SNAPSHOT: Pipeline Politics Dominate Canada’s 2018 Climate and Energy Landscape

 
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Lenny K Photography/Flickr

The nation called Blockadia made the fight against pipelines and other new fossil fuel infrastructure a central part of the climate change story in 2018, across North America and around the world. The Energy Mix’s coverage was limited almost exclusively to Canada, where the Trudeau government’s extraordinary decision to buy out Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline with C$4.5 billion in taxpayers’ money made pipeline politics a dominant theme for the year.

Trans Mountain Ultimatum Triggers Massive Protests, Government Buyout

From Kinder Morgan’s ultimatum to federal and provincial governments, to British Columbia’s court reference on its authority to protect coastal waters from a devastating tanker spill, to the Trudeau government’s decision to buy taxpayers a pipeline, to the Federal Court of Appeal’s stunning rebuke of the pipeline approval process, the continuing drama of the Trans Mountain project consumed enough virtual printer’s ink in 2018 to fill an 890,000-barrel-per-day pipeline. (At least metaphorically.)

One of a half-dozen or so catalysts for the epic showdown was the May 2017 provincial election in British Columbia that produced a minority legislature, meaning that one of the larger parties would need the support of the three-member Green Party caucus to hold power. In the end, climate scientist and B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and his two colleagues threw their support to John Horgan’s New Democrats, citing environmental issues as the deal breaker that drove their choice. In late January, B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman announced an independent scientific advisory panel “to determine whether diluted bitumen can be effectively cleaned up after being spilled in water,” as the Globe and Mail reported at the time. “Until that committee reports, the government will impose a regulation prohibiting any expansion, either by pipeline or rail, of heavy oil sands crude.”

If the science showed no plausible way to clean up diluted bitumen once it leaked into waterways, the Globe added, “the province would likely move to make the regulation permanent.” That prospect “elicited howls of outrage from the oil patch, probably because they recognize that the B.C. government has found the Achilles’ heel of the federal approval: our inability to clean up bitumen spills,” wrote Greenpeace Canada’s Keith Stewart.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley responded with escalating rhetoric and a boycott of B.C. wines, prompting a “buycott” that led to shortages of B.C. wine in some parts of Canada. By mid-April, the political fault lines between the NDP governments in Canada’s two western provinces were widening, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau summoned Horgan and Notley to a weekend negotiation in Ottawa, and Energy Mix subscriber and former Unitarian Universalist minister Frances Deverell lauded Horgan for standing up for the national interest.

In March, 10,000 protesters joined an Indigenous-led march against the pipeline expansion, and 172 were arrested on Burnaby Mountain. Coverage of the controversy hit international media.

It was all too much for the corporate offspring of the epically corrupt Enron empire. On April 8, Kinder Morgan suspended “all non-essential activities and related spending” on Trans Mountain and gave the democratically elected governments in Victoria, Edmonton, and Ottawa until May 31 to deliver “clarity on the path forward, particularly with respect to the ability to construct through B.C.; and, adequate protection” for the company’s shareholders.

Within days, the Trudeau government announced it had opened negotiations with Kinder Morgan to “remove the uncertainty” surrounding the pipeline and would soon table legislation to “reassert and reinforce” federal authority over the project. Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed the bailout in mid-May, in what 350 Canada’s Aurore Fauret called a “desperate, dangerous, and delusional” move and a “blank cheque, backed by public money, to a Texas oil company” that ultimately transformed Trudeau into a “Big Oil CEO.” Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer said Morneau’s “extraordinary announcement” may have “permanently shredded his government’s reputation on climate action, Indigenous rights and reconciliation, and the transition to green jobs.” Beer penned the speech Trudeau never gave but could have delivered in lieu of Morneau’s announcement, and later came back with a 13-point to-stop list Trudeau could use to replace his current to-do list on pipeline expansion.

An excerpt from Justin Trudeau: The speech he never gave

Any private sector entity is fully entitled to make decisions in what it understands to be the best interest of its shareholders. Indeed, it is a corporate executive’s fiduciary duty to do just that.

But Kinder Morgan’s purpose with its April 8 announcement was not to give notice that it was abandoning a project it quite clearly and understandably no longer wished to complete.

It was an attempt to hold us to ransom.

Honourable Members, I rise today to tell you that Canada will not be bullied. We will not be cowed. We will not be manipulated or maneuvered into abandoning the core principles that make us Canadians and responsible global citizens.

I rise to tell you that there will be no deal. No buyout. If Kinder Morgan elects to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion when its deadline expires this Thursday, we wish them well.

In this case, we were on a trajectory to acquire a pipeline expansion with no viable business plan. No realistic demand for its output over the life of the project. No chance at achieving free, prior and informed consent of all the individual First Nations in its path. No plan to forestall the extinction of a magnificent and cherished whale population, nor any science-based understanding of how to avert the devastating impacts of a possible diluted bitumen spill in coastal waters. No pathway to avoiding the dire climate consequences of pumping an extra 27 megatonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. No chance even to avoid death and devastation at a nearby institution of higher learning in the event of a tank farm fire on Burnaby Mountain.

