters
The federal government has approved Alberta’s new C$30 per tonne tax on industrial carbon emitters, a move that “avoids escalating a fight between Ottawa and the Prairie province but does nothing to end the battle over the consumer-based carbon tax, which the federal Liberals say will still come into effect in Alberta on January 1,” the Globe and Mail reports.
Secession Would Make Alberta the World’s Biggest Per Capita Carbon Polluter
If Alberta ever pursued some of its louder residents’ “Wexit” dreams and separated from the rest of Canada, it would instantly become the world’s biggest carbon polluter, with per capita emissions three times higher than Saudi Arabia, currently the worst colossal fossil among the world’s nations.
Ottawa Offers Flexibility on Fossil Regulation as New Cabinet Gets to Work
Alberta’s energy minister declared herself “very encouraged” by her first meeting with her federal counterpart, Ottawa’s Western liaison opened the door to watering down federal environmental protection regulations, and Quebec environmentalists second-guessed the decision not to appoint one of their own as environment minister as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly-appointed cabinet got down to work last week.
Fossil Production, Inefficient Buildings Make Canada a Global Climate Laggard
Canada shows up as one of the world’s biggest climate laggards in the Climate Transparency consortium’s annual Brown to Green report, with energy-inefficient buildings and fossil-intensive Alberta and Saskatchewan accounting for much of the country’s failure to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, National Observer reports.
Get Started Now on Deeper Emissions Cuts, Climate Organizations Urge Federal Parties
The four federal parties that went out to voters this fall with strong climate policies had better get started on implementing those policies right now, a coalition of Canadian climate organizations asserted Friday.
Analysis: Encana Departure Puts Canada, Alberta at Crossroads to a Carbon-Free Future
The overwrought grief that greeted Encana Corporation’s decision to move its Calgary head office to the United States shows Canada and Alberta at a crossroads, facing an increasingly obvious choice between yesterday’s energy options and tomorrow’s.
Climate Groups Urge Canadian Green New Deal, Demand Fast Action on Climate Accountability Law [sign-on]
Pressure is mounting on Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to deliver on its promise of climate action, with 27 youth protesters briefly occupying the lobby of the House of Commons earlier this week and a public interest law firm campaigning for a new climate accountability law.
Fossil Lobbyists Aim for Wider Influence with Minority Parliament Set to Take Office
With a new minority government about to take office in Ottawa, the fossil lobby is getting to work, aiming to extend its influence to smaller parties in the House of Commons that may have received less of its attention when Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held a parliamentary majority.
Oil Lobby Wish List Would Drive Up Canada’s Fossil Emissions 60% by 2030, Analysis Shows
The overheated wish list that Canada’s oil industry is putting forward in this month’s federal election would use up 60% of the entire country’s 2030 carbon budget under the Paris Agreement, Toronto-based Environmental Defence concludes in a scathing analysis released Monday.
Ecojustice Threatens Legal Action Over Alberta’s ‘Foreign Interference’ Inquiry
Ecojustice is giving Alberta 30 days to respond to concerns about its C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign interference in the province’s fossil sector, asserting the probe is “unlawful and potentially unconstitutional” in its current form.
Climate, Pipeline Protests Greet Trudeau’s Kick-Off Rally as Election 2019 Gets Under Way
Canada’s federal election campaign officially got under way Wednesday morning, with anti-pipeline protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign launch and teen climate hawks from Sustainabiliteens chanting and singing in a bid to drown out his speech at the Italian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver.
Appeals Court to Hear First Nations’ Case on Trans Mountain Pipeline Re-Approval
Six British Columbia First Nations are getting ready for a “long road ahead”, in the words of Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan, after the Federal Court of Appeals agreed this week to hear their legal challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
New Federal Assessment Rules Exempt Cement Plants, Fracking, In-Situ Tar Sands/Oil Sands
New cement plants, fracking fields, and in-situ tar sands/oil sands projects should not be exempt from review under the federal government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Toronto-based Environmental Defence argues in a letter to the Trudeau government released this week.
Harrison: Building a Pipeline is Not a Climate Plan
The federal government’s decision to buy out, then re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion means Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “has made a choice on our behalf, but Canadians should not kid ourselves that building a pipeline is a climate plan,” argues University of British Columbia political scientist and chemical engineer Kathryn Harrison, in a blistering retort to National Observer columnist Sandy Garossino’s recent post on Ottawa’s C$70-billion climate plan.
Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing
While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.
Canada, UK, France, Ireland Declared Climate Emergency While Subsidizing Fossil Fuels
A new analysis this week identifies Canada as one of four countries that have declared climate emergencies after collectively spending US$27.5 billion per year on fossil fuel subsidies earlier this decade.
The Canadian Senate adopted Bills C-69 and C-48 last night, along with a lower-profile measure enshrining a moratorium on Arctic oil drilling, clearing the way for the country’s new Impact Assessment Act and a federal ban on large tanker traffic off British Columbia’s environmentally sensitive north coast to become law.
Morneau Acknowledges Alberta’s Anxiety, While Whittingham Endorses TMX Approval
Finance Minister Bill Morneau acknowledged Alberta’s anxieties over the post-carbon transition in a breakfast speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Trudeau government confirmed its re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied
In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.
Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion
With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Liberals to Reject Most Senate Amendments to Impact Assessment Act
The federal government is poised to reject most of the amendments to the proposed new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, put forward last month by unelected Conservative Senators following a relentless lobbying and public relations effort by the fossil industry.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.
Canadian Senate Passes Tanker Ban Bill, Massively Amends Impact Assessment Act
With the clock ticking toward the end of the Parliamentary session in Ottawa, the Senate voted yesterday to pass the Trudeau government’s proposed ban on tanker traffic off British Columbia’s sensitive northern coast, while sending its proposed Impact Assessment Act back to the House of Commons with more than 180 amendments.
Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry
It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows
Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.
Greens Want to End Oil Imports by 2030, Break Canada’s ‘Oil Habit’, but Keep Producing Plastics from Bitumen Past 2050
Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May appears to be borrowing a page from Conservative Andrew Scheer’s playbook, with a campaign promise to free the country from oil imports and rely on domestic crude while it still needs to.
Alberta Carbon Tax Repeal Will Have ‘No Bearing’ on Trans Mountain Decision, Trudeau Says
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is on the verge of tabling a bill that will cancel his province’s carbon tax by the end of the month, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will have “no bearing” on whether the federal government re-approves the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Trudeau: Green Victory in B.C. Shows Canadians ‘Preoccupied About Climate Change’
Green Party candidate Paul Manly’s decisive victory in Monday’s byelection in the B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith shows that Canadians are “preoccupied about climate change,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week.
Forget Kenney: Climate Change is Already Canada’s National Unity Crisis, Columnist Concludes
With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fulminating about western alienation as a national unity crisis—after working so hard to stoke that alienation on the campaign trail—Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason says Kenney is too late. The unity crisis is already here, and its name is climate change, amped up by the extreme communications of the social media era.
Extinction Threat Calls for ‘Paris Moment for Nature’: McKenna
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is calling for a “Paris Agreement moment for nature” after an alarming UN commission report found nature declining “at rates unprecedented in human history”, with up to a million species at risk of extinction within decades.
Premier-designate Jason Kenney torqued up his recent Alberta election win by triumphantly arriving at a Calgary Stampede site stage with the help of almost 400 horses corralled under the hood of his eight-cylinder Dodge Ram campaign truck. It was painted Party blue. His UCP crowd went wild, and began chanting “Build that pipe! Build that pipe!” An analysis by Paul McKay.
Climate and Environment Emerge as Top Public Concerns Before Canadian, Australian Elections
With federal elections coming up in Canada in October and in Australia in May, opinion polls are identifying climate change—and in Canada, waste reduction, nature conservation, and Indigenous management—as top-tier issues for voters in two of the world’s most stubborn fossil economies.
Kenney Vows to ‘Stand Up’ for Fossil Jobs, ‘Turn Off the Taps’ to B.C.
With about 55% of the popular vote and 63 out of 87 seats in the next Alberta legislature, premier-designate Jason Kenney used his victory speech Tuesday evening to amp up the rhetoric on the perceived mistreatment of his province’s fossil sector and lay down a warning to environmental groups.
Canada Reports Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase for 2017
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased marginally in 2017, from 708 to 716 million tonnes, driven mostly by increased oil and gas production, according to the national inventory the country filed this week with the United Nations climate secretariat.
Analysis: If Kenney Takes Alberta, Trudeau Finally Gets to Make a Decision
With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) looking virtually certain to win the Alberta provincial election next week, news analysts are beginning to weigh in on the implications for Canadian pipeline politics and climate strategy.
Canada Falls Short on Efforts to Cut Emissions, Phase Out Fossil Subsidies, Environment Commissioner Reports
Canada still isn’t on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets or phase out fossil fuel subsidies, federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand warned last week, in the last report she will issue before her five-year term expires.
EXCLUSIVE: Ottawa Leans Toward California on Fuel Economy Rules, Will Seek Feedback on Fossil Subsidies
The federal government is leaning toward supporting tougher fuel economy standards against Trump administration rollbacks, and is about to announce incremental progress on curbing fossil fuel subsidies, The Energy Mix learned Thursday evening, during a town hall hosted by Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna.
Morneau’s Pre-Election Budget Boosts ZEVs and Energy Retrofits, Extends New Fossil Subsidy
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled a pre-election budget yesterday that included a 2040 deadline to phase out new internal combustion vehicle sales, major new funds for building energy retrofits, and a budget boost for municipal infrastructure, but introduced a new fossil fuel subsidy while doggedly claiming a fossil subsidy phaseout is still on the government’s agenda.
New Laws Aim to Protect Environment, Not Stop Trans Mountain, B.C. Tells Appeal Court
British Columbia has the right to pass environmental laws to mitigate the harm that could result from the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but it isn’t trying to stop the project outright, provincial lawyer Joseph Arvay told the B.C. Court of Appeal earlier this week.
