SNAPSHOT: The Fossil Industry Goes for Broke

Full Story: The Energy Mix

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The top-line fossil sector news in 2018 made it tough to imagine the collapse of one of the world’s most powerful and politically connected industries. But while fossils held onto their considerable financial and political control over energy worldwide, deep cracks started to appear for the first time that will ultimately challenge their long-term dominance.

Coal closures were commonplace in 2018, oil and gas prices fluctuated wildly, and the realization increasingly dawned that proven hydrocarbon reserves can and must stay in the ground. But while the industry began to buckle under the weight of a global transition it could not stop, that shift was not keeping pace with countries’ commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement, much less the urgent 1.5°C target set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in early October.

The Collapse of Coal

The most obvious, pervasive sign of fossil industry distress was the accelerating collapse of what was once a dominant coal industry. But coal plants were still operating in 2018, new ones were still being built, and the industry’s decline fell far short of the Paris targets. While momentum was quickly shifting away from the electricity source that will have to be the first phased out in any reasonable post-carbon pathway, there was still much more to be done as 2018 drew to a close.

The year opened on news that renewable energy in the European Union had outpaced coal in 2017, but the continent was still short of a full phaseout. Germany faced increased pressure to make the phaseout happen. France declared a 2021 phaseout deadline, less than a month after introducing a fossil production ban that would keep five billion barrels in the ground. Finland set a 2029 coal phaseout date and offered subsidies for faster action.

Spain’s new government unveiled a €250-million job transition fund to support its plan to shut down most coal mines by the end of the year. Canada’s coal phaseout was expected to eliminate 16 megatonnes of carbon pollution by 2030 and 100 megatonnes by 2055, and the co-chair of its Just Transition Task Force asked for a longer time span for job retraining funds. Renewable energy installations exceeded fossil capacity for the first time ever in the United Kingdom, where subsidy-free renewables and affordable storage were expected to leave natural gas out in the cold by 2030, and private sector action was speeding coal’s demise in Australia, despite the intentions of its pro-coal Liberal Coalition government.

Coal’s dominance in India was threatened by falling solar costs and mounting air pollution. New research showed 40% of China’s coal plants losing money, though the country quietly restarted construction on 46.7 gigawatts of new capacity. In Japan, other big industrials were expected to follow Tokyo-based conglomerate Marubeni’s lead after it signaled its exit from coal. Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines were on track to lose US$60 billion on stranded coal assets in the next decade, and South Africa laid plans to replace coal and nuclear capacity with renewables and natural gas.

In the United States, power utilities hit an inflexion point, with solar and wind farms coming in less costly to own and operate than coal plants that were already built and paid for. Regional grid manager PJM Interconnection determined that power utility FirstEnergy Solutions could shut down four gigawatts—four billion watts—of existing coal capacity without compromising grid reliability, even as U.S. coal barons’ wish list became Donald Trump’s to-do list. Despite the former reality TV star’s best efforts, U.S. government data showed a promised coal recovery evaporating. Trump’s own appointees to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected his bailout plan for financially stressed coal and nuclear utilities, and the massive, 2,250-megawatt Navajo coal station in Arizona faced the reality of a 2019 closure date after a potential new owner backed out. Separate reports by the World Bank and the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to the futility of trying to rebuild the world’s rapidly failing coal industry.

Delegates to the IPCC meeting on low-carbon pathways in Incheon, South Korea, considered drastic coal cuts as a way to protect the 1.5°C target, and Bloomberg News analyst David Fickling said coal consumption just might achieve the required 60% reduction by 2030. But Carbon Tracker warned that coal plant retirements would have to triple just to match up with the Paris targets, and Oil Change International scorched the International Energy Agency for a set of future scenarios that would take climate change over the cliff.

Extreme Oil Meets Supply-Side Campaigning

After many years of determined, creative effort to reduce demand for fossil energy, campaigners pushed for a wider mix of decarbonization strategies, with a stepped-up focus on keeping known fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

Economists Fergus Green of the London School of Economics and Richard Denniss of the Australia Institute earned a thumbs-up from veteran Vox.com climate columnist David Roberts for their “cogent argument that the activists are onto something—that restrictive supply-side (RSS) climate policies have unique economic and political benefits and deserve a place alongside carbon prices and renewable energy supports in the climate policy toolkit.” The Stockholm Environment Institute said new fossil infrastructure imperils domestic and global climate goals. Earth scientist David Hughes showed that Canada will never meet its Paris Agreement targets if it keeps on scaling up oil and gas infrastructure, and Oil Change Senior Advisor Adam Scott pointed to Canadian fossils’ late-fall production cuts as a remarkable example of what a managed decline could look like. Fossil analysts at Wood Mackenzie concluded that a 2035 target for the off-fossil transition to reach the point of no return was too late to meet the IPCC’s 1.5°C target. Securing America’s Future Energy cast the country’s military spending as a minimum US$81-billion subsidy to the fossil industry

New Zealand banned new oil and gas exploration, while Danish Oil and Natural Gas renamed itself for noted Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (over the legal objections of their new namesake’s descendants) and completed its transformation into an offshore wind powerhouse. California was told in no uncertain terms that it must phase out its fossil fuel production or lose its status as a climate change leader. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) looked askance at the business case for the new Teck Resources tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta, and ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil announced a new bitumen project of its own, just as some of the province’s biggest fossils began cutting back production.

Renewables Win on Price

The other memo many fossils seemed to be missing was that the shift to renewable energy was continuing as the cost of renewables and energy storage continued to fall.

Oxford, U.K.-based Aurora Energy Research Ltd concluded that fossil companies stood to lose US$19 trillion in income by 2040, as cumulative electric vehicle sales hit 540 million and oil demand peaked in less than a decade. A Carbon Tracker analysis released at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco showed fossil demand peaking in 2023. The economics of new coal and natural gas plants crumbled, Denver-based Xcel Energy said renewables were already undercutting the cost of existing fossil generation, and a study in the journal Nature Climate Change cautioned that a carbon bubble driven by cheap renewables could trigger a global economic crisis. Investment executives advised oil and gas to “face its future as a declining industry” and leave it to financial professionals to allocate the US$29 trillion that will be needed by 2050 to decarbonize the global energy system

Fossils Fight Back

Several fossil companies faced sustained pressure from their own investors. An annual general meeting resolution asked TransCanada Corporation to assess the business risk it faces in the low-carbon transition, and Kinder Morgan shareholders demanded the company report on its sustainability practices and climate-related investment risk. “As you are probably aware, these proposals are non-binding,” Executive Chair Rich Kinder said in a statement following the vote. IEEFA said ExxonMobil shareholders committed a “failure of epic proportions,” after an earlier push to hold the company’s board to a higher standard of climate risk disclosure fizzled, and New York said it would see Exxon in court.

But the company was undeterred, with management doubling down on future oil and gas production even as a former executive urged fossils to get with the program. BP foresaw its emissions rising through 2040, with oil demand peaking at 110 million barrels per day, and CEO Bob Dudley called for trillions in new fossil spending. Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden refused to set a carbon reduction target after his company sustained a shareholder grilling on its greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately pursuing a strategy of extracting all its fossil fuel reserves before they become stranded assets. A lawsuit asserted that #shellknew about the dangers of climate change as far back as 1988. In early December, Shell became the world’s first colossal fossil to tie executive pay to greenhouse gas reductions. OPEC expected oil to draw US$11 trillion in new investment through 2040.