These were ramifications we could not accept. That Canadians could not, would not, and should not accept.

When a tough decision looms on the horizon, it has become commonplace to say it’s time for a grown-up conversation. So, let’s have one.

Buyout Talks Began Before Kinder Morgan Ultimatum

National Observer investigative ace Mike De Souza later revealed that then-natural resources minister Jim Carr and Chief of Staff Zoë Caron had travelled to Houston to begin mapping out the federal bailout a month before Kinder issued its extraordinary ultimatum. Reuters carried the inside story of how a Houston pipeliner outmanoeuvred the Canadian government, and Canadian journalist Bruce Livesey said the deal may have been driven by the Trudeau government’s interest in good trade relations with China.

Federal officials talked to National Observer’s De Souza about a rigged federal approval process for the pipeline, Trudeau essentially admitted the buyout constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy as he watched tens of thousands of votes walk out the door, and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis showed that the project would drive up the federal deficit by 36% while giving Kinder Morgan shareholders a 637% windfall. IEEFA calculated that Canada would have to spend another $11.6 billion to complete “a pipeline project that is unnecessary.” Former Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft said the Trudeau government had alternatives to buying the pipeline, and political scientist Thomas Homer Dixon said Trudeau’s double-speak could break Canada apart.

‘Bluster and Blackmail’

While Ottawa negotiated, accommodated, and caved, the critical analysis and evidence poured in. Conservation ecologist Thomas Sisk revealed 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. The Tyee’s Andrew Nikiforuk said Kinder Morgan’s “bluster and blackmail” masked the massive risks in going ahead with the project, and award-winning investigative journalist Paul McKay wrote that Canadian media were mostly missing in action in their coverage of the story. Senior economist Robyn Allan said Kinder had misled investors by promising an impossibly early start date for the expanded pipeline, then later contended the project would never have survived so long without siphoning billions in government subsidies. An investment blog concluded that walking away from the project was a good deal for Kinder Morgan shareholders. West Coast Environmental Law noted that the project still has years of complicated land purchases and route approvals ahead of it, undercutting the trumped-up urgency in Kinder’s early-April ultimatum.

Folk singing legend Bob Bossin warned in graphic detail that an explosion and fire at Kinder Morgan’s expanded tank farm would incinerate the Burnaby, British Columbia, campus of Simon Fraser University, and doctors asked Trudeau for an independent health assessment of the project. Environmental icon David Suzuki said the recent history of severe oil spills gave British Columbia cause for concern, while the National Energy Board (NEB) saw no immediate danger in the presence of hundreds of faulty fittings on pipelines that are currently in operation.

Salish Sea communities and 42 Order of Canada recipients led by British Columbia’s Bonnie Sherr Klein urged Trudeau to withdraw support for the pipeline. The communities described the heartbreaking death of a killer whale calf off the coast as “our canary in a coal mine,” adding that the “plan to transform our waters into an export corridor for nearly a million barrels of toxic bitumen per day for the next 50 or more years exposes us to unacceptable levels of risk.” The Dogwood Initiative pointed to the coastal jobs that would be endangered by a pipeline expansion, and a study showed that even brief exposure to diluted bitumen doesn’t end well for sockeye salmon eggs.

Climate scientist Simon Donner said Trans Mountain would never pass a reasonable climate test, Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Peter Erickson agreed the project imperiled domestic and international climate goals, and the Globe and Mail said the deal would compromise Ottawa’s responsibility to protect endangered orcas off the B.C. coast. Energy economist Jeff Rubin declared Kinder Morgan the winner and Canadian taxpayers the losers in the buyout deal, and sustainability economist Jeff Sachs said Canada’s energy future shouldn’t include pipelines. Oil Change International’s Adam Scott cited the buyout as proof that all new pipeline projects are now precarious, and a spoof on Craigslist hawked Trans Mountain as a “great fixer-upper.”

Amid a summer of protest on Burnaby Mountain, a flotilla paddled to the Kinder Morgan tanker terminal, a human drawbridge blocked tankers attempting to leave the terminal area, and 17 of the 21 members of Trudeau’s youth council signed a letter opposing the buyout. National Observer revealed Kinder Morgan had paid informants to thwart public protest—prompting critics to ask whether Canadian taxpayers will now be paying to spy on themselves—and a shadowy private intelligence firm was monitoring pipeline activists.

Fossil media focused most of their protest coverage on whatever grassroot support the industry was able to muster.

Appeal Court Blocks Trans Mountain Construction

In mid-April, the former government lawyer who drafted the initial foundation for section 35, the portion of the Canadian constitution that affirms Indigenous rights, told DeSmog Canada (now publishing and winning online media awards as The Narwhal) that Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau don’t seem to understand how the constitution works. In late August, the Federal Court of Appeal reached its own conclusion on that point, ordering an immediate halt to construction in a scathing rebuke of the NEB’s shoddy approval process. Apparently not one to recognize the authority of the courts, Notley reacted by pulling her province out of the pan-Canadian climate plan. Notley later took aim at the “jaw-dropping hypocrisy” in the treatment she said Trans Mountain was receiving, while federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced the Canadian government would accept the ruling and appointed retired Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci to run a new pipeline consultation with Indigenous communities. “We’re going to take our time to get this right,” Sohi said, adding that Ottawa would approach the consultations with an “open mind” and without a “stop clock” or time limit.