SNC-Lavalin and Trans Mountain: Two Sides of a Counterfeit Coin
In an analysis for The Energy Mix, award-winning investigative journalist Paul McKay traces the parallels between the SNC-Lavalin scandal that has transfixed Canada’s capital and the Trudeau government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline in spite of its avowed commitment to climate action. “As nature abhors a vacuum,” he writes, “democracy abhors a stacked legal deck.”
NEB Rules Against Climate Impact Review for Trans Mountain Pipeline
The National Energy Board (NEB) has turned down Stand.earth’s request that it undertake a review of the climate impacts of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as it did for the equally contentious Energy East pipeline in 2017.
Canada Drags on Promise to Phase Out Fossil Subsidies
Ottawa is being accused of dragging its feet on its 2016 promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil subsidies by 2025, two years after then-auditor general Michael Ferguson concluded the Trudeau government had failed to identify the non-tax subsidies it actually pays out to the oil and gas industry.
Stewart: CAPP is Asking Albertans to ‘Vote for Climate Destruction’
Albertans this spring and Canadians this fall should not be fooled into voting for climate destruction just because Big Oil wants them to, Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.
Ottawa Won’t ‘Cut Corners’ on Trans Mountain Review, Sohi Says
With the National Energy Board set to report February 22 on the marine impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said last week the government won’t take any shortcuts in its review of the project—even though he understands how badly Alberta oil and gas workers want to get construction under way.
Include Climate Impacts in Trans Mountain Review, IPCC Authors Urge NEB
New fossil projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will make it far tougher to meet the 1.5°C global warming target that is essential for averting the worst effects of climate change, a Canadian climate scientist told the National Energy Board this week.
Alberta Pans New $1.65-Billion Fossil Lifeline from Ottawa
Provincial politicians and fossil lobbyists are panning the federal government’s latest concession to Alberta oil and gas producers, after Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced C$1.6 billion in industry support at an event in Edmonton yesterday.
Canada’s lavish support for the oil and gas industry is the “elephant in the room” that prevents it from being a true climate leader, Environmental Defence National Program Manager Dale Marshall said this week in Katowice, during the release of a report on Canadian fossil subsidies produced by Environmental Defence and Stand.earth.
Canadian Governments Introduce Four New Fossil Subsidies on Eve of UN Climate Conference
Just a week before delegates gathered in Katowice, Poland for this year’s United Nations climate change conference, Canadian governments introduced four generous new subsidies for the country’s oil and gas industry, writes Patrick DeRochie, program manager, climate and energy at Toronto-based Environmental Defence.
BREAKING: Canada Commits to Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts in 2020
Canada will adopt tougher greenhouse gas reduction targets when the Paris Agreement takes effect in 2020, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said yesterday, just days before her departure for this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice.
Reguly: Trudeau Wins ‘Hypocrisy Sweepstakes’ for Supporting Fossils After Signing Paris
Globe and Mail European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly is branding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a winner in the climate hypocrisy sweepstakes, in a blistering opinion piece that puts the PM’s climate advocacy side by side with his government’s full-scale support for bitumen pipelines and liquefied natural gas megaprojects.
NEB’s ‘Redo’ Could Land Trans Mountain Project Back in Court
The National Energy Board’s “redo” of its failed review of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is taking on the same look and feel as the process that drove the Federal Court of Appeal to shut down construction on the controversial project, writes attorney Eugene Kung argues in a post for National Observer.
Opinion: Canadian Fossil Swings at C-69, Misses the Point on Crashing Global Markets
In a hyperbolic opinion piece this week for the Financial Post, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers pivots from the curious notion that a new pipeline project would somehow insulate Canadian fossils from crashing world oil prices, to a demand that the federal government place its new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, on hold.
Morneau Extends Tax Credits to Wind, Solar and Efficiency, Keeps Fossil Subsidies Alive and Well
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau included tax incentives for wind, solar, and energy efficiency equipment and a favourable tax regime for fossil producers in his fall fiscal update released earlier this week.
OPINION: Canadian Fossils ‘Lose Patience’ with Trudeau as World Oil Prices Drag Them Down
With world oil prices heading toward another crash, the swashbuckling free marketeers in Canada’s oilpatch are doing exactly what you would expect: amping up the pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to somehow, magically solve a complex cluster of problems that is ultimately beyond Canadian governments’ control. By Mitchell Beer
Carbon Pricing Opposition, Pipeline Support Could Undo Scheer’s Political Ambitions in Quebec
Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s intransigence on carbon pricing and support for the Energy East pipeline could be the death knell for his party’s hopes of picking up seats in Quebec in next year’s federal election, veteran columnist Chantal Hébert suggests this week in the Toronto Star.
Carbon Pricing Won’t Meet Canada’s Paris Commitments on Its Own, Conference Board Warns
While it makes good economic sense to tax pollution, and the federal government’s backstop price on carbon “will push consumers to reduce their purchases” of carbon-intensive goods, pricing alone won’t be enough to fulfill Canada’s obligations under the Paris Agreement, a senior Conference Board of Canada executive writes in the Globe and Mail.
Hyperbole Replaces Facts in Fossil Lobby Attack on Federal Impact Assessment Bill [Sign-On]
With a new fossil lobby group, Suits and Boots, urging Conservative senators to slow down passage of the Trudeau government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, climate and energy advocates are gearing up their defence of a bill aimed at restoring some of the environmental protections that were gutted by the previous Harper regime.
Critic Says Trudeau Hit ‘Political Gold’ with Carbon Tax Rebate
One of the Justin Trudeau government’s harshest climate critics says the PM may have hit “political gold” with his announcement last week that households will receive carbon tax rebates in the four provinces—including battleground Ontario—that have not seen fit to put their own prices on carbon.
A Carbon Tax Rebate in Every Mailbox as Trudeau Unveils Federal Backstop
Households in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan will receive carbon tax rebate cheques under a plan unveiled yesterday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that will extend the federal floor price on carbon to provinces that don’t introduce their own carbon pricing schemes.
One week ago, the price American refineries will pay for a barrel of Alberta bitumen fell to just below US$30. A seismic jolt raced through the tar sands/oil sands industry, because that price would barely allow even the biggest, most profitable operators to recover operating costs.
‘We Are Better Than This’: Berman Explores Alberta’s Energy Future. Notley Comes Back with Unicorns.
Activist, analyst, and policy advisor Tzeporah Berman called for civil discussion and a managed transition off fossil fuels, and Premier Rachel Notley tried to refute her with unicorns (seriously, literally), after a speaking invitation from the Alberta Teachers’ Association became one of the year’s most contentious moments in the debate over the province’s energy future.
Last August 30 was not just a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment for federal and Alberta politicians pushing to accelerate future tar sands/oil sands expansion plans. It was a morning where the coffee urn figuratively tipped over and bestowed third-degree burns.
Poitras: Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Trans Mountain Heeds Global Signals on Peak Oil Demand
With Conservatives blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for killing one pipeline, the climate community scorching him for salvaging another one, and his pan-Canadian climate plan bleeding provincial support, a chance at a grand bargain on climate action and fossil fuel production “now appears to have been a typically Liberal attempt to be all things to all people,” CBC journalist Jacques Poitras writes in Policy Options.
Fossils Cheer, Climate Absent as Canada, Mexico, U.S. Reach New Trade Deal
North American fossils were cheering early this week and climate protection was out of the picture as Canada signed on to the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade deal formerly known as NAFTA.
Federal Carbon Tax Rebates Would Put Money in Canadian Voters’ Pockets, New Analysis Shows
A carbon pricing think tank led by Stephen Harper’s former policy director may be about to “transform the debate” on the issue that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer wants to make the ballot question in next year’s federal election, with the forthcoming release of a paper showing most Canadians with more money in their pockets if Ottawa pays the proceeds from a federal floor price on carbon directly to households.
Trudeau Admits Trans Mountain is a Fossil Subsidy as Report Urges Clean Energy Shift
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as much as admitted this week that the federal bailout of Kinder Morgan’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion amounts to a C$4.5-billion subsidy to the fossil fuel industry.
Ottawa Weighs Hiring Retired Judge to Guide Trans Mountain Consultations While Kinder Morgan Plots Canadian Asset Sale
While Houston-based Kinder Morgan made moves to sell off the last of its Canadian assets, federal sources say the Trudeau government—Kinder Morgan’s C$4.5-billion benefactor in the bailout—is considering hiring a retired federal judge to guide a new round of Indigenous consultation in light of last month’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling against the project.
42 Order of Canada Recipients Exhort Trudeau to Scrap Trans Mountain
Taking to heart and mind the motto of the Order of Canada—They Desire a Better Country—42 British Columbia-based recipients of the prestigious award have written an open letter exhorting the Trudeau government to scrap the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Shadowy Private Intelligence Firm Helps Fossils, Federal Government Monitor Pipeline Activists
A shady private intelligence firm that “promises to help oil and gas operators mitigate the threat posed by an increasingly sophisticated activist movement”, and has counted Kinder Morgan and the Canadian government among its clients, is the focus of a Mother Jones investigation republished last week by National Observer.
No Quick Fixes to Trans Mountain Impasse, Trudeau Warns Albertans
On the same day last week when he told media in Edmonton he would consider legislation to restart the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also warned Albertans not to expect a short-term legislative fix to get the C$13.8-billion project back on track.
Trudeau Weighs Trans Mountain Legislation While Suncor Delays Tar Sands/Oil Sands Expansion
The federal government is considering new legislation or a Supreme Court of Canada appeal in its efforts to restart construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, less than a week after a blockbuster Federal Court of Appeal ruling stopped the C$13.8-billion project in its tracks.
13-Point ‘To-Stop List’ Offers Trudeau a Way Forward After Trans Mountain
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet try to patch together a to-do list to salvage the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in light of last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision, Policy Options is out with a 13-point to-stop list they really ought to consider, drawn up by The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer.