Carbon disclosure and pricing emerged as mainstream practices for investors and big businesses, and fossil-focused Houston, Texas, recognized that it faces Rust Belt status if it fails to embrace a renewable energy future. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada said it would lobby the Canadian government for an energy industry that includes renewables as well as fossils.

But taxpayers were still underwriting the fossil industries their governments needed to rein in in time to deliver on the post-carbon transition. The Trump administration used tax breaks and regulatory fixes to keep U.S. pipeliners and coal operators afloat; OECD countries issued fossil fuel subsidies worth at least US$373 billion as recently as 2015; and the average Canadian tax return included a $234 giveaway to Big Oil, even though two-thirds of those taxpayers opposed fossil subsidies. During midterm elections in November, U.S. citizens in 24 states seized control of the energy agenda with a total of 64 ballot initiatives, though fossils won big in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington State when they chose to throw their overwhelming financial weight around on specific ballot issues. U.S. fossils lost control of the climate denial network they had spawned, but still sought the right PR strategies to fight public opinion and slow down the shift away from fossil fuels.

Pollution in All Places

The fossil industry continued to do severe damage to the atmosphere and the environment, even as its business model became more and more tenuous.

NASA pointed a finger at natural gas as the clear culprit in spiking methane emissions, and Oil Change said G20 countries’ plans for new gas infrastructure would undercut their climate promises. Fracking needed a 329-fold reduction in its environmental impact to match the sustainability of renewables, and fossils geared up for a new wave of liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion. The LNG Canada consortium approved a C$40-billion megaproject in British Columbia, three more Canadian LNG projects inched toward construction in 2019, and the Squamish Nation in British Columbia approved a C$1.1-billion impact and benefit agreement with the Woodfibre LNG project.

As the reality of declining gasoline demand began to set in, fossils launched a US$186-billion investment binge in future plastic pollution, betting big that plastics and petrochemical demand would be enough to offset emission reductions in other sectors. Tar sands/oil sands producers began searching for bitumen products “beyond combustion,” while some U.S. states looked to the petrochemical boom to turn the Rust Belt into the Plastics Belt.

After Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna approved oil and gas drilling off the Nova Scotia coast, it took less than four months for BP’s “safe” offshore drilling program about 330 kilometres east of Halifax to spill 136,000 litres of toxic mud into the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. risk mitigation specialist Dr. Robert Bea, leader of the Deepwater Horizon Study Group and co-founder of the U.S. Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, concluded that BP had underestimated the risk of a “sustained, uncontrolled blowout.”

After the Newfoundland and Labrador government set a 12-year strategy to step up its search for offshore oil, Husky Oil’s SeaRose offshore drilling platform lost 250,000 litres in a major storm, producing the region’s worst oil spill ever and putting seabirds at risk of an agonizing death. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers got special advance access to federal marine protection regulations for the Laurentian Channel, a biologically diverse portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence southwest of Newfoundland, and the 2018 federal budget included major funding for a protected areas strategy but no action on fossil fuel subsidies. European Union parliamentarians noticed a revolving door between public sector regulatory positions and the fossil industry.

A wave of opposition greeted a White House plan to expand offshore oil drilling, with coastal states worried about putting tourism and recreation businesses at risk. “Ain’t gonna happen. Not on my watch!” declared South Carolina state representative Nancy Mace, a newly elected legislator described by the Washington Post as a former Trump campaign worker and fiscal conservative.

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Hannover RE Sets Tougher Limits on Coal Reinsurance

Conservatives, Fossils Plot ‘Growing Collaboration’ to Defeat Liberals in Federal Election

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is making no apologies after the Globe and Mail revealed that he addressed and his officials took part in a day-long meeting with fossil executives April 11 to coordinate strategy for the upcoming federal election.

Sohi Makes No Promises as Liberals Weigh Delaying Trans Mountain Pipeline Reapproval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says there is no guarantee the federal cabinet will reapprove the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ahead of the federal election this fall, and a national columnist reports Ottawa is getting serious about holding up the project if incoming Alberta premier Jason Kenney rescinds his province’s promise to cap carbon pollution from the tar sands/oil sands.

Saudi Oil Imports Rise 66% Since 2014, with Irving Oil Refinery Calling the Shots

Canada’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia have been increasing steadily since 2014, producing serious concerns for human rights campaigners and political talking points for the fossil lobby—but the problem traces back to business decisions at the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick, not to pipeline delays in Alberta or political machinations in Ottawa, according to a CBC News report.

Canada On Track to Hit Paris Target 200 Years Late as NEB Endorses Carbon Tax

Carbon taxes are an efficient way to reduce energy use and related carbon pollution in homes and businesses, fostering greater innovation and adoption of clean energy technologies, Canada’s non-partisan National Energy Board (NEB) concludes in a report issued last week.

Wet’suwet’en Raise Human Rights Violations with UN Special Rapporteur

Hereditary leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation spoke before the special rapporteur for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York last week, alleging ongoing human rights violations in the name of resource development—most immediately, the construction of TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Trump Administration Freezes Massive Offshore Drilling Scheme Until After 2020 Election

The Trump administration is acknowledging at least a temporary defeat in its effort to open 128 million acres (51.8 million hectares) of Arctic and Atlantic Ocean waters to oil and gas drilling, announcing Thursday that it will delay release of the plan until after the 2020 U.S. election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi

Climate Change Boosts International Inequality, Cuts India’s GDP by 30%

Fifty years of rising global temperatures have significantly impoverished equatorial countries like India and Nigeria, producing economic losses on the scale of that North America faced during the Great Depression, while wealthy northern nations like Canada and Norway have thrived in the early stages of the climate crisis, says a study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

‘Climate Storytellers’ Needed to ‘Galvanize’ Public Support for Action

With entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and policy-makers working feverishly on the massive changes demanded by the climate crisis, every community needs a storyteller to help “galvanize” the population to support that activity, according to Climate Narrative Project founder Jeff Biggers.

Ontario Chamber Opposes Mandatory Gas Pump Stickers

Alaska Governor Seeks Trump Permit for Oil-by-Rail from Alberta

Exxon, China Ink 20-Year LNG Deal

Second Singapore Bank Steps Away from New Coal Lending

Péloffy: ‘Epic Clash of World Views’ Pits Public Mobilization Against Fossil Lobby

Quebec’s “climate spring” is a cascading grassroot trend that the province’s “powers that be” ignore at their peril, argues Karine Péloffy, legal counsel for the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), in a recent post for iPolitics.

Nevada, Washington State Declare 100% Clean Energy Targets

Nevada and Washington State have been the latest in a string of U.S. jurisdictions to adopt rapid steps to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

China Relaxes Limits on New Coal Plants, But Analysts See Renewables Boom Continuing

The last few days have seen conflicting analysis of China’s recent decision to allow new coal plant construction in 11 of its provinces, with an initial report on Bloomberg asserting that the country is “far from finished with the most-polluting fossil fuel”, but a follow-up suggesting relatively few developers will take the national government up on its offer.