The NEB was all about stop clocks, though, as parties on all sides of the never-ending TMX drama geared up for another 22-week review process. Conservation biologist Misty MacDuffee of British Columbia’s Rainforest Conservation Foundation said the 12-mile limit in the NEB’s assessment of offshore tanker traffic impacts could put the discredited regulatory body on another collision course with the courts, and West Coast Environmental Law attorney Eugene Kung saw the same potential in the limited scope of the overall process. “From the get-go it looks like a political exercise, not an environmental one,” MacDuffee said.

The NEB’s “ludicrously” short deadline gave communities less than a week to apply for intervenor status, forcing at least one group to return $25,000 in funding because it couldn’t find an analyst to do the work on such short notice. Opponents clogged the NEB’s fax line with more than 64,000 messages (the NEB accepted comments only by fax or in person, noted Kung, “because it’s 2018”), and Conservatives in the House of Commons tried to duck responsibility for the Harper-era regulatory rollback that ultimately triggered the fraught review process for Trans Mountain.

Keystone XL Strikes Out in Court

North America’s other zombie pipeline megaproject was no better off than Trans Mountain after a Montana judge halted construction of the Keystone XL line in November. Critics scorched Notley for a “bailout pledge” that had her province promising to ship 50,000 barrels per day through the pipeline, after TransCanada Corporation claimed it had enough buyers to get on with the project. Analysts at GMP FirstEnergy blamed a closure resulting from a 2017 spill along the existing Keystone line—not capacity constraints—for limiting Canada’s oil exports. And a farm couple returned 1.6 acres of land to the Ponca Tribe in a bid to block Keystone XL in what Bold Nebraska called an “historic first.”

With Keystone in limbo, TransCanada announced a C$2.4-billion expansion of an unrelated natural gas pipeline system in mid-February, then bragged about its development plans in Mexico in mid-August. By late November, Indigenous opposition had put a major crimp in two of the Calgary-based pipeliner’s projects.

No Pipeline Left Unchallenged

With big pipelines losing ground through 2017 and pipeline protests proliferating, fossil industry media reported early in the year that the majority of proposed gas lines had encountered sustained community opposition. Nowhere was that pushback more fierce than in Minnesota, where opponents warned that the next Standing Rock protest was looming after the state Public Utility Commission approved the Line 3 pipeline expansion. That was after a judge advised against Enbridge’s proposed route for the project, and Indigenous representatives told the Houston Chronicle the project would never be built.

The Line 5 pipeline faced deadline pressure, and the possibility of years of legal limbo, as a supportive Michigan Governor Rick Snyder prepared to leave office. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reported that the Dakota Access pipeline could spill 12,000 barrels of crude per day without triggering automatic leak detection systems, and South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a city ordinance blocking a local pipeline project. Canada and Donald Trump found common ground in their opposition to the intensely controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, though quite possibly for different reasons.

The rate of pipeline spills in the United States increased 60% in less than a decade as the cost of pipeline corrosion hit US$2.5 trillion. Self-described “chart geek” Barry Saxifrage calculated that the world’s oceans already hold three billion barrels of tar sands/oil sands bitumen. Fossil fuel infrastructure in western Canada drove demand for large hydroelectric dams like British Columbia’s Site C, and a review by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held the potential to upend the country’s pipeline approval process. Canadian railways logged an increase in hazardous substance spills in 2017, then went on a minor hiring spree earlier this year as oil-by-rail shipments hit a new record, before Rachel Notley bought a fleet of rail tanker cars to move 120,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil to market.

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December Sees Three Dead, One Injured on Fossil Projects in Alberta, B.C., Minnesota

December was a hazardous month to work in the fossil industry, with workers killed or injured on projects in Alberta, British Columbia, and Minnesota.

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.

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.

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.

Lax COVID-19 Safety at B.C. Man Camps Puts Indigenous Communities at Risk

WorkSafe BC documents have revealed shocking carelessness with worker protections in the province’s northern “man camps.” And as COVID-19 cases continue to mount in the region, more than 180 front-line health workers have signed an open letter urging the immediate closure of camps on Indigenous territory.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Quebec Rules Out Provincial Funding, Won’t Cancel Project After 110,000 Sign Petition Against GNL Québec Megaproject

Quebec Premier François Legault has ruled out provincial financial support for a plan to build the GNL Québec liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the province’s Saguenay region, but stopped short of cancelling a controversial and high-carbon project that he previously supported.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Call for Shutdown of Fossil Man Camps as Infections Rise

As COVID-19 numbers rise in northern British Columbia, 22 Ts’ako ze’—female chiefs—of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are urging the province’s public health officer to shut down Coastal GasLink work camps located on their territory, fearing especially for their Elders—both as beloved individuals and as essential repositories of oral culture.