Tories Duck Responsibility for Harper Regulatory Rollback that Caused Trans Mountain Delay
Federal Conservatives are trying to duck responsibility for legislative rollbacks and regulatory decisions during the Stephen Harper years that sowed the seeds for last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision that at least temporarily halted the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Appeal Court Halts Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction in Scathing Rebuke to NEB
In a scathing rebuke of the National Energy Board’s “unjustified failure” to consider oil tanker risks triggered by expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Federal Court of Appeal voted unanimously yesterday to quash approval of the controversial, C$13.8-billion project.
Hours after a landmark court decision striking down federal approval of the C$13.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced she was withdrawing her province from the pan-Canadian climate plan “until the federal government gets its act together”.
Australia’s Climate Battles Hold Parallels with U.S., Portents for Canada
Ex-Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s abrupt resignation after an intra-party clash over climate and energy policy is an example of a “potent political issue” that is roiling “a handful of countries with powerful fossil fuel lobbies”, including Canada and the United States, the New York Times suggested last week.
Ottawa Urged to Seek Allies on Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standard
As the federal government unveiled a new consultation paper last week on tailpipe emission controls for light duty vehicles, CBC columnist Don Pittis was pointing to what Canada stands to achieve—and the allies it can expect to gain—if it adheres to its existing standard, rather than aligning with Donald Trump’s efforts to gut the equivalent U.S. regulation.
With 600 Wildfires Burning, Trudeau’s Nanaimo Cabinet Agenda Says Nothing About Climate
With nearly 600 wildfires burning across British Columbia, and smoke so thick in Prince George that it blotted out the sun, it was “absurd” for the federal cabinet to meet in Nanaimo and leave climate change off its meeting agenda, National Observer Publisher Linda Solomon Wood argued in a commentary last week.
Two Provinces, Conservative Senators Turn Up the Heat on Federal Impact Assessment Act
Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act is facing opposition on two fronts, with two provinces and a pair of Conservative-affiliated senators claiming the measure will harm the country’s economic competitiveness.
B.C. Natural Gas Boom Fuels Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands Production
The “energy dispute for the ages” over the Trans Mountain pipeline has obscured the role of British Columbia’s natural gas industry in fueling tar sands/oil sands production in Alberta, resource policy analyst Ben Parfitt revealed earlier this month in a post for The Tyee.
Jim Carr’s Energy Transition: Wind, Solar, Efficiency, and World’s ‘Cleanest’ LNG Production
A federal advisory council is recommending a future energy mix that combines stepped-up renewable energy development and “clean” oil and gas production, prompting Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr to declare a long-term mission to make Canada the world’s cleanest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Trans Mountain Buyout Drives Federal Deficit Up 36%, Gives Kinder Morgan a 637% Gain: IEEFA
Canada’s “folly” in buying the Trans Mountain pipeline will drive the federal deficit up by 36%, while delivering a 637% benefit to Kinder Morgan, the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a blistering report issued this week.
Alberta Regulator Approves New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project Over Indigenous Objections
The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved a new northern Alberta tar sands/oil sands extraction project over the objections of local Indigenous communities concerned about its proximity to their traditional lands.
Erickson: New Fossil Infrastructure Imperils Domestic and Global Climate Goals
New fossil infrastructure like the Trans Mountain pipeline or expanded tar sands/oil sands production “not only cripples the ability to meet domestic emissions targets, but also compromises global attempts due to the continued flooding of the market with cheap oil,” Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Peter Erickson said, in a recent interview with The Narwhal.
How a Houston Pipeliner Out-Maneuvered the Canadian Government
In an exclusive after-action analysis of the negotiations leading up to Canada’s purchase of Kinder Morgan’s C$7.4-billion pipeline, the Reuters news agency recounts the hardball business deals that enabled the Texas-based pipeliner to offload a failing project and avoid the financial losses that hit Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corporation when their own pipeline plans went awry.
EXCLUSIVE: Justin Trudeau’s Devil of a Pipeline Deal
Kinder Morgan has signed a contract for 75% of the segments for its Trans Mountain pipeline to be produced by a company controlled by Russian billionaires recently put on the U.S. list of oligarchs tied to Vladimir Putin, investigative ace Paul McKay reports. The richest of those is the biggest shareholder of the global coal and steel giant, Evraz Group SA, which owns the Regina plant slated to make most of the pipe for Trans Mountain.
Tar Sands/Oil Sands On Track to Break Alberta’s Emissions Cap by 2030
Greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s tar sands/oil sands are on track to exceed the Alberta government’s “hard cap” of 100 million tonnes per year by 2030 unless the industry comes up with new ways to reduce its GHG output per barrel of oil produced, according to a new study this week by the Canadian Energy Research Institute.
Just Transition for Oil and Gas Workers Would Bridge Divide Over Kinder Morgan
A Globe and Mail columnist and self-described Ontario climate hawk is calling for a just transition for tar sands/oil sands workers, as a key step in bridging the divide over fossil fuel production and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Path to a Strong Economy ‘Paved with Strong Climate Policies’, Climate Hawks Assert
The Canadian politicians now negotiating to mollify Kinder Morgan investors by buying a $7.4-billion pipeline are right that the country can take action on climate change and have a strong economy. But “the path to a low-carbon economy is paved with strong climate policies, not the continued expansion of fossil fuels,” the executive directors of Environmental Defence and Climate Action Network-Canada argue in a Hill Times op ed this week.
Sachs: A Sustainable Energy Path for Canada Doesn’t Include Pipelines
There’s a sustainable way forward for Canada’s energy sector, and it has nothing to do with Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, argues Jeffrey Sachs, director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), in a Globe and Mail op ed late last week.
Despite new ultimatums from Ottawa, Alberta, and Kinder Morgan, take a deep breath, Premier Horgan. Hold your ground. Follow the molecules, not the money. When the bitumen bubble inevitably bursts, it will be obvious that your most abrasive opponents were full of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the way of scientific honesty, international ethics, or even viable exports.
Emissions Reduction Technology for Tar Sands/Oil Sands ‘Misses the Point’
Breakthrough technologies could soon help Canada’s tar sands/oil sands producers slash their per-barrel greenhouse emissions and production costs, but would still sidestep an inconvenient reality, several environmental groups say: to cap and draw down the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, those fossil resources will still have to stay in the ground.
EXCLUSIVE: Out of the LOOP: The Fatal Flaw of Alberta’s Oil Export Expansion
Two weeks ago, the first supertanker capable of holding two million barrels of oil departed for the first time from America’s newly upgraded—and only—terminal able to dock and load crude-carrying behemoths of this size. That will likely prove fatal to Alberta’s plans to expand unrefined bitumen exports either by the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline to the British Columbia coast, or the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Canada Must Phase Out Tar Sands/Oil Sands to Meet 2030 Carbon Target
Canada will have no hope of meeting its relatively modest greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 unless it phases out all tar sands/oil sands production by that year, according to new modelling by two University of Toronto geographers.
Alberta Sends Warning Letters, Imposes No Fines in ‘Really Serious Case’ of Falsified Documents
A “huge” case of falsified records, in which 59 reclamation certificates for abandoned gas wells were rescinded by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), has resulted in warning letters and media coverage but no financial penalties for the two companies involved, after a complex investigation ran into the two-year limit imposed by provincial legislation.
Contaminants Hit North Saskatchewan River After Pipeline Spills 400,000 Litres of ‘Salty Produced Water’
CALGARY — Contaminated water that leaked from an oilfield pipeline on Christmas Day has entered the North Saskatchewan River but has had no detectable impact on it, a spokesperson for Calgary-based fossil ARC Resources Ltd. said late last month.
Some Tar Sands/Oil Sands Operations Cut Upstream Emissions 35%, But Life Cycle Carbon Only 2%
A new study based on internal company data from three Alberta tar sands/oil sands operations is showing upstream emission reductions of 14 to 35% compared to past data—but no more than about a 2% drop in life cycle emissions from extraction through consumption.
‘Scientifically Valid Evidence’ Shows Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings Ponds Contaminating Northern Alberta Groundwater
There is “scientifically valid evidence” that toxic pollution seeping from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta is contaminating groundwater in the Athabasca watershed, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) concluded in an assessment released Thursday.
Budget Cut for Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring Raises Health Concerns for Nearby First Nations
Indigenous communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories say they’re losing faith in federal and provincial environmental monitoring in the tar sands/oil sands, after The Canadian Press revealed earlier this week that this year’s field research program will sustain a funding cut of about 25%.
Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities
Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services.
Indigenous Leaders Warn They May Be Left Out of Abandoned Well Cleanup Fund
Indigenous leaders are concerned their communities may be left out as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia begin spending C$1.5 billion in federal funds to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by deadbeat fossils.
Michigan Goes to Court, Calls for Independent Review After Enbridge Partly Reopens Line 5 Pipeline
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking a judge to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, less than a week after a company repair crew reported “significant damage” to an anchor support on the line’s eastern portion under the Straits of Mackinac.
Tar Sands/Oil Sands Firms Drop $1.8B in Environmental Projects in COVID Cost Cuts
Three of Canada’s top tar sands/oil sands companies have dropped C$1.8 billion in environmental projects as part of their cost-cutting during the pandemic, prompting at least one major investment fund to declare itself vindicated for divesting from the companies last year.
85 Spills in 67 Years: Groups Call for Indigenous-Led Probe into Aging Trans Mountain Pipeline
After a history of 85 spills along the 67-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, the federal and British Columbia governments must launch an “independent, Indigenous-led expert investigation” into the line’s safety and integrity, a group of Indigenous leaders and environmental groups say in a release issued yesterday by Stand.Earth.
Time to ‘Drop the Hammer’ on Canadian Rail Companies as Oil Trains Keep Derailing
Broken track has led to seven major derailments of crude oil trains in Canada since the tragic Lac-Mégantic disaster of 2013. Now, revelations that Canadian Pacific’s Saskatchewan line is in bad shape have experts urging Transport Canada to become a more aggressive regulator of the country’s rail system.