Coal Plants Failed, Renewables Shone as Epic January Heat Wave Hit Australian Grid

Australia’s mammoth coal plants failed while its wind and rooftop solar installations shone during a major January heat wave in Victoria state, according to a report last week by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Study Traces Options for Cutting Life Cycle Emissions from Plastic

With carbon pollution from every stage of the plastics life cycle on track to grow four-fold by mid-century, a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change lays out a set of four strategies that, taken to their extreme, could reduce those emissions by up to 93% from what they would otherwise be in 2050.

Report of Excessive CO2 Emissions Leaves Fossil Lobby Speechless

World Economic Forum Tracks Global Decline in New Coal Plants

South Carolina Republicans Propose Offshore Drilling Ban

Out-of-State Interests Fund Pro-Coal Campaign in Indiana

BREAKING: Emissions at Four Alberta Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mines 64% Higher Than Fossils Reported

Carbon pollution from four major tar sands/oil sands mines in northern Alberta is 64% higher than their owners reported using the United Nations’ standard emissions measurement framework, according to a study released this morning in the journal Nature Communications.

EU Parliament Fails to Censure Exxon for Denying Climate Change, Ignoring Summons to Testify

In a ruling that angered activists and academics fighting to hold ExxonMobil to account for its leading role in climate denial, the leaders of the European Parliament have declined to strip the fossil company’s lobbyists of their EU access badges.

Veteran Climate Negotiator Arrested in London, Says Paris Implementation ‘Not Delivering’

After decades working inside the law, international climate lawyer and diplomat Farhana Yamin charged through a police line, dived under the arms of an officer and superglued her hands to the pavement outside the London headquarters of oil company Shell.

News Analyst Hopes for ‘Less Bellicose’ Kenney as Climate Groups Prepare for the Worst [GoFundMe Campaign]

News commentary in the wake of the United Conservative Party’s decisive election win in Alberta last week is skewing in two equal and opposite directions, with some stories pointing toward a more moderate, somewhat middle ground for UCP leader Jason Kenney, while the climate groups he spent much of the campaign vilifying prepare for the worst.

Asadollahi: Kenney Won, But Alberta’s Politics Are Forever Changed

The results of last week’s Alberta elections were disappointing — the incoming government is largely in denial of anthropogenic climate change and has openly declared war against the environmental movement. These Harper-era fear tactics to undermine environmentalists didn’t work then, and will especially prove futile now, against the backdrop of a population that is aware of climate risks, and of the economic opportunities afforded by climate action.

Central Bank Execs Stress Financial Sector’s Role in Addressing Climate Change

It’s time for central banks and the wider financial community to set clear, measurable goals for building a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy, 34 of the world’s biggest central banks declared last week, in the first comprehensive report by the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

India Can Save by Shifting Kerosene Subsidies to Solar

SE Asia’s Second-Biggest Lender Says No to Future Coal Projects

Borneo Oil Pipeline Spill Kills Five, Covers More Ground Than Paris

Delay in Federal Subsidy Creates Lull in Canadian EV Sales

Ohio Subsidizes Nuclear, Blocks Clean Air Credits for Most Renewables

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.

Micro Wind Would Save 200 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Micro wind places #76 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. If its share of global electricity generation increases to 1%, it could eliminate 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide at a cost of $US36.1 billion, against savings of $19.9 billion.

Alberta Builds World’s Biggest CO2 Pipeline

Far Right Surges in German Coal Region as Phaseout Looms

Fossils ‘Surprised and Disappointed’ as Norway Turns Against Lofoten Islands Oil Drilling

Norwegian fossils declared themselves “surprised and disappointed” last week after the opposition Labour Party, the biggest voting bloc in the national parliament, withdrew its support for offshore oil and gas exploration in the environmentally sensitive Lofoten Islands.

Investment Houses See Climate Targets Undercutting Fossils, Warming Above 2.0°C Boosting Financial Risk

Continued fossil industry development came under increased pressure from investors over the last week, with a major fund manager concluding that climate targets could undercut global oil demand by the mid-2020s and one of the world’s biggest investment advisors warning of trouble ahead if global climate goals are missed.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

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.

Analysis: Alberta Misses Out on Grown-Up Conversation About Fossil Transition

With Albertans voting tomorrow in the province’s 30th general election, most of the punditry and virtually every opinion poll reinforce the popular wisdom that rage at a failing fossil economy has made Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party pretty much bulletproof and headed for a massive electoral win.

Bloomberg Columnist Echoes Calls for 1.5°C Scenarios from IEA

A Bloomberg News opinion columnist is turning to Google Maps as an analogy for an annual energy futures roadmap from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that has policy-makers presuming continuing high demand for fossil fuels, rather than giving serious consideration to off-fossil strategies that will help get climate change under control.

Colossal Fossils Push Back Against Shareholder Climate Action

Monster Adani Coal Mine in Australia Clears Major Regulatory Hurdle

Chevron Becomes Third-Biggest Fossil with $33-Billion Acquisition

‘Built on Quicksand, Clear as Mud’: Trans Mountain Costs Are Impossible to Track, IEEFA Warns

The financial arrangements behind Canadian taxpayers’ involuntary acquisition of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline are “built on quicksand and clear as mud”, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports this week, in an assessment that urges the Trudeau government to be more transparent about what the project is costing now and how it’ll be paid for in the future.

Energy Storage to Become ‘Key Grid Asset’ with 13-Fold Growth Through 2024

The capacity of energy storage systems around the world is set to increase thirteenfold over six years, from 12 gigawatt-hours of installed capacity in 2018 to an astonishing 158 GWh in 2024, according to a new market assessment by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

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.

B.C. Seaplane Company Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

Nanaimo, British Columbia-based Harbour Air is setting out to become the world’s first all-electric airline—not by developing a new fleet for delivery in the mid-2020s, but by taking the 40, mostly single-engine piston and turbine aircraft it already operates and equipping them with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries.

$21 Billion in Fossil Investment ‘Completely Undermines’ World Bank Support for Paris Goals

The World Bank is contributing US$21 billion to finance fossil fuel projects, compared to only $7 billion for renewable energy, notwithstanding then-president Jim Yong Kim 2015 promise that the institution would “do its utmost” to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, German NGO Urgewald reports in a scathing study released yesterday in Washington.

EU Excludes Nuclear from Green Investment Label

Renewables Make Decarbonization $15 Trillion Cheaper, Promise $160 Trillion in Savings by 2050

The plummeting cost of solar and wind farms, coupled with government policies driving faster electrification, has cut the cost of reaching global climate goals by US$15 trillion in the last year, concludes a report issued this week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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.

Pipeline Opponents File Lawsuit Against Trump’s Latest Keystone XL Permit

Pipeline opponents were back in U.S. federal court last Friday, contending that Donald Trump acted illegally when he issued a new permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in defiance of a previous court order.

20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline

A group of 20 elected First Nations councils was expected to present a bid this week for a 22.5% share in TransCanada Corporation’s contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would connect fracked gas fields in Dawson Creek, British Columbia to the massive LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.

Indonesia Sees Path to Prosperity in ‘Mainstreaming’ Low-Carbon Development

Indonesia’s planning minister has said the country will choose a low-carbon development pathway after a government report found it could significantly boost the economy.
By 2045, the centenary of Indonesia’s independence, citizens could be as wealthy as those of the Netherlands or Germany today, the report found. But it will need to make careful choices across all sectors of the economy.

Alternative Cement Would Save 6.69 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Alternative cement places #36 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to avoid 6.69 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2050. The shift would save US$174 billion, because such alternatives ultimately last longer.