River Otter Reproduction Study Raises Tar Sands/Oil Sands Pollution Concerns

Poll Shows No Public Mandate for Quebec LNG Project as ‘Fierce’ Opposition Mounts

Fossils Funded U.S. Politicians Who Pushed Anti-Protest Laws

Mountain Valley Pipeline Reports New Delays, Cost Overruns

BREAKING: Countries’ Fossil Extraction Plans Drive Emissions Far Past 1.5°C Limit

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a “potential turning point” in global fossil fuel production, countries will drive greenhouse gas emissions far beyond a 1.5°C limit on average warming if their published plans to increase coal, oil, and gas extraction come to pass, according to the 2020 Production Gap Report issued this morning by five major international agencies.

Price: Following the Money Spotlights ‘Big Banks’ Green Bafflegab’

There must be a basement somewhere on Bay Street full of English majors, writes campaigner and Engagement Organizing author Matt Price. Every day they churn out great reams of verbiage about “environmental, social and governance strategy” and fill annual reports with a dozen different ways to say the big five Canadian banks care about the environment.

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.

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.

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.

Enbridge Gets Crucial Army Corps Permit for Line 3 Pipeline

U.S. Climate Hawks Sue to Stop Arctic Drilling Plan

Canadian Climate Youth Take Case to Federal Court of Appeal

Study Finds ‘Prevalent’ Methane Leaks in Connecticut Housing

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).

Kerry Named White House Climate ‘Czar’ as Analysis Shows U.S. Could Cut Emissions 38-54% by 2030

Paris Agreement architect John Kerry was appointed White House climate “czar”, a half-dozen other senior appointments signalled stability and continuity, and a few glass ceilings were shattered as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced nominees for senior administration positions Monday.

‘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 Making Net-Zero Promises, Not All Targets Are Equal

Most North American and European fossil producers have published voluntary carbon reduction commitments, but not all targets are equal, Pembina Institute Senior Analyst Benjamin Israël writes in a new analysis, the first of three looking at the future of oil in a decarbonized world.

Environmental Justice Campaigners Quit Advisory Body After Minnesota Approves Line 3 Pipeline

Trans Mountain Declares Construction Project a COVID-Free Zone

New Mexico Enforces Clean-Up Rules Before Oilfield Leases Expire

Texas Pipeliners Claim 238,000 Jobs Created Last Year

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

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.

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.

Minnesota Permits Allow Line 3 Pipeline to Begin Construction

Greece, Turkey Spar Over New Gas Field that Would Massively Raise Emissions

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.

In Conversation: Biden-Harris Climate Plans Put Canada, U.S. ‘on the Same Pathway Together’, MacNab Says

Josha MacNab, National Director of Policy and Strategy at the Pembina Institute, recently published a Hill Times op ed on the Biden administration, Canada, and climate action. In this interview, she talks about what’s next as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to assume office January 20.

President-Elect Biden Brings ‘Clear Climate Mandate’ to White House

Even with Democrats unlikely to hold majority control of the U.S. Senate during the first two years of his administration, President-Elect Joe Biden enters the White House with a clear mandate for climate action and a toolbox of options for delivering faster, deeper carbon cuts, according to multiple analyses in the wake of a decisive election win over Donald Trump.

Enbridge Gets Mixed Reviews After Setting 2050 Net-Zero Target

Enbridge Inc. is getting mixed reviews after becoming the biggest fossil in North America to set sights on net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, beginning with a 2030 target to reduce the emissions intensity of its operations by 35%.

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.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction Hits Roadblock

Biden-Harris Campaign Launches BuildBackBetter. com Transition Team Site

With the final ballots still being counted in five key states, but analysts and a desperate-sounding Donald Trump signalling the imminent end of the U.S. election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled BuildBackBetter. com as the online address for the transition leading up to their inauguration January 20.

Wyoming Plans 2,000-Mile Pipeline Corridor, Warns of Future Violence to Indigenous Women

Citizens Decry Incomplete Assessment of Quebec’s Saguenay LNG Project

Environmental groups and concerned citizens are decrying the province of Quebec’s refusal to look beyond site-specific concerns in its analysis of a proposed C$9-billion natural gas liquefaction terminal on the Saguenay River.

TC Energy Admits Rising Costs on Coastal GasLink Pipeline

Michigan Regulator Won’t Review Climate Impacts of Line 5 Pipeline

Incident at Trans Mountain Construction Site Kills Father of Four

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.

Ottawa Can’t Predict Emission Cuts from New Methane Controls

The federal government is trying out a revamped set of fossil industry incentives to hit its target of reducing methane emissions 40 to 45% by 2025, but at least three environmental groups in Canada and one in the United States say Ottawa could get better results if it just regulated the companies’ emissions.