Burnaby Opponents Point to 190,000-Litre Trans Mountain Spill as Wake-Up Call for Future Hazards
Opponents of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline are pointing to a crude oil spill at the Sumas pump station in Abbotsford, British Columbia Saturday as a wake-up call for what could happen if the expanded pipe is extended all the way to Burnaby, B.C.
Alberta Under Pressure to Restart Environmental Monitoring for Oil and Gas Operations
A group of seven environmental groups and Indigenous communities in Alberta is pressing the Jason Kenney government to restart environmental monitoring for oil and gas operations and release its criteria for when that work will begin again.
Plummeting oil revenues are walloping more than 100 Indigenous communities across Western Canada that depend financially on fossil drilling within their territories—with the lost royalties and jobs putting social programs, youth supports, and personal livelihoods at risk in the face of steep pandemic-related costs.
Indigenous Group Warns of Possible Tailings Pond Leaks as Spring Floods Inundate Downtown Fort McMurray
With a 24-kilometre ice jam on the Athabasca River causing severe flooding in downtown Fort McMurray, Alberta, a local Indigenous advocacy group is raising flags about a lack of information on possible toxic releases from tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds and holding ponds located alongside the river.
COVID-19 Risks Prompts Calls to Shut Down Fossil and Hydro Man Camps, Pipeline Construction [Sign-ons]
From the Site C hydro megaproject to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, from the tar sands/oil sands in northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, fossil workers with little opportunity for physical distancing are finding themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19—and in most cases, raising anxieties for nearby First Nations and other rural communities with limited resources to deal with an outbreak.
Anxious Workers at Fossil Man Camps Brace for ‘Hellish’ COVID-19 Outbreak
Anxious tar sands/oil sands workers are bracing for a “hellish” outbreak of COVID-19 in the man camps surrounding tar sands/oil sands, coal, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) megaprojects in Alberta and British Columbia, with one major LNG developer cutting its onsite staff but Alberta fossils planning to import thousands of temporary workers for their heaviest maintenance season in five years.
Prince George School Evacuated after Latest Canadian Train Derailment
In yet another Canadian freight train derailment, 27 cars left the tracks near Prince George, British Columbia last week, forcing the evacuation of a local elementary school and leaving a nearby creek contaminated with petroleum coke.
Alberta Announces $100M Loan for Orphan Well Clean-Up
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Energy Minister Sonya Savage have announced a C$100-million loan to help the province’s Orphan Well Association clean up another 1,000 abandoned oil and gas production sites, while creating 500 jobs for unemployed oilfield service workers.
Alberta Delays Report Showing Warming, Climate Impacts Above Global Average
The Alberta government dragged its feet for six months before releasing a report it previously commissioned from climate scientists Katharine Hayhoe and Anne Stoner that shows the province warming faster than the rest of the planet due to human activity, with “profound impacts on the province’s economy, infrastructure, and public health,” Global News reports.
Analysis: Teck Mine Would Have Produced 45 Million Tonnes of Emissions Per Year
If Justin Trudeau’s cabinet had approved the controversial Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine this week, it would have given its blessing to a project that would dump 45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) into the atmosphere, 11 times more than the company acknowledged, according to analysis completed in the days before the company’s dramatic decision to withdraw its project application.
Garneau Orders Slower Speeds After Second Oil Train Derailment in Two Months
Transport Minister Marc Garneau has ordered all large trains carrying dangerous goods to slow their speeds along federal rail lines for 30 days, after a second crude oil train in two months derailed near the Saskatchewan hamlet of Guernsey.
New Canadian Climate Institute Warns of ‘Harsh Realities’ Ahead
The new Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC), an independent think tank that begins life with C$20 million in federal funding over five years, is warning of the harsh realities and global economic shifts the country will face as the climate crisis evolves.
Canada, U.S. Report Rising Cost, Frequency of Climate-Fuelled Disasters
Canada and the United States are both beginning to count up the rising annual cost of climate-fuelled natural disasters, with Canada placing the tab at more than C$430 million and the U.S. reporting a doubling in the number of billion-dollar climate- and weather-related events in the last decade.
Canada Faces Similar Wildfire Risk to Australia, as Alberta Lays Off Specialist Firefighters
With heat waves and extended drought making Canada vulnerable to massive wildfires like the ones now sweeping Australia, Alberta has cut funding and jobs for about 63 specialized remote-region firefighters—and British Columbia is “poaching” some of them to join its own wildfire prevention and response team.
Former Oilpatch Roughneck Traces Hardships of Fossil Employment, Urges Better Deal in Carbon-Free Transition
The boom and bust nature of a fossil-fuel based economy, together with the callous greed of those at the top, means a “pretty brutal, pretty unforgiving” existence for oilpatch workers, self-described “oilpatch brat,” one-time roughneck, and oil and gas anthropologist Rylan Higgins writes in a recent CBC op ed.
Hamilton Granddad Sees Hope for Alberta Transition in Ontario’s Past Economic Pain
In a heartfelt letter to westerners going through the economic pain he endured in the 1990s, when free trade agreements shut down 200,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario’s industrial heartland, Hamilton resident Robert Fraser is urging his fellow Canadians in the oilpatch to “put aside the climate change thing for a bit and focus on some realities”.
Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported
The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.
Energy Efficiency Scorecard Shows B.C. Leading, But All Provinces with Room to Improve
British Columbia leads, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador lag, and no province receives a score above 58 points on a 100-point scale in the first annual provincial energy efficiency scorecard released yesterday by Efficiency Canada.
TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled
TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.
EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada
Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.
Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Could Add 1,400 Orphan Wells, Pipelines to Alberta Cleanup Backlog
Alberta is on the hook for as many as 1,400 more abandoned oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure after the officers and directors of Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd. laid off their staff and contractors, shut down the company, and walked away from their responsibility to clean up after themselves.
Keystone Pipeline Spills 1.4 Million Litres in North Dakota
Repairs and clean-up could take anywhere from 10 days to two or three months after the Keystone pipeline spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,119 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota Tuesday.
Canadian Fossils Stall Out in Bid to ‘Scrub’ the Record on Carbon Emissions
However hard they may be trying, Canada’s tar sands/oil sands aren’t moving far enough, fast enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Maclean’s magazine writes, in a painstaking analysis that separates the industry’s genuine efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and carbon intensity from its spin about delivering a low-carbon energy source.
Federal Regulator Second-Guesses Auditor After Fire Safety Review Finds Gaps at Trans Mountain Tank Farms
Fire protection systems at three oil storage facilities attached to the Trans Mountain pipeline fell short of industry best practices in some ways, even though they met “applicable regulations, codes, and standards,” according to an independent audit conducted three years ago and only released this week under access to information laws.
Pollution Controls Will Decline as Alberta Shutters Monitoring Office, Ex-Official Warns
The former chief monitoring officer of Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is raising the alarm about the province’s decision last week to shutter the office and fold it into a new administrative structure, at the same curtailing its stand-alone climate change office, warning that the province’s monitoring of fossil-driven industrial pollution will continue to decline as a result.
Whales, Salmon, Sea Lions at Risk in West Coast Ocean Heat Wave
Whales, salmon, and sea lions are at risk as an ocean heat wave takes shape off the west coast of North America, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned in a recent blog post.
One-Third of Fort McMurray High Schoolers Show Signs of PTSD
More than one-third of high school students in Fort McMurray are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), three years after the wildfire known as The Beast tore through their home town and forced many of them to escape by road through a wall of surrounding flames.
Blockbuster News Investigation Reveals ‘Culture of Silence’ in Fossil Health and Safety Violations
National Observer and Global News are out with a blockbuster investigative report that alleges potentially deadly health and safety problems in the western Canadian oilpatch, driven by a pervasive “culture of silence” in which accident reports are falsified, would-be whistleblowers are at risk of being fired and ostracized, and not a single fossil in Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever been charged or penalized for filing deliberately misleading paperwork.
Trans Mountain Pipeline Protester’s Donor Appeal Hits High Gear on GoFundMe
A donor appeal for British Columbia poet and university professor Rita Wong, sentenced to 28 days in prison for her part in protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, is trending on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page, with 225 people contributing $16,765 in just three days (as of Tuesday evening).
Time for ‘We the North’ Fans to Understand ‘Hellish’ Climate Impacts in Canadian Arctic
To truly earn the “We the North” slogan, Canadians everywhere—basketball fans and otherwise—need to understand—and come together to help prevent—the downright “hellish” changes that a warming climate is bringing to the Arctic and all of its inhabitants.
Alberta Wildfire Specialist Links Fort Mac Megafire, B.C.’s 2017 Fire Season to Climate Change
The 2,117 wildfires that hit British Columbia in 2017 and the massive megafire that consumed much of Fort McMurray, Alberta a year earlier were both connected to climate change, and a similar impact is already visible as this year’s fire season gets under way, University of Alberta wildland fire specialist Mike Flannigan told The Canadian Press earlier this week.
MMIWG Inquiry Highlights Connection Between Megaproject Work Camps, Sexual Violence
Natural resource companies and their regulators must factor in the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls at every step in planning and developing a project, Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concluded this week, in a final report in which five out of 231 recommendations were devoted to the connection between megaproject work camps and sexual violence.
Kenney Kills Carbon Tax, Offers ‘Hopes and Prayers’ as Wildfires Rage
With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney helpfully pointing out that carbon taxes don’t prevent forest fires, multiple communities were under evacuation orders and crews across Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Ontario spent the week fighting the flames as an early fire season hit full stride.
New Federal-Provincial Rules Will Allow ‘Inevitable’ Release of Toxic Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings
The federal and Alberta governments are planning to allow tar sands/oil sands companies to release 1.3 trillion litres of liquid waste, currently held in 220 square kilometres of tailings ponds across the northeastern part of the province, into the Athabasca River, under new regulations intended to take effect in 2022, the Globe and Mail reports.
Wildfire Expert Warns of ‘Nightmare Scenario’ as High Level, Alberta, Bushe River Dene Evacuate
About 4,000 people in and around High Level, Alberta are under an evacuation order as the 60,000-hectare Chuckegg Creek wildfire, one of six burning out of control across the province, approaches from the southwest.