U.S. Fossils Brag About Easy Access to Trump’s Interior Secretary

Montana Conservationists Push Coal Ash Cleanup as Job Creator

Colorado Passes New Oil and Gas Restrictions

Midwestern Floods Cut Ethanol Supplies, Drive Up Gas Prices

U.S. Senators Push for ‘Highest Possible’ Funding for CCS

Norway Shifts Sovereign Wealth Fund from Coal to Renewables

Norway’s Conservative-led government is expanding its ban on coal investments from its massive US$1-trillion sovereign wealth fund and doubling the dollars it directs to “unlisted” renewable energy projects to $14 billion, following a three-year review that it stressed was driven primarily by business considerations, not a focus on climate protection.

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.

Chevron Asks to Double Proposed LNG Project as B.C. Completes ‘Fiscal Framework’ for LNG Canada

Chevron Canada has asked the National Energy Board to nearly double the size of its proposed Kitimat LNG facility, seeking a 40-year licence to export up to 28.23 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, just days before B.C. Premier John Horgan affirmed that the fiscal framework for another LNG megaproject has fallen into place.

Long-Delayed Emergency Warning for Steelhead Trout Has Implications for Trans Mountain Pipeline

The federal government has spent more than year considering an emergency warning from scientists that pits endangered steelhead trout, and their importance to the Coldwater Indian Band in southern interior British Columbia, against Ottawa’s determination to push ahead with construction of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

New Brunswick Touts Small Nuclear Reactor Potential, Though Decisions Are Years Away

Although any decision is years down the road, New Brunswick is considering building a second nuclear reactor at its Point Lepreau power station and turning it into a manufacturing hub for a new generation of small modular reactors.

Meili: Saskatchewan Wants Climate Action, Not ‘All-or-Nothing Political Games’

Saskatchewan will be asking the wrong question on climate change until it looks beyond the carbon price debate and considers how to build a strong, diversified economy and shift to clean energy, provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili writes in an opinion piece for the Regina Leader-Post.

U.S. House May Consider 30% Tax Credit for Energy Storage

U.S. politicians are making another attempt to introduce a tax credit for investments in batteries and other energy storage systems, and may extend the life of existing solar and wind credits, thanks in part to new momentum created by the Green New Deal resolution introduced earlier this year by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

Shell Urges CAPP to Support Carbon Tax

Global Coal Plant Construction ‘Collapses’, But China Considers Massive New Buildout

The introduction of new coal-fired power plants around the world has entered a “collapse” over the last three years, although the China Electricity Council is considering a proposal for a massive new buildout.

Midwestern U.S. Loses Hundreds of Miles of Levees After ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Flooding

Severe flooding across midwestern U.S. states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri has taken out hundreds of miles of levees, leaving officials to compare the failed system to Swiss cheese, on the heels of mid-March “bomb cyclone” storm conditions that inundated more than a million acres (405,000 hectares) of farmland.

Australian Farmers Face Suicide Risk as Multi-Year Drought Turns from ‘Crisis’ to ‘Marathon’

A brutal, multi-year drought brought on by climate change is taking its toll on the mental health of Australia’s farmers, just as it has in India, leading to higher suicide rates as farm incomes and the communities that depend on them suffer.

Business, Investment Leaders Demand IEA Scenarios that Drive Toward 1.5°C

It’s high time for the International Energy Agency to develop future scenarios that show a reasonable prospect of keeping average global warming to 1.5°C, while taking a precautionary approach to so-called negative emission technologies, a group of more than 40 business leaders, investors, and energy specialists asserts in a letter released this week by Oil Change International.

Chu: Renewables at 1.5¢/kWh Could Lead to a ‘Partial Hydrogen Economy’

Scientists should start thinking about what they’ll be able to do with renewable electricity in the near future when its cost falls to 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour—and that future might include hydrogen less expensive than the equivalent produced from natural gas, former U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu said earlier this week.

44-Megawatt Nanticoke Solar Farm Goes Online, Marking One-Year Anniversary of the Day the Coal Towers Fell

The solar farm on the former site of the Nanticoke coal-fired generation station has gone into service with precisely 192,431 solar panels across 460 acres sending 44 megawatts to the Ontario grid, marking the one-year anniversary of the demolition of the plant’s 650-foot smokestacks.

Nova Scotia LNG Developer Set to Sign Major Engineering Contract

Alberta’s Oil-Producing First Nations Withdraw Support for C-69

Shell Drops Membership in U.S. Refinery Lobby

Washington State Coal Port Plan Loses Another Round in Court

One Consulting Firm Mishandles Data for Katrina, Deepwater Horizon, and Houston Chem Fire

Canada Warming at Twice the Global Average, Deep Emission Cuts and Adaptation ‘Imperative’, Ottawa Concludes

Climate change is warming Canada twice as fast as the global average, Northern Canada is heating up nearly three times as fast, and three of the last five years were the country’s warmest on record, Environment and Climate Change Canada revealed this week, in the first of a series of Canada’s Changing Climate Reports (CCCR) the department plans to roll out between 2019 and 2021.

Sustainable Investments Grow 34% Over Two Years, with Climate as Prime Motivator

Sustainable investments around the world grew 34% over the last two years to US$30.7 trillion, with financial professionals pointing to climate change as a leading motivator for investors, according to the latest in a series of biennial analyses by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

Canadian Organizer Calls for Bank Strike Against Fossil Fuel Investments

Scarcely two weeks after an international study placed five Canadian banks at the centre of financing fossil fuel development, in defiance of the targets in the Paris Agreement, Engagement Organizing author Matt Price says young people opening their first bank accounts might have the power to make them think twice.

Florida Utility to Replace Two Natural Gas Plants with World’s Biggest Battery

Florida Power & Light has announced plans to build the world’s biggest battery and charge it from an existing solar power plant to replace two of its existing natural gas generating stations, a deal it says will save its ratepayers US$100 million.

Idaho Signs Solar Contract at Record-Low 2.175¢/kWh, Sets 2045 Target for 100% Clean Power

A new, 120-megawatt solar farm in southern Idaho is on track to deliver electricity at prices started at 2.175 cents per kilowatt-hour, believed to be the lowest ever for a U.S. project.

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.

Australia Yanks Support from UN’s Green Climate Fund as National Elections Loom

Australia will stop contributions to the United Nations’ major fund for battling climate change this year, according to government budget papers released on Tuesday.
With a federal election looming, the government followed up on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s threat not to “tip money into that big climate fund”.

Orwellian Doublespeak Aside, Pricing Carbon was a Conservative Idea, Globe and Mail Notes

In a post that evokes the doublespeak of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the Globe and Mail editorial board calls out Ontario and federal Conservatives’ all-out battle against the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, noting that the climate measure championed by the Liberals was originally a conservative idea.

Huge Wind Farm Will Overlook Shuttered Hazelwood Coal Plant in Australia

Fossils Still Dominated 2018 Microgrid Market in U.S.

Coal Plants in West Balkans Only Survive with Subsidies

U.S. Judge Shoots Down Trump Repeal of Obama Ocean Drilling Ban, Puts 51.8 Million Hectares Off Limits to Fossils

A U.S. federal judge in Alaska put 128 million acres (51.8 million hectares) of Arctic and Atlantic Ocean waters off limits for oil and gas exploration in a ruling late Friday, declaring Donald Trump acted illegally by attempting to revoke an Obama-era ban on drilling in the sensitive ecosystems.