TC Energy Awards $1.6B in Keystone XL Contracts

15 Climate Youth Plan Appeal After Court Rejects Lawsuit for Federal Recovery Plan

An appeal is in the offing after a Federal Court judge rejected a lawsuit by 15 Canadian youth calling for the Trudeau government to develop a science-based climate recovery plan.

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.

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

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.

Province Pans Delays After Feds Approve Alberta Gas Line Expansion

TransAlta’s 10-MW Battery Installation Goes Online

Too Much Sun Can Degrade Anti-Corrosion Coating on Pipelines

Analysts See Peril and Promise in Biden’s Support for Transition Off Oil

A wave of alarmed and hopeful commentary has been building since the U.S. presidential debate last Thursday evening, when Democratic candidate Joe Biden acknowledged that his country will have make the transition off oil.

Enbridge Withdraws Controversial Bid for Hamilton-Area Gas Pipeline

Environmental campaigners are taking some of the credit after Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announced it was withdrawing its application for a controversial, 10-kilometre gas pipeline through rural Hamilton.

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

Cultural Assessment for Line 5 Pipeline Tunnel Ignored 10,000-Year-Old Artifacts, Technician Says

A technician hired by Calgary-based pipeliner Enbridge to explore the Straits of Mackinac for any artifacts of cultural or archaeological significance missed stone patterns that appear to have been laid by humans about 10,000 years ago, toward the end of the last Ice Age—because he was instructed to only look for shipwrecks.

Fossils Cheer as Alberta Lifts Curbs on Oil Output

$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.

Fossil Investors Bail as Pandemic and Oil Politics Hold Prices Down, Renewables Stocks Surge

In Canada and around the world, a growing number of investors are rushing for the exits in their haste to abandon a crashing fossil fuel industry.

U.S. Regulator Allows Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction to Restart

Enbridge Accused of Engineering Dismissal of Minnesota Cabinet Secretary

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.

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.

Solar the ‘New King of Electricity’, Trans Mountain at Risk as IEA Analysis Sinks In

An acknowledgement that solar now delivers the “cheapest electricity in history” and a new source of uncertainty for Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are two of the takeaways emerging from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2020—amid criticism that the release still falls short of the analysis that would guide governments and investors to a 1.5°C future.

IEA’s ‘Gold Standard’ Energy Modelling Still Gives Short Shrift to 1.5°C Pathways, Trout Says

Kelly Trout is a senior research analyst with Oil Change International. In this feature interview, she talks about the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), the agency’s long-standing allegiance to the fossil fuel industries, and what it would take for the IEA to really deliver “gold standard” energy modelling in an era of climate emergency.

Keystone XL Brings ‘Mini-Boom’ to Oyen, Alberta

Small, Mid-Sized Fossils May Face Cash Crunch as Bankers Get Jittery

November may be emerging as a crunch month for Canada’s small and mid-sized fossil producers, as banks go through a semi-annual review of whether their borrowers’ financial health and future prospects justify the level of operating loans they depend on—particularly with a second wave of the pandemic gaining momentum.

Fossil Shutdowns Could Lead to Pricey Compensation Claims Under Investor Dispute Settlement Rules

A maze of more than 2,600 bilateral treaties and preferential trade agreements could expose governments to costly lawsuits by allowing foreign investors and shareholders to recover losses on their stranded oil, gas, and coal assets, according to a new analysis by the London, UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development.

Trans Mountain Work Force Hits 5,600 as Campaigners Question Construction Schedule

Billionaire Pipeliner Kelcy Warren Steps Down as Energy Transfer CEO

Review Finds Michigan Underwater Pipeline Tunnel Plan ‘Riddled with Hazards’

Enbridge’s plans to build a pipeline tunnel to carry oil beneath a waterway linking Lake Michigan to Lake Huron are below industry standard and riddled with hazards, according to a group of experts asked to evaluate the project.

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.

TC Energy Signs Memo Pointing Toward Indigenous Share in Keystone XL

Dakota Access Pipeline CEO Donates $10 Million to Trump Campaign

TC Energy CEO Girling Announces Retirement with Keystone XL Left Hanging

Suncor Shares Lose Value as Production Stalls

Trans Mountain Threatens 67 Indigenous Historic Sites Near Kamloops

Uganda, Tanzania Agree on Terms for New Oil Pipeline

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.

Pension Plan’s Fossil Investments Undercut Canada’s Climate Commitments, Report Concludes

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.

Communities at Risk, 12,000 Families Lose Land to Uganda Oil Pipeline

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”.

Justin Trudeau

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.

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

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.

Fossils Keep Paying Shareholders Despite Epic Financial Losses, Declining Business Prospects

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.

The Battle Plan: Key Lessons from the Second World War for the Climate Mobilization (Part 2)

This is the second of two excerpts from Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, published in early September and available here. The book includes Klein’s “battle plan”, a set of key lessons for the climate mobilization from the Second World War.

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.

‘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.