Nebraska Flooding Points to Spill Risk from Keystone XL
The “bomb cyclone”-driven flooding across the midwestern United States has become the latest in a litany of arguments against construction of the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, with a Nebraska farmer, former oilfield worker, and avowed Republican pointing out that the rising waters could have triggered a spill on his property if the pipeline had been in place.
Expect ‘Flood of Litigation’ if Bill C-69 is Watered Down, Athabasca First Nations Warn
Canada will face a “flood of litigation” if the Trudeau government’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is watered down, four First Nations chiefs from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands region warned last week in testimony to a travelling Senate committee.
Alberta Oil Well Cleanup Costs Could Hit $70 Billion
The cost of cleaning up Alberta’s old and unproductive oil wells could max out at C$70 billion, according to a new report by a consortium of landowners and scientists that used data from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to come up with its estimate.
Alberta Officials Took 12 Hours to Notify First Nation of Potentially Toxic Hydrogen Sulphide Leak
When a cloud of toxic chemicals began wafting toward the First Nations hamlet of Fort McKay from Syncrude Canada’s Mildred Lake tar sands/oil sands plant 10 kilometres away, it took officials 12 hours to notify the community—a massive health and safety failure that critics blame on the fossil industry’s takeover of regulatory oversight in the Alberta oilpatch.
C-69 Would Deliver More Timely, Credible Decisions, Impact Assessment Specialist Argues
The federal government’s embattled Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, would actually deliver more credible project decisions, better consideration of economic factors, and more timely, effective consultations than its Harper-era predecessor, despite the relentless battering it has received from the Canadian fossil lobby, veteran impact assessment specialist Robert B. Gibson writes in a post for Policy Options.
Study Reveals Unreliable, Inconsistent Assessments of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Impacts
Inconsistent science has marred the credibility of dozens of past environmental impact studies of the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, according to a new assessment published in the journal Environmental Reviews.
Supreme Court Holds Bankrupt Fossils Responsible for Cleaning Abandoned Sites
A Supreme Court of Canada ruling that holds bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up their abandoned oil and gas wells will produce lasting impacts across western Canada, but may not completely address the massive environmental liabilities the companies leave behind, according to initial reporting and analysis of the decision.
Western Canadian Glaciers Could Decline 80% in the Next 50 Years
Alberta, British Columbia, and Yukon could lose up to 80% of their mountain glaciers over the next half-century, as rapid warming brings a combination of less snow and accelerated melting, according to one of the two lead authors behind Canada’s first-ever State of the Mountains report.
Alberta Fossils Boycott Whistler Conference After City Flags Climate Costs of Fossil Extraction
Several Alberta fossils are boycotting a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, British Columbia, and the bank is considering moving its annual event elsewhere, after Mayor Jack Crompton asked Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to commit to pay for its “fair share of the costs of climate change being experienced” by the weather-dependent ski resort town.
CNRL Aims to Cut Costs with Driverless Truck Field Test
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) will spend C$75 million by late 2020 to field test driverless haulers at its Jackpine tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, Chief Operating Officer, Oilsands Scott Stauth told investors earlier this month.
Fossil Advocate Advises Industry to Declare ‘National No-Hydrocarbon Day’ Next July 1
In what reads like an overheated Atlas Shrugged moment, a fossil advocate is advising the Canadian oilpatch to “take a page from the CUPW playbook” and declare a rotating strike to get fast attention from the federal government.
Carbon Costs of Trans Mountain Could Hit $8.7 Billion Up Front, $4.1 Billion Per Year
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will trigger additional greenhouse gas emissions worth C$2.1 to $8.7 billion per year up front, and $675 million to $4.1 billion per year for as long as it operates, based on a social cost of carbon between $45 and $270 per tonne, environmental journalist Stephen Leahy calculated earlier this year in a post for Vice Motherboard.
Doctors Ask Trudeau for Independent Health Assessment of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion
More than 200 health professionals from Canada and around the world are calling on the Trudeau government to conduct an independent health assessment of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, citing key health impacts of climate change that will be made worse by the C$9.3-billion megaproject.
12-Mile Limit for Tanker Assessment Could Put NEB on ‘Another Collision Course with the Courts’
The National Energy Board’s decision to limit its reassessment of oil tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to a range of 12 nautical miles from the coast, rather than 200, is raising questions about how seriously the Board is taking the process—and could set the review up for yet another court challenge, according to one of the groups involved in the original legal battle against the project.
Future of Work in a Warming World Faces ‘Deafening’ Silence
There’s been a “deafening” silence about the future of work in a warming world, even though “consequences of global warming will shake up the nature of work and the availability of employment for people in every country,” Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé, professor of work and labour studies at York University, writes this week for The Hill Times.
NEB Sees No ‘Immediate Danger’ in Hundreds of Faulty Pipeline Fittings
Hundreds of steel fittings currently in use in major Canadian pipelines are at risk of swelling or breaking if they’re put under enough pressure, according to a new National Energy Board report. The NEB says it isn’t concerned that the pipelines are in any immediate danger, even though the fittings fall short of Canadian manufacturing standards.
B.C. Caribou Plan Ignores Oil and Gas as Factor in Habitat Loss, Forest Destruction
Wildlife scientists are expressing “profound” concern about a government discussion paper that was supposed to chart a course to a woodland caribou recovery plan for British Columbia, but instead relies on strategies that have failed in the past—and says nothing about the fossil extraction and mining activities that bear the greatest responsibility for habitat loss.
Citing the recent death of a killer whale calf as “our canary in a coal mine,” elected officials from a number of Salish Sea communities, both Canadian and American, are pleading with the Trudeau government to withdraw its support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Marshall: Fossil Lobbyists Tout Job Creation Despite Continuing Quest for Layoffs
As the process of “de-manning” the fossil industry picks up momentum, Environmental Defence National Program Manager Dale Marshall has a question for Canadian policy-makers: “Given oil executives’ concerted efforts to get rid of every salary-earning employee in their companies, why does anyone listen when they talk about jobs?”
UNESCO Tracks Devastating Industrial Impacts on Wood Buffalo National Park
Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park is at risk of losing its world heritage site designation and being placed on UNESCO’s endangered list, thanks to the combined and mounting impacts of climate change, fossil development, and hydroelectric projects across a 4.5-million-hectare territory that spans parts of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
42% Increase in Pipeline Incidents Shows Up Safety Claims as ‘Meaningless Marketing Mantras’: Équiterre
Incidents on interprovincial and international oil and gas pipelines in Canada increased 42% between 2016 and 2017, from 122 to 173, and more than half of the incidents in Quebec since 2008 took place in 2017, Montreal-based Équiterre reveals in a report released yesterday.
Pipeline Buyout Compromises Ottawa’s Responsibility to Protect B.C.’s Killer Whales
Federal restrictions on British Columbia’s annual summer Chinook salmon fishery will help stave off immediate starvation among the endangered Southern resident killer whale population, but imperiled habitats and political imperatives continue to threaten both species, reports the Globe and Mail.
Donner: Kinder Morgan Deal Would Not Pass a Climate Test
The government that triumphantly promised a climate test for new energy megaprojects has just bought a pipeline that wouldn’t pass that test, according to University of British Columbia climate scientist Simon Donner.
NAFTA Panel Questions Canada’s Enforcement of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings Ponds
Canada’s management of 1.3 trillion litres of contaminated water in tar sands/oil sands tailings ponds may soon be subject to international scrutiny, after a NAFTA watchdog “concluded there were serious questions about how the federal government enforces the Fisheries Act in relation to the giant ponds,” The Canadian Press reports.
Bellegarde, Saganash: First Nations Are Rights Holders, Not Stakeholders
Federal and provincial governments can’t keep discussing the dispute over Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion when the nations that hold title to the land aren’t at the table, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde and NDP MP Romeo Saganash asserted in interviews late last week.
Sisk: Canada Glossed Over Peer-Reviewed Science to Approve Trans Mountain, Line 3 Pipelines
The Prime Minister’s Office and Natural Resources Canada glossed over peer-reviewed science they had in hand when they announced approval of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines in November 2016, according to one of the scientists who submitted the hot-off-the-press findings for politicians’ consideration.
‘Labour-Saving Efficiencies’ Wipe Out Thousands of Alberta Fossil Jobs
Thousands of fossil industry jobs in Alberta are gone forever, even if oil prices ever return to $100 per barrel, and the shift has nothing to do with the province’s never-ending quest for a pipeline to tidewater, a leading government economist admitted this week.
Canadian Railways, Pipelines Log More Hazardous Substance Spills in 2017
While the overall numbers are still low, the chief operating officer of Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is promising a closer look at an increase in railway and pipeline accidents involving hazardous substances between 2016 and 2017.
U.S. Spills Increase 60% Since 2009 as Pipeline Corrosion Cost Hits $2.5 Trillion
The number of U.S. oil and gas pipeline spills has increased nearly 60% since 2009 as aging infrastructure wears out, and “if the industry continues its upward trajectory, the financial impact of corroded steel pipelines will multiply,” corrosion protection executive Merrick Alpert writes in an opinion piece for Rigzone, an industry news outlet.
NRCan Scientist Contradicts Past Research, Claims Dilbit Can Float
Natural Resources Canada is resurrecting a fossil industry talking point with research that suggests diluted bitumen will usually float when it comes in contact with a waterway—at just the moment when British Columbia is calling for independent review of the risk of a coastal dilbit spill if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is ever completed.
‘Failure to Consult’ Sparks Indigenous Backlash Against Fossils from Canada to Mexico
Indigenous resistance to energy infrastructure forced on traditional territories with inadequate consultation is frustrating high-handed fossils from one end of the North American energy trading market to the other, Bloomberg reports.
‘Future Belongs to Renewables’ as Norwegian Wealth Fund Blacklists Four Alberta Fossils
Norway’s US$1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund is following through on its threat to drop investments in Canadian tar sands/oil sands production, with four Alberta fossils showing up among the 15 companies the fund blacklisted last year, the Globe and Mail reports.