738 Dead, 1.8 Million in Urgent Need, Cholera Cases Hit 271 as Cyclone Impacts Wrack Mozambique

Half a month after Cyclone Idai ripped through parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, destroying 90% of the port city of Beira, the numbers that trace the devastation are continuing to mount: At least 738 dead with many more missing, an estimated three million people affected and 1.8 million in urgent need, 136,000 displaced and 50,000 homes destroyed in Mozambique alone, and deadly disease spreading quickly to people with no choice but to drink contaminated water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_heat

UBS Bans Project-Level Finance for New Coal Plants

Swiss banking giant UBS has adopted new lending guidelines that ban project-level finance for new coal-fired generating stations around the world.

Trump Issues New Keystone Permit in Defiance of Montana Court Ruling

Two major oil pipelines between Canada and the United States are running into renewed legal hurdles, with Donald Trump making what appears to be a futile bid to reissue a presidential permit for the Keystone XL project and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer halting construction on an underwater tunnel for the Line 5 line.

Analysts Raise Eyebrows After Exxon ‘Re-Books’ 3.2 Billion Barrels of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Reserves

ExxonMobil is running into some second-guessing from analysts after bringing 3.2 billion barrels of tar sands/oil sands crude back into its active reserves.

‘Incremental’ Gains in Budget 2019 Fall Short of a Path to Climate Stabilization

Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s pre-election budget March 19 would have been “an historic milestone of massive proportions” had a government of any political stripe introduced it five, 10, or 20 years ago, but falls short of the climate challenges that every government today must confront, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer writes in a guest post for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.

U.S. Coal Exports Hit Five-Year High in 2018

Canadian Doctors Pan B.C. LNG Subsidies

Buyers in Asia Reject ‘Infected’ U.S. Shale Oil

High Winds, Warm Spring Bring Power Prices Below Zero on U.S. Great Plains

Fossils Turn to 3D Printing, Fast Prototyping for New Efficiencies

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.

Five Indigenous Groups Vie for Ownership of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Five groups of Indigenous communities are vying for ownership shares of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with CBC reporting that one of the groups has been in meetings with Finance Minister Bill Morneau and the Globe and Mail describing a separate effort to buy a 51% stake in the project in a debt deal with major Canadian banks.

Affordable Batteries with Renewables Undercut Coal, Natural Gas for Reliable Grid Power

Lithium-ion storage battery costs have fallen 35% since the first half of 2018, making unsubsidized renewable energy with storage cost-competitive coal and gas to deliver reliable, “dispatchable” grid power, according to an analysis of more than 7,000 projects released earlier this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Line 3 Gains Final Approval from Minnesota PUC

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously Tuesday to quash all remaining petitions against Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline and grant it final approval, setting the company up to complete final regulatory steps for the controversial project by the end of 2019.

UK Fossils Should Pay £44 Billion Per Year in Climate Damages, Campaigners Calculate

The United Kingdom should apply the “polluters pay” principle by assessing the country’s coal, oil, and natural gas companies at least £44 billion per year for the climate damage their products cause, according to a new estimate by campaigners at Friends of the Earth UK.

Climate Disaster Losses Could Undermine Financial System Stability, U.S. Federal Bank Exec Warns

Economic losses from natural disasters and other climate impacts could produce enough risk to undermine the security of the financial system, according to a research letter released Monday by Glenn D. Rudebusch, a senior policy advisor and executive vice president with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Nearby Neighbours Prefer Wind Farms to Fossil, Nuclear or Solar Plants, Study Finds

People who actually live near operating wind farms see them as better neighbours than fossil, nuclear, or solar plants, even if they’re located in U.S. coal country, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

Norwegian Cruise Ship Crisis Showed Heavy Fuel Oil Risk in Arctic Waters

Releases from UK Fracking Will Equal CO2 from 300 Million Cars

Frac Sand Mines Raise Health Concerns for Rural Americans

Police Probe Corruption in Ukraine Coal Deal

Sulphate Injections to Cut Warming Could Boost Rice Yields in China

B.C. Enables Billions in Tax Subsidies for LNG Development

British Columbia has introduced tax changes that confirm billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.

74% of U.S. Coal Plants Are ‘Walking Dead’ Thanks to Cheaper Renewables

New wind and solar projects can deliver cheaper electricity than 74% of the remaining coal plants in the United States, putting 211 gigawatts (that’s 211 billion watts) at risk from cleaner, less expensive competitors.

CO2 Emissions Rise 1.7% in 2018 as Energy Demand Sets Record, Coal Consumption Grows

Global carbon dioxide emissions increased 1.7% in 2018, driven by record-high energy demand and still-increasing use of coal-fired power plants, the International Energy Agency reported yesterday.

Shell Shifts 700,000 UK Homes to 100% Renewable Electricity

Royal Dutch Shell is switching more than 700,000 homes in the United Kingdom to 100% renewable electricity and rebranding its power and broadband provider First Utility to Shell Energy, just over a year after completing a deal to acquire the company.

BP Says It Has ‘Dramatically’ Cut Exploration, Will Leave Some Oil and Gas in the Ground

A senior official at colossal fossil BP says his company has “dramatically” reduced oil and gas exploration and might ultimately leave a sizeable share of its fossil resources in the ground, in a post originally published on Business Green.

Rising Premiums Due to Severe Weather Could ‘Threaten Social Order’, Insurers Warn

The world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, is warning that climate change may soon turn rising insurance costs into a pressing social issue, as more frequent, severe weather puts rates beyond the reach of most households.

B.C. Begins Environmental Review for $150-Million LNG Terminal on Tilbury Island

British Columbia has launched an environmental review for a new, C$150-million marine terminal to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a 48-year-old FortisBC plant on Tilbury Island, in the south arm of the Fraser River.

Carbon Engineering Raises $68 Million for Commercial Direct Air Capture Plant

Squamish, B.C.-based Carbon Engineering has received billionaire backing from Silicon Valley investors, netting US$68 million to build its first commercial-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Alberta Municipalities Face $81 Million in Unpaid Fossil Property Taxes

Climate Hawks Stand Against Germany’s First LNG Terminal

Ontario Slashes Energy Efficiency Programs, Delays Promise to Cut Hydro Rates

Ontario is eliminating seven key energy efficiency programs and bringing eight others under direct provincial government control, earning scorn from industry experts who see efficiency as the best tool to reduce electricity costs for consumers.

Fossil Analysts Blame Global Transition, Not Federal Policies, for Canadian Industry’s Woes

A strange, new tone is emerging in the day-to-day news chatter about Canada’s oil and gas sector: after years of blaming regulatory rules and a lack of pipeline capacity for the industry’s financial woes, a couple of analysts close to the Alberta oilpatch are acknowledging some of the bigger issues at play.

Gas Industry Plans Multiple Projects to Boost Demand, Combat Record-Low Prices

Canadian natural gas producers are scrambling to avoid the price disadvantage hobbling the country’s tar sands/oil sands industry, working on “a flurry of export and chemicals projects to avoid the same fate,” Bloomberg reports, in a post republished by JWN Energy.