Pipeline Spill Forces Temporary Shutdown at Kearl Lake Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake mine has gone into temporary shutdown, following a spill Saturday in a diluent pipeline that supplies the giant tar sands/oil sands facility north of Fort McMurray.

U.S. Fossil Plans Giant Chillers to Refreeze Permafrost Under Alaska Pipeline

Colossal fossil ConocoPhillips has come up with a startling climate adaptation strategy for a new pipeline it wants to build on Alaska’s North Slope. It plans to run giant chillers to refreeze the permafrost beneath the pipes, thereby consuming more energy to protect the infrastructure from the global climate crisis the company has helped create.

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.

‘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.

Wind turbines

PetroChina’s ‘Green, Low-Carbon Model’ Shows Renewables Reshaping the Future

China’s most colossal fossil is investing some of its winnings in renewable energy after selling off US$38 billion worth of pipelines, after concluding it can make more money by switching technologies.

Multiple Freeze-Thaws Contributed to Gogama, Ontario Oil Train Derailment

Ocasio-Cortez Looks to Block Pipelines with U.S. Budget Bill

New Tariffs Against China Could Threaten India’s 100-GW Solar Target

Enbridge CEO Sees No Big Problems Dealing with President Biden

Weekend Tour Kicks Off Six-Week Push to Delay Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

More than 200 people signed up for a series of socially-distanced, small-group weekend tours of a conservation area in British Columbia, followed by a round of “know-your-rights training”, as campaign organizations prepared for a critical six weeks in their bid to halt construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

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.

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%.

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.

Dakota Access Pipeline Dodges Immediate Shutdown, Still Faces Environmental Review

The owner of the Dakota Access pipeline has dodged an order to immediately shut down operations, but will still have to undergo a full environmental review, after an appeal court overturned a judge’s order in early July that the line must cease operations within 30 days.

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.

Virginia Utility CEO Steps Down After Big Losses on Pipeline Cancellation

New Hampshire Utility Cancels Gas Pipeline

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.

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.

UK’s Biggest Pension Fund Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Arctic Drilling, Coal

The United Kingdom’s biggest pension fund is banning investments in tar sands/oil sands, Arctic drilling, and coal projects—against the wishes of the country’s current pensions minister.

Israel Approves New Undersea Gas Line to Europe

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.

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.

TC Energy Pushes Ahead with ‘Pipeline to Nowhere’ in B.C.

U.S. Permitting Processes Could Delay Clean Energy as Well as Pipelines

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.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Loses Lead Insurer as Zurich Steps Away

Mammoth global insurance company Zurich has decided to abandon its role as principal insurer for the Trans Mountain pipeline when its coverage expires August 31.

Coalition Urges Ontario to Phase Out Gas-Fired Electricity by 2030 [Sign-On]

Nearly three dozen local, provincial, and national organizations are calling on Ontario to phase out its pricey natural gas power plants and abandon a plan that would increase carbon pollution from burning gas 300% by 2025 and 400% by 2040.

BREAKING: EDC Backing Will Add to Canada’s Fossil Industry Bailout, Watchdog Groups Warn

Routing public financing through an “opaque Crown corporation with minimal government oversight” is not the way to be accountable for the way pandemic recovery funds are spent—or for the proportion of that money going to fossil fuel bailouts, three leading advocacy groups argue in a backgrounder published this morning.

Keystone XL Faces New Lawsuit Over Environmental Permitting Process

The Nebraska-based Bold Alliance launched yet another legal challenge to the Keystone XL pipeline last week, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to halt construction due to a faulty environmental permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Alberta Regulator Taps Kenney’s Climate-Denying Ex-Campaign Manager as Science VP

The Alberta Energy Regulator has hired Premier Jason Kenney’s former campaign manager, climate denier John Weissenberger, as its vice president of science and innovation.

Alberta First Nation Plans New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

Fossil Ghostwriters Produce North Dakota Legislators’ Pro-Pipeline Letters

Dakota Access Pipeline Continues Accepting Oil After U.S. Judge Orders Shutdown

The company behind the intensely controversial Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t explicitly defying a court order. But nor was it reported to have taken any steps last week to comply with Judge James Boasberg’s ruling that the line must shut down within 30 days, after failing to meet environmental assessment requirements.

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.

Pressure Builds on Trans Mountain’s Biggest Insurer After Two Others Step Away [Sign-On]

Insurance companies are emerging as the latest focus in the continuing fight to stop construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Three Projects, Three Wins: Flurry of Decisions Shows U.S. Pipelines Becoming ‘Unbuildable’

The last 48 hours have seen a dizzying series of announcements highlighting the increasingly shaky prospects for North American oil and gas pipelines, with the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cancelled, the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting a bid to immediately restart construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down for contravening U.S. environmental law.

‘Toothless’ Noncompliance Order Offers Little to Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Coastal GasLink’s willful failure to follow its own legally-mandated Wetlands Management Plan and the toothless non-compliance order subsequently issued by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) are yet further evidence that the Wet’suwet’en people and their land have little value in the eyes of corporate and colonial interests, the Unist’ot’en Camp warns in a release.