Exxon Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands Holdings, Slashes Estimate of Recoverable Reserves
Colossal fossil ExxonMobil has dropped virtually all its tar sands/oil sands holdings from its list of recoverable assets, and its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil followed suit by cutting a billion barrels of bitumen from its inventory, in what Bloomberg News calls a “sweeping revision of worldwide reserves to depths never before seen in the company’s modern history”.
EXCLUSIVE: Study Shows Governments’ Oil and Gas Revenue Crashing as Decarbonization Takes Hold
Canadian governments stand to lose more than half of their revenue from oil and gas activities through 2040, and nearly nine-tenths of the taxes and royalties the industry says they will collect, as the global economy decarbonizes and shifts away from fossil fuel production, the UK-based Carbon Tracker Initiative concludes in an analysis released this week.
Capital Markets ‘Shift Decisively’ Out of Oil and Gas as Investors Place Their Bets on Renewables
Investors are increasingly placing their bets with renewable energy and abandoning oil and gas, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports, in an analysis that shows capital markets “shifting decisively towards cleaner investments”.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proved to be “all hat but no horse” when it came to roping and tying down the ill-fated Keystone XL pipeline. Now, after risking billions in taxpayer funds on that folly, it appears he may soon be riding out of town on a one-trick pony. A metaphorical analysis by veteran journalist Paul McKay.
CNRL, Imperial, 11 Others Face Rating Downgrades Due to Competition from Renewables
Alberta fossils Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Imperial Oil are on a list of 13 big oil and gas companies that may face rating downgrades within weeks, and Suncor Energy was also assigned a negative outlook, after ratings agency Standard & Poors shifted its risk assessment for the entire fossil industry from “intermediate” to “moderately high”.
TC Energy May Survive Keystone Cancellation Unscathed. Alberta Not So Much.
In the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, analysts say proponent TC Energy should be able to walk away from the intensely controversial megaproject relatively unscathed. But the same can’t be said for the Jason Kenney government in Alberta, whose eleventh-hour subsidy kept the pipeline alive long enough for Biden to shut it down.
Weak Climate Risk Disclosure Puts Canadian Businesses at Disadvantage
With Canadian companies continuing to flout climate risk disclosure regulations, even as many of their global competitors come clean, the CEO of one of the nation’s largest investment managers says the disconnect will come back to burn the economy, particularly as the country struggles to rebuild from the pandemic.
Alberta Inquiry Touts ‘Junk Climate Denial’, Conspiracy Theories in Fossil Industry’s Defence
Alberta’s C$3.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign-funded interference with the province’s fossil industry is advancing “junk climate denial science, bizarre conspiracy theories, and oil industry propaganda,” according to critics who’ve reviewed a series of commissioned studies now available on the inquiry’s website, CBC and the Globe and Mail report.
Lloyd’s Promises 2030 Withdrawal from Fossil Fuel Project Insurance, Draws Fire for Slow Timeline
The world’s biggest insurance network, UK-based Lloyd’s, is promising to end new investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic oil and gas, and coal by 2022 and stop insuring any fossil projects at all by 2030.
Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Fracking First to Go as NY Pension Fund Pledges Fossil Divestment by 2040
New York State’s pension has announced plans to drop the “riskiest” oil and gas stocks from its massive investment portfolio by 2025 and fully divest by 2040, making it the first U.S. state and the biggest pension fund in the world to make such a commitment.
Tougher Climate Policies Make Trans Mountain a Money-Loser, Parliamentary Budget Officer Warns [Sign-on]
The Trans Mountain pipeline is still a profitable venture for the federal government, but could end up losing money as a result of tougher climate change policies, declining oil demand, construction delays, and rising costs, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux concludes in a report released yesterday.
Ottawa Announces $41.5 Million for Offshore Oil Jobs in Newfoundland
The federal government is directing C$41.5 million to Husky Energy to help the company keep 331 workers employed on its West White Rose offshore oil development through the end of next year—even though there’s no decision yet on whether the project will go ahead.
Imperial Oil to Lay Off 200 Staff, 450 Contractors as Suncor Takes Over Management of Syncrude Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine
Calgary-based Imperial Oil announced last week that it is laying off 200 staff, just a day after the ExxonMobil subsidiary agreed to hand over business management of the mammoth Syncrude Canada tar sands/oil sands mine and upgrader to project partner Suncor Energy.
No Future Need for Trans Mountain, Keystone XL Pipelines, Canada Energy Regulator Report Shows
There will be no need and no justification to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion or the Keystone XL pipeline if Canada makes any effort at all to strengthen its climate policies, according to the more ambitious of two fossil demand scenarios in an analysis published yesterday by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).
‘Window is Rapidly Closing’ for Canadian Fossils to Adapt to Falling Oil Demand
With nearly four decades of growth in global oil demand coming to an end, Canada’s fossil industry is going to have to pay closer attention to a combination of climate response and surging new technologies if it wants to stay competitive in a “quickly changing world”, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in the second of a series of three blog posts.
With Fossils Crashing, Renewables Surging, Alberta and Saskatchewan Need a New Narrative
Across nearly a dozen pieces of news and analysis over the last week, a consistent theme is emerging: Canada’s fossil sector crash is accelerating, the renewable energy industries are beginning to surge, and oil-producing provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan need a whole new narrative if they’re going to catch up, keep up, and thrive in an emerging, low-carbon world.
Michigan Governor Yanks Line 5 Pipeline Easement, Citing Enbridge Violations
Citing repeated and routine refusals by Calgary-based Enbridge to address safety concerns surrounding the 6.4-kilometre Straits of Mackinac section of its Line 5 pipeline, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has terminated the easement that allowed the submarine pipeline to operate.
TD Bank Sets Net-Zero Target, Limits Fossil Divestment to Arctic Oil and Gas
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is coming in for a mix of kudos and mockery after announcing a 2050 net-zero target and declaring that it will no longer finance some oil and gas-related activities in the Arctic, but failing to issue a broader statement on fossil fuel divestment, as a growing number of European financial institutions are doing.
Biden Win, Pandemic Economy Could End Keystone XL as Trudeau, O’Regan Pledge Pipeline Support
The Keystone XL pipeline may be coming to the end of a very long road, ultimately brought down by the combination of a Joe Biden presidency and crashing global oil demand—even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan are still standing beside Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to support the controversial project.
Pandemic Harms Economic Case for Trans Mountain Pipeline as 350 Canada Targets November AGM [Sign-On]
Two new analyses in the last two weeks are raising questions about whether the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and falling global oil demand have undercut the economic case for completing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Dutch Investment Manager Adds 232 Fossil Companies to ‘Exclusion List’
An investment fund manager in The Netherlands with US$183 billion in assets is adding 232 fossil producers to its “exclusion list”, after declaring it won’t get involve with companies that draw more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal or tar sands/oil sands operations or 10% from Arctic drilling.
Cenovus to Cut One-Quarter of Jobs After Buying Out Husky Energy
Cenovus Energy Inc. is set to lay off one-quarter of its work force, and the controversial White Rose oil and gas development off the Newfoundland coast is very much in doubt, after the Calgary-based tar sands/oil sands producer announced over the weekend that it was buying rival fossil Husky Energy in a C$3.8-billion deal.
Alberta Suspends Some Fossils’ Property Taxes for Three Years, Leaves Debts to Rural Municipalities Unaddressed
Rural municipalities in Alberta say they’re onboard with a provincial decision to suspend property taxes for three years for companies drilling new oil and gas wells or building new pipelines, after initially raising the alarm about the government’s plan to revamp the whole tax regime in fossils’ favour.
Hastings-Simon: Alberta Government Must Wake up to ‘Spectacular’ Drop in Solar Power Costs
Solar’s recent coronation by the International Energy Agency as the “king” of global electricity markets is a literal power shift that bodes ill for Alberta’s oilpatch, says one of the province’s top energy policy experts.
Vancouver Fossil’s Oil Drilling Plan Alarms Local Environmentalists in Southern Africa
A fossil company based in British Columbia is raising alarms with environmentalists in southern Africa with plans to touch off an oil boom in Kavango Basin, in the Kalahari region of Namibia and Botswana.
Op-ed: Alberta’s Managed Coal Power Plummet a Climate ‘Success Story’
Alberta’s turn away from coal has been a “climate action success story” thanks to key policies—many unpopular—set by former premier Rachel Notley, according to a recent essay written by two Alberta economists.
New Fossil Investment in Alberta Depends on Environmental Action, Kenney Proclaims
In what CBC is calling “a major shift in tone for the Alberta premier”, Jason Kenney is saying Alberta fossils’ access to new project investment will depend on environmental action from industry and government.
Analysis: Alberta Natural Gas Plan Has Kenney Venturing Boldly Backwards
The Jason Kenney government in Alberta is pitching hydrogen, plastics recycling, and even geothermal energy as elements of an economic diversification strategy that leans heavily on natural gas to create tens of thousands of jobs and reboot the province’s sagging economy.
EXCLUSIVE: Royal Bank’s ‘Baby Step’ on Fossil Divestment the ‘Least They Could Do’, Climate Analysts Say
The Royal Bank of Canada’s announcement late last week that it will restrict investments in some fossil fuel projects was a “baby step” and just the first of many it will have to take to “move into a zero-carbon future,” two veteran climate analysts told The Energy Mix yesterday.
Crashing Demand, Kenney’s ‘Denial’ Put Alberta at Risk as Energy Transition Accelerates
The Alberta government’s inability to begin charting a shift off fossil fuels can only leave the province at risk of further economic mayhem, according to two news analyses published in the week leading up to a federal Throne Speech that largely cemented Ottawa’s embrace of a low-carbon transition.
The Canada Pension Plan’s “substantial private equity investments” in the fossil industry over the last few years have undercut the country’s climate commitments and “underestimate the urgent need for climate action and energy transition,” according to a new report from the Canada Climate Law Initiative that scorches the “troubling incrementalism” in the CPP’s investment strategy.