Advocates Declare ‘Historic Moment’ as Navajo Nation Abandons Bid for Arizona Coal Plant

The Navajo Nation in Arizona is walking away from nearly 50 years of economic dependence on coal after dropping its bid to take over the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station, one of the largest remaining coal plants in the southwestern United States, and the Kayenta mine operated by the now-bankrupt Peabody Energy.

Volvo Sees EV Margins On Par with Internal Combustion by 2025

Volvo expects to be able to make as much money on electric vehicles as it does on internal combustion cars by 2025, Reuters reports.

Great Lakes Face Severe Impacts from Rapid Warming

Rapid warming in the Great Lakes is likely to bring more extreme storms, degraded water quality, increased erosion, and challenges for farmers, the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center warns in a report issued last week.

Two Alberta Projects Aim for Wider Dialogue on Energy Futures

With the Alberta election campaign taking on the look and feel of a brutally divisive, month-long political brawl, a couple of recent news reports have focused on new strategies seeking common ground on the province’s shift to a post-carbon future.

China to Drop ‘Clean’ Coal from Green Bond Eligibility List

China may be about to drop so-called “clean” coal from the list of eligible projects for a green bond designed to boost the country’s environmental standards.

Advanced Energy Creates 3.5 Million U.S. Jobs in 2018

Advanced energy employed 3.5 million Americans in 2018, and just over two-thirds of the jobs were in energy efficiency, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) reported last week.

EU Considers Stripping Exxon’s Lobbying Privileges

Enbridge Places as Minnesota’s Biggest Lobbyist for Second Year in a Row

Perry Helps Fossils Derail FERC Nominee Who Questioned Coal Bailout

U.S. Coal Miners ‘Ain’t Being Done Right’ as Trump Administration Squeezes Black Lung Fund

Top Global Fossils Spent $1 Billion Since Paris to Lobby Against Climate Action: Report

The world’s five biggest publicly-traded fossil companies have spent more than US$1 billion in shareholders’ money to lobby against climate action in the years since the Paris Agreement was signed, even as they continue to tout their environmental credentials, according to a report released this week by UK-based InfluenceMap.

JP Morgan Exec Calls for Faster Climate Action After Company Cited as ‘World’s Worst Climate Banker’

A senior executive at J.P. Morgan Asset Management is telling clients that global carbon reductions aren’t moving nearly fast enough—just as a coalition of climate organizations identifies his employer’s parent company, JPMorgan Chase, as “the world’s worst banker of climate change”.

Equity, Fairness Connect Climate Community with France’s Yellow Vests

In Paris on Saturday, March 16, more than 100,000 people according to organizers—36,000 according to local authorities—poured into the streets to demand climate action.

Change Now or Pay Later, Australian Central Bank Warns

Trump Administration Backs Fossils Against New York Lawsuit

Orkneys Penalized for Too Much Clean Power, Too Soon

How Carbon Pricing Deals with Climate as an ‘Externality’

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.

‘Alarming’ Report Shows $1.9 Trillion in New Fossil Investment Since Paris Accord

Leading global banks have invested nearly US$2 trillion in fossil projects since the Paris Agreement was signed, according to an annual report card released today by the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, Oil Change International, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Honor the Earth.

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.

Australia Faces Economic Disruption as Japanese Investors Abandon Coal

With Japanese banks and trading houses dumping investments and dropping plans for new power stations, analysts in Asia are pointing to a “monumental” shift in energy markets that spells “the start of the end for thermal coal,” and disruptions for Australia as a major coal supplier.

Air Pollution Causes 8.8 Million Early Deaths Per Year, More Than Tobacco Smoking

Air pollution, most of it from fossil fuel burning, led to 8.8 million premature deaths world-wide and nearly 800,000 in Europe in 2015, almost double the previous estimate of 4.5 million and even more than the seven million per year caused by tobacco smoking.

NB Power Invests in Hydrogen Research for Carbon Reduction, Grid Resilience

New Brunswick Power is trying to position itself as the world’s first hydrogen-powered distributed electricity grid after investing C$13 million in what Greentech Media describes as a “mysterious hydrogen production technology” under development by Florida-based Joi Scientific.

Giant Fossil Glencore Bankrolled Covert Pro-Coal Campaign

Central Arctic Hunters Say Fossil Development Harms Marine Life

‘Outstanding’ U.S. Appeals Court Ruling Delays Keystone XL by One Year

TransCanada Corporation’s $8-billion Keystone XL pipeline faces another year of delay after a U.S. appeal court denied its “urgent” motion, backed by Donald Trump’s state department, to lift an injunction blocking pre-construction activities.

B.C. Faces $3-Billion Tab for Inactive Oil and Gas Wells as Fracking Boom Gains Momentum

British Columbia now has more than 10,000 inactive oil and gas wells, and the cost of cleaning them up stands at C$3 billion and rising, according to a new report by the provincial auditor general that also tracked a seven-fold increase in “orphan” wells whose owners are bankrupt, insolvent, or can’t be found.

U.S., Saudi Arabia Scuttle International Bid to Regulate Geoengineering Technologies

The United Nations and Saudi Arabia were tagged as the biggest offenders late last week after the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), under pressure from high-emitting countries, failed to make any progress on a plan to look into the risks of geoengineering technologies and address the need for stricter controls over their development.

Resource Extraction Drives 53% of Carbon Emissions, 80% of Biodiversity Loss, UN Reports

Resource extraction, from fossil fuels and mining to food and biofuels, is responsible for more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss, according to a Global Resource Outlook released last week at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

Shell Aims to Become World’s Biggest Electricity Company, But Devotes Just 5% of Investment to New Energy

Royal Dutch Shell is setting out to remake itself as the world’s leading electric power company by the early 2030s, earmarking US$2 billion per year for a new energy division it says will ease its transition into a sector that generally confounds its financial backers with the relatively low returns on investment it offers.

Canadian Fossil Nets Another $90M ‘Clean’Tech Subsidy

New LNG Man Camp Opens in Kitimat

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Transition Task Force Urges Financial, Training Support for Workers Caught in Coal Phaseout

A “pension bridging program” for workers who retire early, special provisions for employment insurance and wage top-ups, and funding for private health coverage, education, skills-building, and relocation for new employment are among the recommendations from the task force the Canadian government commissioned last year to map out a just transition for workers in the country’s coal industry.

Marshall: Plugging Methane Leaks Should Be a ‘No-Brainer’ for Canadian Fossils

Even if Canadian fossils are intent on obstructing even the most basic national response to climate change, the least they could do is get behind methane emission reductions that cost them less than C$10 per tonne and deliver $9 billion in economic benefits, Environmental Defence climate program manager Dale Marshall argues this week in The Hill Times.

U.S. Manufacturers’ Lobby Defends Fossils Against Climate Litigation

The 123-year-old National Association of Manufacturers is emerging as one of the staunchest defenders of the U.S. oil and gas industry as it battles a cascade of litigation based on climate change and its impacts.

Construction Boom Drives Up China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

China’s greenhouse gas emissions grew about 3% last year, despite rapid gains in clean energy production that couldn’t keep pace with surging demand for electricity.

Court Declares UK Fracking Guidelines ‘Unlawful’, Demands Consideration of Climate Science

The UK government must take climate science and other scientific findings into account in setting national policies on oil and gas fracking, following a ruling of the High Court of England and Wales that represents a major win for advocacy group Talk Fracking.