Species Risk Drives Court Ruling Against Nebraska Transmission Line

Biden Can Be Swayed to Support Keystone XL, Kenney Claims

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden can be swayed into supporting the Keystone XL pipeline if he enters the White House in January, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said last week.

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.

Supreme Court Dismisses Indigenous Appeal of Trans Mountain Re-Approval

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a bid by three British Columbia First Nations to appeal the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Judge Reopens Line 5, Gives Enbridge a Week to Report Safety Test Results

A county judge ruled Wednesday that Enbridge Inc. can reopen its troubled Line 5 pipeline in Michigan, despite technical concerns about possible structural problems with an underwater section of the line and mounting public skepticism about both the pipeline and its operator.

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.

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Line 5 Pipeline Faces Tuesday Court Date After Judge Orders Temporary Closure

A county judge in Michigan has ordered Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to shut down its troubled Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron until a hearing tomorrow can review the state’s request for a temporary injunction against the 67-year-old line.

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

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.

Alberta to Restart Environmental Monitoring in Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Ontario Pension Fund Invests in Abu Dhabi Pipeline Megaproject, Puts Teachers’ Retirement Savings at Risk

Thousands of working and retired teachers may soon have to worry about the safety of their retirement savings, after the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) announced it was investing in a fossil gas pipeline network under development by the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, expected to be the world’s largest fossil fuel infrastructure transaction this year.

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.

$20-Billion East African Pipeline to Displace Thousands of Farmers, Risk Massive Oil Spill

A US$20-billion pipeline project in East Africa is set to displace thousands of small farmers and endanger key wildlife habitat and coastal waters—in spite of the risk of an environmental disaster on the scale of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and increasingly unsteady markets for fossil fuels.

Dakota Access Pipeline Developer Leaves Behind Trail of Spills

Coastal GasLink Prepares to Launch Summer Pipe-Laying Program

Low-Carbon Income Trusts Could Supercharge, Transform Alberta Fossil Sector

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”.

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.

Regulatory Woes Drive Up Cost of Mountain Valley Pipeline

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.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline

The companies building the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina and Virginia will be allowed to tunnel beneath the storied Appalachian Trail, following a 7-2 ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alberta, South Korean Pension Funds Buy Coastal GasLink Pipeline

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.

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.

Greta Thunberg Justin Trudeau

Tie Canada’s UN Security Council Bid to Climate Action, Thunberg Urges Island States

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushing hard for a long-coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council, #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg is urging small island states to hinge their votes for both Canada and Norway on the two fossil countries stepping up their action on climate change.

B.C., Coastal GasLink Drop Charges Against 22 Wet’suwet’en Protesters

Enbridge Plans ‘Gradual’ Energy Transition that Still Includes New Pipelines

Calgary-based pipeliner Enbridge Inc. is planning a “gradual” transition in its global project portfolio to meet consumers’ demand for lower-emitting forms of energy, but still expects to continue investing in oil pipelines, CEO Al Monaco told the Financial Post in an interview published earlier this week.

Big Canadian Banks Try to Rein in Fossil Borrowing as Vulnerability, Loan Losses Rise

Canadian banks’ vulnerability to oil and gas loans has hit a record high, as fossils struggling with collapsing oil and gas prices draw heavily on their lines of credit.

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.

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.

Trump Order to Speed Pipelines, Gut Environmental Protections is ‘Sitting Duck’ for Legal Challenges

Donald Trump signed an order last week to waive environmental safeguards on oil and gas pipeline projects that disproportionately harm minority communities already convulsed by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. But his administration may just be cruising for the latest in a string of court defeats in its effort to obliterate laws protecting air quality, drinking water, species, and habitats.

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.

New U.S. EPA Rule Curbs Pipeline Protests

Charges Laid in Extinction Rebellion Protest Outside Horgan’s Home

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.

Minnesota Regulator Delays Line 3 Construction to 2021

Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. will have to postpone a large chunk of the work on its controversial Line 3 pipeline to 2021, after a Minnesota regulator announced a public hearing this summer to review the company’s plans to protect streams and wetlands.

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.

Keystone Faces Delays After Appeal Court Upholds Withdrawal of Environmental Permit

The Keystone XL pipeline and other U.S. pipeline projects are facing further delays, after a federal appeal court in California declined last week to reverse a lower court decision to cancel a national environmental permit that had enabled construction to proceed.

Gas Pipeline Leaks Cause Urban Tree Deaths

Investment Writer Gives Up on Kinder Morgan

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.

‘Great Time to Build a Pipeline’ While Protesters Can’t Gather, Alberta Energy Minister Says

It’s a great time to build a pipeline while pandemic-related public health measures prevent mass protests against them, Alberta Energy Minister and former pipeline executive Sonya Savage told a podcast last week hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.

Landmark NY Pipeline Rejection a Turning Point for State Action

New York State’s recent rejection of a new gas pipeline to Long Island and New York City, based in part on its recent-enacted climate law, is emerging as a possible precedent for other jurisdictions across the U.S.. But legal counters are just as likely, particularly given the Trump administration’s predilection for challenging state authority when it comes to fossil fuel development.