BP Says Oil Demand Will Never Recover as OPEC, IEA Predict Continuing Losses Due to COVID
The global fossil industry is facing a parade of bad news this week, with colossal fossil BP concluding that global oil demand has already peaked, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) predicting a steeper demand drop due to the slow recovery from the pandemic, and the International Energy Agency warning that “the path ahead is treacherous”.
Fossils Troll for Relief as Throne Speech Focus Veers Toward Housing, Income Support
With the latest news and commentary out of Ottawa pointing to housing, employment insurance reform, and long-term care as main focal points for the September 23 Speech from the Throne, the fossil industry is pushing the Trudeau government for more bailout dollars and regulatory delays as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Some of the world’s most colossal fossils posted epic financial losses between April and June this year, all in the interest of preserving their dividends to shareholders, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concluded in a research brief late last month.
Alberta Dials Down Expectations with Softer Mandate for ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Inquiry
The Alberta government may be losing momentum in its crusade against supposed “foreign-funded special interests” working against the province’s oilpatch, with the deadline for commissioner Steve Allan’s report delayed four months and his terms of reference adjusted to acknowledge that he might not actually find any foreign influence over the industry.
‘Unlikely Allies’ Create Renewable Energy Opportunities in Alberta
What do oil executives and climate activists have in common? Not much, if you listen to popular media narratives pitting environmental protection against economic growth. But at the Energy Futures Lab, diverse innovators and stakeholders in Alberta’s energy sector are finding plenty of room for collaboration.
Action on Climate, $40/Barrel Oil Could Mean Trillions in Stranded Fossil Assets
With colossal fossils Total and Shell downgrading the value of their oil and gas assets, BP pledging to cut oil and gas production 40% by 2030, and even fossil behemoth ExxonMobil ripping up a US$30-billion plan to renew its oil and gas reserves, Bloomberg Green is out with a timely explainer on stranded assets.
Alberta Mismanages Heritage Fund, Misses Out on $575B in Revenue Over 44 Years
Successive Alberta governments over the last 44 years have mismanaged their way out of C$575 billion in revenue that should have been available to help cushion the province from a brutal oil price crash and chart a course to a more diverse, less fossil-dependent economy, according to a University of Calgary economics professor.
Pandemic Doesn’t Blunt Financial Sector Interest in Lower-Carbon Investments
Although the financial sector’s commitments to climate accountability and greater transparency only began to pick up major momentum in the months before the coronavirus made its appearance, the pandemic has not slowed down the drive for lower-carbon investments, as many campaigners feared it might.
Exxon Rips Up $30-Billion Rebuilding Plan, Could Declare Stranded Assets at Kearl Lake
ExxonMobil’s massive Kearl Lake mine north of Fort McMurray may be the latest tar sands/oil sands to be devalued as one of the world’s most determined colossal fossils considers designating up to one-fifth of its global oil and gas reserves as stranded assets, part of a company-wide scramble to respond to crashing oil prices and weak markets for its product.
Beer: Alberta Should Treat Total’s $9.3-Billion Write-Off as a Wake-Up Call, Not a Cheap Shot
After French petroleum giant Total wrote off C$9.3 billion in stranded assets in the tar sands/oil sands, the Jason Kenney government had the option of treating the announcement as a wake-up call, not a cheap shot. And Albertans were hurt first and worst when their government made the wrong choice, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post for The Narwhal.
‘Inevitable Policy Response’ Will Drive Climate Action by 2025, UN Agency Says
Arguing that global financial markets will inevitably begin factoring in the near-term policy response to climate change over the next five years, a United Nations program wants to help investors prepare for the portfolio risks they’ll face as a result.
Colossal Fossil Total Declares $9.3B in Stranded Assets in Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands
French colossal fossil Total sent a shockwave through the Alberta oilpatch Wednesday with the announcement that it is writing off C$9.3 billion in assets in the tar sands/oil sands, including $7.3 billion in the Fort Hills mine, which opened just 2½ years ago, and the Surmont thermal oilsands project.
Deutsche Bank Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Oil and Gas, Falls Short on Coal Divestment
Frankfurt-based banking giant Deutsche Bank is immediately cutting off financing for new tar sands/oil sands and Arctic oil and gas projects and will end its involvement with coal mining by 2025, in a move that at least one Canadian climate analyst praised but a European campaign organization cast as just a first step in a longer transformation.
BlackRock Calls Out 53 Climate Laggards, Falls Short on Key Shareholder Votes
Investment behemoth BlackRock is calling out 53 companies, including ExxonMobil, Volvo, and Daimler, for lagging in their response to climate change, in what campaigners are still calling “baby steps” on its promise to use its enormous financial clout to drive faster, deeper carbon cuts.
Global Development Banks’ Recovery Plans Must Omit Fossil Funding, Advocates Say
When 450 global development banks with their hands on US$2 trillion in public funds meet in November to chart their contribution to the pandemic recovery, they must declare an end to international financing for fossil fuels, three leading finance and development advocates argue in a post this week for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Global Oil Demand, CO2 Emissions Likely Peaked in 2019 as Fossil Analysts Predict More Stranded Assets
A small parade of analysts stepped out last week with projections that global oil demand and carbon dioxide emissions likely peaked last year, with consumers’ need for refined oil products hitting a turning point and more big fossil companies expected to declare “impairments” in their production assets in the not-too-distant future.
Fossils Hit ‘Turning Point’ as Shell Follows BP in Declaring Stranded Assets
The coronavirus pandemic may have produced a tipping point in the transition off fossil fuels, with two colossal fossils declaring in the last two weeks that they will downgrade the value of their own assets by as much as US$39.5 billion.
Queen Elizabeth’s Wealth Manager Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Oil and Gas, Coal
Coutts, the private banker to Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the British royal family, has promised to drop its investments in the tar sands/oil sands, Arctic oil and gas exploration, and thermal coal extraction and generation, and to reduce the carbon intensity of its holdings 25% by the end of next year.
Ovintiv Gears for ‘Lower Production Growth’ by Cutting Work Force 25%
Ovintiv Inc. laid off 640 staff, or about 25% of its work force last week, just 7½ months after triggering a wave of overwrought grief in Canada by changing its name from Encana Corporation and moving its head office out of Calgary.
Analysts See No More Need for New Pipelines as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Production Slides
After years of complaints that Canada lacked space in its crowded export pipelines to serve tar sands/oil sands producers in the Alberta oilpatch, analysts are beginning to point to a different problem: a surplus of pipeline capacity, even as governments and industry boosters try to push, pull, and drag the Keystone XL and Line 3 pipelines and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion toward completion.
Federal Pandemic Relief Still Hasn’t Arrived, Fossils Say
The Canadian fossil industry is up in arms that not a single oil and gas company has been approved for a federal bridge loan to get them through the economic crash brought on by the pandemic, nearly three months after Finance Minister Bill Morneau said relief was “hours or days away”.
Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030
The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.
Environmental Funds Go ‘Mainstream’, with Better Results than Traditional Investments
Environmentally sustainable funds have outperformed traditional investments—not only during the economic crunch brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the 10 years previous, according to new analysis by global research agency Morningstar.
EDC Must Stop Financing Fossil Projects, Embrace Climate Disclosure, Consultants Urge
Export Development Canada will need to stop financing fossil fuel projects, do a better job of climate reporting and disclosure, and show broader leadership on sustainable finance and climate justice if it plans to bring its investment and subsidy decisions in line with Canadian climate policy, according to a stinging technical assessment released earlier this week by Ottawa-based Horizon Advisors.
After watching the country’s Big Five banks supply nearly half a trillion dollars to the global fossil fuel industry since 2016 despite rapidly accelerating climate change, it’s time for Canadians to #FireYourFossilBank, Below2C editor Rolly Montpellier writes in a recent opinion piece.
Resist Fossil Lobbying, End Oil and Gas Subsidies, International Agencies Urge Canada
Two leading international agencies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency, are urging the federal and provincial governments to do away with fossil subsidies worth US$3.7 billion last year, just as the fossil lobby accelerates its demands for exactly that kind of largesse from taxpayers.
Fossils Face $25-Trillion Loss as Coronavirus Drives Industry’s ‘Decline and Fall’
The world’s fossil companies stand to lose US$25 trillion in profits as the coronavirus pandemic triggers a terminal decline in demand for oil, gas, and coal and drives down the value of fossil fuel reserves by two-thirds, according to a report released yesterday by the London, UK-based Carbon Tracker think tank.
Amazon Touts Cloud Services Deal with TC Energy as Keystone Becomes ‘Walking Zombie’
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is drawing the wrath of one of North America’s leading climate campaigners, after proudly announcing in mid-May that TC Energy, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, is “going all-in” as a customer for its cloud-based computing service.
Suncor CEO’s ‘Stark Prediction’ Has Off-Carbon Transition Driving Down Oil Demand
The CEO of Suncor Energy is admitting that the transition off carbon could hit crude oil demand as hard as the pandemic did, in what Reuters describes as a “stark prediction in an industry that frequently downplays the impact of electrification” on its future prospects.
Fossils’ Five-Year Spending Plan Shows $17.5B for Renewables, $166B for New Oil and Gas
Despite fossils’ loud claims to be taking the climate crisis and the renewable energy transition seriously, they only plan to spend US$17.5 billion on solar and wind projects over the next five years. And one company—Equinor, the Norwegian state fossil previously known as Statoil—accounts for $10 billion of that total, new analysis by Rystad Energy shows.
Fossils Complain About Tough Terms Attached to Canadian Pandemic Relief
Fossil companies are complaining bitterly about the conditions the federal government has placed on the pandemic relief loans it’s making available to them, claiming that not a single oilpatch business has benefited from the program.
Fossil Shareholders, Executives Gain While Companies Falter, New Analyses Show
Four of the world’s five biggest fossils are paying money out to their shareholders faster than they’re taking it in, and a good number of U.S. fossil executives can expect lavish payouts while their companies crash around their ears, according to separate analyses this week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Reuters news agency.
Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges
The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.