Big Austrian Insurer is Latest to Unfriend Coal

The Economist Slams ‘Ludicrous’ Tax Breaks for Polluting Private Jets

Philippines Consumers Shouldn’t Pay for Risky Coal Deals

Hot Garbage Grifters: SNC-Lavalin’s Plan to Turn Nuclear Waste into Long-Term Gold

If it is true that one person’s garbage can be another’s gold, then Montreal-based multinational SNC-Lavalin and its new U.S. partner, Holtec International, plan to be big global players in what promises to be a very lucrative, long-term business: handling highly radioactive nuclear wastes until permanent disposal methods and sites might be found, approved, and built…A special report by Paul McKay.

Fossils Threaten Job Losses After Colorado Moves to Regulate Oil and Gas Health and Safety

U.S. fossils are rumbling about a threat to hundreds of thousands of jobs after the transport and energy committee of the Colorado state senate voted 4-3 to refocus the state’s oil and gas regulations on health and safety.

Courtenay Becomes 20th B.C. City to Send Accountability Letter to Major Fossils

British Columbia municipalities campaigning to have oil, gas, and coal companies cover their fair share of the cost of local climate impacts celebrated a milestone last week, when the City of Courtenay became the twentieth community to send accountability letters to 20 major fossils, West Coast Environmental Law reports.

Surging Canadian, U.S. Fossil Production Puts Paris Targets at Risk

Growing production in Canada and the United States has added the equivalent of another Russia or Saudi Arabia to global oil and gas markets in the last decade, pointing to a “growing disconnect” between fossil production and the urgency of the climate crisis, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol told an audience in Ottawa late last month.

Impact Assessment Act Faces ‘Major Senate Surgery’ as Industry Lobby Ramps Up

Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is “poised for major Senate surgery” as time runs out for passage of a final bill before Parliament shuts down for the federal election this fall.

Fossils ‘Dodge a Bullet’ as Norway Opts for Limited Divestment

Norway is receiving decidedly mixed reviews for its decision to dump some oil and gas stocks from its US$1-trillion sovereign wealth fund, but hold onto its shares in colossal fossils like Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

Risks of Higher Emissions, Community Impacts Add Complexity to Green New Deal

With Congressional Democrats planning to “go on offence” on climate change in hopes of mobilizing younger voters, the Green New Deal unveiled last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is coming in for some thoughtful criticism from analysts who support its direction but worry about its unintended consequences.

Campaigners Celebrate as Turkish High Court Blocks 1,320-MW Coal Plant

Turkey’s highest administrative court has blocked a major coal power plant on the Black Sea coast, in a victory for campaigners.
The Council of State ruled February 21 that Hema Elektrik’s environmental impact assessment for the 1,320-megawatt project in Amasra district, Bartin province, was inadequate.

Enerkem, Shell Launch Waste-to-Chemicals Plant in Rotterdam

Montreal-based Enerkem and Royal Dutch Shell are joining two other companies and the Port of Rotterdam in a commercial-scale project to convert non-recyclable waste materials into chemicals and biofuels.

South Dakota Plans Financial Penalties for Keystone XL Protesters

South Dakota’s Republican-dominated legislature has adopted two bills aimed at recovering costs from demonstrators who oppose construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the state.

MEG Energy Cancels Tar Sands/Oil Sands Expansion, Cites Line 3 Delay

Calgary-based MEG Energy Corporation is blaming a one-year delay in completing the controversial Line 3 pipeline for its decision to shut down expansion of its Christina Lake tar sands/oil sands project in northern Alberta.

UK Climate Goals Depend on ‘Completely Decarbonizing’ Gas Supply

‘Concerning’ Methane Leaks Traced to UK Fracking Site

Mexico Plans $3.6B Cash Infusion for State-Owned Fossil

411.66 PPM: Scientists Alarmed by Early Rise in Atmospheric CO2

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are raising the alarm that the atmosphere has just hit a new peak in average carbon dioxide levels, at 411.66 part per million—not even because it’s a record, but because it was recorded three months before the time of year when CO2 concentrations normally reach their annual high.

Quebec Cap-and-Trade Revenues Exceed $3 Billion as Carbon Market Withstands Ontario Withdrawal

A new infusion of C$215 million has pushed Quebec’s cumulative carbon cap-and-trade revenues above the $3 billion mark, at just the moment when Ontario has cancelled its carbon pricing program and Alberta’s Jason Kenney is vowing to do the same if he wins the provincial election later this year.

Kenney Would ‘Roll Back the Clock’, Cost Albertans More by Cancelling Solar, Wind Subsidies

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s pledge to phase out subsidies for solar- and wind-powered electricity would “roll back the clock” and could cost Alberta more in the long run, according to Warren Mabee, director of the Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.

NEB Sees Oil Decline in 2019 as Allan Warns of Stranded Assets in Alberta’s Future

The National Energy Board says Canada’s oil production is set to drop this year for the first time in a decade, and economist Robyn Allan warns that’s just the start of the transition challenge facing the Alberta economy.

Central Alberta Fracking Site Shuts Down After Reporting 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Calgary-based Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend fracking activities at one of its drilling sites after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta early Monday morning.

Consultant Touts ‘Virtual Pipelines’ to Build Customer Base for LNG

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers are beginning to depend on “virtual pipelines” to move their product to customers located beyond their countries’ regular pipeline grid, consultant Nicholas Newman writes in industry newsletter Rigzone.

Bloomberg Pledges to End U.S. Coal by 2030, Promote Faster Shift to 100% Clean Energy

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged campaign funding to shut down the last of the United States’ coal-fired power plants by 2030 and speed up the transition to a 100% clean energy economy.

Switzerland Seeks Governance Model for Untested Geoengineering Techniques

Switzerland wants the world to talk about if and how to use untested technology that tampers with nature to slow climate change—and will ask the United Nations’ environment arm to take the lead.
Geoengineering techniques that reflect away sun rays and suck carbon from the atmosphere have long been talked about as last-resort solutions to stem the worst effects of climate change.

Merkel Declares Support for Student Strikers as #FridaysForFuture Extends to Dozens of Communities

With #FridaysForFuture reporting school strikes breaking out in dozens of communities around the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking heat from her own political party for declaring that she “strongly welcomes” the rise of student protests for climate action.

Manitoba Train Derailment Spilled One Million Litres of Crude

Togo Plans Subsidies for Rural Solar

Fossils, Not Wildfires, Deliver Biggest Black Carbon Burden to Arctic

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.”

Enbridge Delays Line 3 Pipeline by One Year as State Regulatory Battle Continues

Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. has announced a one-year delay in completing its controversial Line 3 pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, less than a month after newly-elected Minnesota Governor Tim Walz pledged to appeal the project’s regulatory approval in his state.

Ocean Warming Leads to Declining Fish Stocks, with Developing Regions Hardest Hit

Ocean warming has delivered a significant decline in sustainable fish catches over the last century, but holding average global warming to 1.5°C would help protect future catches worth billions of dollars per year, according to two new studies.

Aramco CEO Bemoans ‘Crisis of Perception’ as Extinction Rebellion Protests Big Fossil Conference

The fossil industry’s challenges amount to a massive image problem that has analysts predicting its decline and fall in the absence of facts, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told a major fossil industry event last week.

Environmental Groups Fight Controversial Licence Renewal for East Coast Oil Explorer

Five environmental groups represented by Ecojustice were in court last week, trying to stop the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) from extending an offshore drilling licence for the Old Harry prospect, near the marine border between Newfoundland and Quebec.