OCI: ‘Transformational Moment’ Is Last, Best Chance to Break from Fossils
The slow emergence from pandemic lockdown is the “last, best chance to plan for the economy we need to stay within 1.5°C and avoid the worst chaos of global warming,” declares a recent five-point call to policy-makers to cooperate in a rapid worldwide phaseout out of fossil fuels.
Fossils May Think Twice Before Accepting Federal Bailout Package
After weeks of demanding a federal bailout in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian fossils might be thinking twice about accepting the loans they’re being offered, mergers and acquisitions specialist Jeffrey Jones writes for the Globe and Mail.
Saudi Arabia Buys Into Canadian Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Norwegian Wealth Fund Declares Blacklist
Saudi Arabia bought into Canada’s two biggest tar sands/oil sands companies, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund jumped ship, and the World Economic Forum highlighted the slow pace of carbon reductions in the Canadian oil and gas industry, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to roil global fossil markets.
Rockefeller Fund Shows Five-Year Gain After Dropping Fossil Investments
In defiance of market predictions, the US$1.1-billion Rockefeller Brothers Fund has surpassed its benchmarks since an almost complete divestment from fossil fuels five years ago—proving that what was once dismissed as a “symbolic gesture” was in fact an act of significant financial acuity.
Fossils Expect Permanent Losses, Renewables Keep Growing as Pandemic Crashes Global Energy Demand
The permanent reductions in conventional energy demand wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic will change the oil and gas industry forever, leaving renewables as the only energy form resilient enough to keep growing, according to separate assessments released last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Europe’s biggest fossil, Royal Dutch Shell.
Alberta Pension Fund Manager AIMCo Loses $4 Billion on Bad Fossil Investments
A bad bet on fluctuating oil prices cost Alberta’s public pension funds more than C$4 billion last month, after the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) bought into a collection of contracts that never paid off in a stock market upended by falling oil prices and the global pandemic.
‘Radical Agenda’ in Memo to Ministers Shows Fossil Fuel Lobby Losing Touch
The epic news conference in mid-April where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$2.4 billion in job creation funding for the country’s oil and gas workers, but not the $30-billion bailout the industry had demanded, was the second-worst moment in a very bad week for the fossil fuel lobby.
Canadian Fossils Headed for ‘Deep, Deep Collapse’ After Oil Price Dips to -$37.63 Per Barrel
Oil traders and fossil executives whose livelihoods rise and fall on the price of oil were in a state of collective shock earlier this week, as plummeting demand due to the coronavirus pandemic drove ricocheting prices well below zero for the first time ever.
Price Crash, Pandemic Put Fossils in Peril as Investors Get Nervous
Apart from a bit of wishful thinking from a veteran oil and gas financier in Calgary, the North American fossil industry is being devastated by the combination of low oil prices and plummeting demand driven by the pandemic, with investors in both Canada and the United States becoming ever more skeptical of an industry that was in rough enough shape before the latest crisis hit.
Oil Prices Tumble Again as OPEC+ Cuts Production, G20 Aims for ‘Stability’
A week of high-stakes deal-making came up short Friday, as energy ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized nations decided against cutting oil production in a last-ditch bid to drive up prices.
Alberta Demands Fossil Relief While Neglected Tech Firms Plan Their Exit
While Alberta blasts Ottawa for slow delivery of its fossil industry bailout package, the Jason Kenney government is hearing from high tech entrepreneurs who are preparing to leave the province over its steadfast refusal to build a more diversified economy.
Post-Pandemic Employment Will Hinge on Green Energy as Fossil Jobs Slide
With projected oilfield job losses of 30% by the end of 2020, the fossil sector is likely to remain highly embattled after the threat of COVID-19 has abated, with little ability to create new jobs. But the job-intensive green energy sector could be set to flourish, particularly if policy-makers include some variant of a Green New Deal in their plans for secondary stimulus packages, a new analysis shows.
56,000 Demand Retraining for Oil and Gas Workers, Funding for Renewables, as Fossils Push for Bailout
With the Canadian government still tight-lipped at week’s end on the bailout package it’s crafting for the country’s pandemic-ravaged fossil sector, 56,000 online petitioners demanded the government invest in the oil and gas work force, not shareholders, while new analyses showed how the right investments could position the country for a stronger, greener recovery.
Bank of Montreal, RBC, BlackRock Among the Backers for Alberta’s ‘Reckless’ Keystone XL Subsidy
The Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD are among the banks that are being called out for funding the Alberta government’s “reckless” decision to back the contentious Keystone XL pipeline with nearly C$8 billion in financial aid.
Sustainable Investments Match Fossils’ Returns, Out-Perform Conventional Funds in Oil Price Crash
With oil markets crashing under the combined weight of a global pandemic and a sustained price war between rival producers, new analyses show renewable energy developments offering competitive returns against fossil projects, and sustainable funds outperforming traditional investment portfolios.
Canada-Wide Poll Shows Wide Support for Albertans, ‘Warning Signal’ Against Industry Bailout
Canadians across the country, and of all ages and political stripes, support federal government assistance to an oil and gas sector facing record-low oil prices in the midst of a global pandemic. But there’s no indication in survey results released last week by Abacus Data whether anyone wants to see the money directed to Alberta fossil companies and their shareholders.
Kenney Seeks North American Oil Cartel to Counter Saudi Price Cuts
While the collapse of OPEC and the subsequent crash of global oil markets has Alberta Premier Jason Kenney musing about setting up a North American cartel to control prices, it isn’t at all clear that the Canadian government will back the idea.
European Oil Major Cuts Costs, Protects Renewables, as Stranded Fossil Assets Begin Looking ‘Inevitable’
Like most of their counterparts around the world, colossal fossils in Europe are slashing spending in response to an oil price crash triggered by the pandemic and a pitched price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. But so far, at least, three of the biggest and one in particular seem to be protecting their renewable energy businesses from the economic carnage, Greentech Media reports.
Analysis: Fossil Bailout Not the Prescription for Canada’s Fiscal Health
Shovels or ladders?
That is the stark choice facing Justin Trudeau and Parliament as they consider aiding western Canada’s giant tar sands/oil sands producers, which can now sell their oil for only about US$10 per barrel. One year ago, the sales price was US$55. By Paul McKay.
Economic Shock from Coronavirus Points to Over-Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Need for Renewables
A crisis like the coronavirus pandemic points to a global economy that is over-reliant on fossil fuels and dangerously exposed to economic shocks that could be eased by a shift to renewable energy, a leading financial economist from the United Kingdom told Forbes magazine in a recent interview.
Analysts Foresee Record Drop in Oil Demand as COVID-19 Crisis, Fossil Price War Deepen
With the fossil price collapse continuing, oil falling below US$30 per barrel, and Saudi Arabia vowing to continue forcing prices down through May, analysts are predicting a “low and slow” recovery for the industry.
Coronavirus Triggers OPEC+ Breakup, Drives Deepest Oil Price Dive in 29 Years
Driven by cratering economic activity due to the coronavirus pandemic, oil markets crashed 31% in a matter of seconds last week, after cooperation across a loosely-knit group of oil-producing countries collapsed and triggered an all-out price-war between fossil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Tar Sands/Oil Sands See Sharp Decline in Capital Spending, Job Creation
Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands have shifted decisively into a “mature” phase of development in which job creation and capital spending will continue to lag and new technologies will replace a large share of the work force laid off due to “lower-for-longer” oil prices between 2014 and 2016, according to a new analysis this week by the Edmonton-based Parkland Institute.
Switzerland’s UBS Yanks Funding for New Arctic Offshore Oil, Thermal Coal, Tar Sands/Oil Sands
Switzerland’s UBS Group AG has decided it will no longer finance offshore oil development in the Arctic, thermal coal mines, or tar sands/oil sands projects on undeveloped land, and will scrutinize liquefied natural gas and ultra-deepwater drilling projects more carefully before committing to them.
Buckley: Delayed Shift Out of Fossil Fuels Could Leave $20 Trillion in Stranded Assets
Investors and financiers will find themselves confronted with up to US$20 trillion in stranded fossil energy assets by 2050 unless they embrace the shift to clean energy, warns Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), in a recent summary of a podcast he recorded last month.
Time to Cut Fossils’ ‘Corporate Welfare’, Make Economy More Efficient, Author Argues
Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is a policy measure that could create some common ground between climate campaigners and libertarian free market advocates, self-styled independent journalist and public historian Taylor Noakes writes in a new opinion piece for CBC that had generated more than 3,700 comments as of Thursday evening.
1.5°C Warming Means ‘Breathtaking’ $900-Billion Loss for Colossal Fossils
The world’s oil and gas companies may have to write off a “breathtaking” US$900 billion in stranded assets—about one-third of their total value—if governments get serious about limiting average global warming to 1.5°C, according to the news analysis page that calls itself the “oldest and arguably the most influential business and finance column of its kind in the world”.
Tar Sands/Oil Sands Cancellation the Least of Teck’s Problems as Analysts Question Mine Cost Overrun
While Teck Resources’ bombshell decision to walk away from its $20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine has received wall-to-wall coverage in the last seven days, the company’s broader financial picture is a bigger concern for investors, the Globe and Mail reports.
Petrosaurus Rex vs. Reality: Teck Mine Defeated by Low Price of Oil
Paleontology tells us the most fearsome Jurassic-era predators had no outer ears, and depended on a narrow range of sub-sonic vibrations to detect other earless, large, lumbering dinosaurs they could rip to shreds and render into raw-meat power lunches. They are now, of course, ancient history. In their place, evolution delivered far smaller, more agile mammals able to receive and process a wider range of warning signals. Enter Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who might aptly be classified as Petrosaurus Rex. An analysis by Paul McKay
Teck Withdrawal a ‘Wake-Up Call’ for a ‘Version of Alberta that No Longer Exists’
Teck Resources’ blockbuster decision to walk away from its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine was a “wake-up call” to abandon “a version of Alberta that no longer exists,” Calgary-based opinion writer and self-described “proud centrist” Max Fawcett writes in an opinion piece for CBC News.