Rising Carbon Prices Could Drive EU Coal Demand Close to Zero in Three Years

Coal demand in Europe will fall close to zero in the next three years if mounting concerns about climate change drive carbon prices as high as €50 per tonne, a UK hedge fund manager told the Financial Times late last month.

One Company’s Orphan Wells Could Cost B.C. Taxpayers $90 Million

Solar Shines, Coal Crashes in Australian Heat Wave

County in China Suspends Fracking After Earthquake Kills Two

Refiners, Shippers Falling Behind as IMO’s New Fuel Deadline Looms

Toxic Black Snow is Ecological Disaster in Siberian Coal Mining Region

Exxon Seeks Regulator’s Permission to Dodge Shareholders’ Climate Resolution

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil is turning to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to dodge its own shareholders’ resolution calling on management to set and disclose targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

NDP Leader Singh Faces Demands for Tougher Climate Stance After Backing LNG Canada Megaproject

Fresh from his by-election win in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South Monday evening, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh can expect to face pressure for more robust policy on climate change after supporting the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas megaproject.

Mi’kmaq Water Protectors Headed to Court Against Gas Company Injunction

Mi’kmaq protesting a controversial project to transform underground salt caverns near Halifax into natural gas storage tanks say a recent court injunction forbidding further protests at the project site, purportedly in the name of public safety, is nothing more than a deliberate act of corporate intimidation.

Ban Ki-moon Urges UK to ‘Recalibrate’ Export Financing to Exclude Fossils

The United Kingdom must prove that it’s serious about phasing out fossil fuel use world-wide, not just on its own territory, by cutting off financing for fossil imports by developing countries, former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon asserts in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

Energy Efficiency Delivers 25% of UK’s Economic Growth from 1971 to 2013

Energy efficiency delivered one-quarter of the economic growth in the United Kingdom between 1971 and 2013, far more than conventional wisdom usually assumes, according to a new study in the journal Energies.

Coal Emerges as Epic Loser as India’s Energy Future Shifts to Renewables

Coal is shaping up as an epic loser in India’s energy future, even with the country on track to double its electricity demand over the next two decades.

Arizona in Line for Crashing Property Values as Climate Impacts Mount

With property values plummeting across south Florida as prospective buyers prepare for the reality of rising sea levels, Arizona real estate will be next to feel the savage bite of climate change as researchers forecast that rising temperatures will leave the Grand Canyon State feeling like Kuwait at its most humid.

Norway to Compensate Indonesia for Cutting Deforestation Emissions

UK Institute Sees Climate Change Bringing Economic Collapse

Another Big Investor Abandons Coal in Japan

TVA Plans No New Coal Plants for 20 Years

Montana Judge Orders Climate Review of Giant Coal Mine Proposal

Chernobyl Exposé Details Continuing Cloud Over Hundreds of Thousands of Lives

Bipartisan U.S. House Bill Would Block ANWR Drilling

Former Army Corps General Lobbied for Dakota Access Pipeline

NEB Sidesteps ‘Significant’ Impacts, Recommends Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval

Canada’s National Energy Board is recommending federal cabinet re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite its likely “significant” environmental and climate impacts, prompting multiple Indigenous and environmental opponents to vow the project will never be completed.

Tech Titans Google, Microsoft, Amazon Help Fossils Extract More Oil and Gas at Less Cost

They happily save money and earn public profile by decarbonizing the electricity that drives their own operations. But that hasn’t stopped tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon from helping oil and gas companies automate their operations to extract more climate-busting carbon at less cost.

Alberta Oil-By-Rail Plan Could Block Grain Shipments, Farmers Warn

Alberta grain farmers are expressing serious concern about the province’s three-year, C$3.7-billion plan to ship oil by rail.

Mining Giant Glencore Announces Coal Extraction Cap…at 145 Million Tonnes Per Year

Multinational mining giant Glencore is bowing to investor pressure and putting a cap on the amount of coal it extracts—but will still produce about 145 million tonnes of the climate-busting fuel per year.

Indigenous Land Defender Murdered in Mexico Ahead of Key Pipeline Vote

Inuit Circumpolar Conference Urges Heavy Fuel Oil Ban in Arctic Waters

South Africa Carbon Tax to Take Effect June 1 After Long Delay

Chinese Coal Traders Freeze Australian Imports Over Epic Customs Delays

Navajo Nation Faces ‘Serious Financial Risk’ Acquiring Arizona Coal Mine, Power Plant

Pro-Pipeline Convoy Delivers Toxic Mixed Message as White Nationalists Take Centre Stage

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer welcomed pro-pipeline protesters to Parliament Hill and white nationalist Faith Goldy told Indigenous protesters to go back where they came from as the United We Roll protest descended on Ottawa Tuesday and Wednesday.

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.

B.C. Budgets $902 Million to Fully Fund CleanBC Climate Plan

The British Columbia government is getting strong positive reviews for a provincial budget that allocates $902 million over three years to fully fund its CleanBC climate program.

Alberta Spends $3.7 Billion for Three-Year Tanker Car Lease

Alberta will spend C$3.7 billion over three years to lease 4,400 tanker cars from CN and CP Rail, in order to ship up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by rail, Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday.

Canada’s $180-Billion in Infrastructure Investment Must Emphasize Low-Carbon Opportunities

The C$180 billion Canada is set to invest in infrastructure over the next decade represents a massive opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions, two senior policy advisors from Clean Energy Canada argue in a post last week for Policy Options.

Shell Buys Energy Storage Start-Up But Faces Legal Jeopardy for Past Fossil Activities

Royal Dutch Shell moved last week to shore up its position in the transition off carbon by buying German energy storage start-up Sonnen GmbH, while simultaneously facing legal jeopardy for its past and present behaviour as one of the world’s biggest fossils.

U.S. Utilities’ Push for Solar+Storage Holds ‘Major Implications’ for Fossil Electricity

Despite their “checkered history” on renewable energy development, U.S. utilities have begun to drive the transition to solar-plus-storage projects, in particular—with “major implications for baseload power providers,” analyst Dennis Warmsted writes for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

New Discovery Could Trigger China’s First Shale Oil Boom

A new oil field in remote northwestern China could trigger the country’s first shale oil boom, according to an analyst at investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Steelhead LNG Pullout Leaves First Nations Proponents ‘Deeply Disappointed’

New MN Governor Vows to Continue Fight Against Line 3

Puerto Rico Rebuild Plan Calls for Mini-Grids, Solar+Storage, Natural Gas

New Mexico Plans Faster Closure for Major Coal Plant

Marine Corps Microgrid Draws Power from Landfill Methane

Exotic Carbon Capture Techniques Prop Up Fossil Interests, Aren’t Needed to Hit 1.5°C, New Study Asserts

The urgency and scope of the climate crisis are being needlessly exploited to drive fringe ideas like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM) from the margins to the mainstream, according to a hard-hitting report issued last week by the Washington-based Center for International Environmental Law and Berlin’s Heinrich Böell Foundation.

Coastal GasLink Suspends Work After Unist’ot’en Recover Ancient Artifacts at Man Camp Site

Construction of the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline was suspended late last week after members of the Unist’ot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation found two Indigenous artifacts on the site where the company is currently building a work camp near Houston, British Columbia.