Regulators Almost Always Side with Pipeliners, U.S. Legislators Discover

Alberta tar sands oil sands

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.

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.

Week 21, May 25: Green Finance

The climate emergency poses four risks to the stability of Canada’s financial system: insurance losses due to climate-related disasters, climate liability stemming from successful lawsuits, stranded fossil assets, and GDP losses resulting in a climate-caused collapse of financial confidence.

Biden Pledges to Cancel Keystone XL

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is promising to cancel the intensely controversial Keystone XL pipeline after he enters the White House in January.

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.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands ‘Man Camp’ Drives COVID-19 Spread to Five Provinces

While actions taken to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Lake tar sands/oil sands mine seem to have slowed infection rates, both labour and community officials are calling for a ban on fly-in workers, a labour model that has proven literally deadly in its power to both incubate and spread the virus.

Campaigners Get Ex-Exxon Exec Demoted on JPMorgan Chase Board

Orphan Wells Funding Draws ‘Significantly Higher’ Interest Than Expected

The federally-funded program to help clean up thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells left behind by delinquent fossils received nearly 18,000 funding applications from 530 companies in its first four days online, prompting Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan to declare the level of interest “significantly higher” than governments expected.

Dozens of Birds Dead at Kearl Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings Pond

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.

Wet’suwet’en Clans Endorse Governance Agreement with Canada, B.C.

Wet’suwet’en clans in British Columbia have ratified a memorandum of understanding that will see them take back management of their traditional territories, although one clan says the deal doesn’t go far enough in response to the controversial Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now being built across their lands.

CAPP Affirms Support for Indigenous Rights After Harsh Words from AFN

Kinder Morgan Loses Permits After Texas Construction Spill Fouls Drinking Water

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.

African Development Bank Won’t Back Uganda-Tanzania Pipeline

WoodMac Sees Surging Demand for Green Hydrogen

Week 17, April 27: Fossil-Fuel Wind-Down

In 2017, Canada’s oil and gas sector produced 195 Mt of CO2e, accounting for 27% of the country’s emissions. Between 2020 and 2024, oil and gas corporations are planning to invest US$1.4 trillion in new extraction projects, 85% of which are in the U.S. or Canada, 50% of which former Bank of England governor Mark Carney tells us will result in stranded financial assets.

Keystone Court Ruling Delays Pipelines Across U.S.

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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.

Citigroup Still Falls Short After Stepping Away from Coal, Arctic Oil and Gas Financing

Citigroup Inc., one of the three largest banks in the United States, is promising to cut off financial services for new and expanded thermal coal mines and power plants, Arctic oil and gas activities, and projects that harm the Outstanding Universal Value of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in an updated energy policy issued Monday.

Two Recent Court Rulings Bring Wins for the Green Economy

Springtime in the U.S. courts brought two pieces of good news for the green economy. A district court in Washington, DC ordered the Trump administration to more closely analyze the impacts of the Dakota Access pipeline, while the Kansas Supreme Court rejected utility efforts to charge high rates to ratepayers with home solar equipment.

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.

Canada Records 15-Megatonne Emissions Hike in 2018, Wiping Out 13 Years of Gains

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 15 million tonnes between 2017 and 2018, driven by vehicle emissions, oil and gas extraction, and manufacturing, and essentially erasing 13 years of small reductions dating back to 2005.

12 Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed in Kearl Lake Tar Sands/Oil Sands Work Force

Alberta Stands By Massive Keystone Subsidy Despite U.S. Court Ruling

Major U.S. Pipelines Run Through Local ‘News Deserts’

BREAKING: U.S. Judge Rejects Essential Construction Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline

Construction along hundreds of water crossings along Keystone XL pipeline route was thrown into doubt late yesterday, after Montana District Court judge Brian Morris threw out a key permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Three Workers Test Positive for COVID-19 at Kearl Lake Tar Sands/Oil Sands Complex

The Alberta is maintaining that the Kearl Lake tar sands/oil sands complex 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray must remain open as an essential service, after three workers tested positive for COVID-19 and six others went into isolation pending test results.

Climate Hawks Press Liberty Mutual to Quit Keystone, Trans Mountain

Oregon Campaigners Push Back on LNG Plant, Pipeline Approval

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.

Enbridge Pushes Ahead with Line 5 Tunnel Permitting

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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.

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.

Four B.C. First Nations Seek Supreme Court Appeal on Trans Mountain

Four British Columbia First Nations are seeking permission for a Supreme Court appeal of a lower court’s unanimous decision supporting the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Regulator in Iowa Agrees to Double Capacity of Dakota Access Pipeline

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.

New Pembina Head Linda Coady Sees Pandemic Relief, New Corporate Attitudes as Drivers for Low-Carbon Future

Collaboration, common ground, economic stimulus, and future resilience were the watchwords last week as Linda Coady, former chief sustainability officer at Enbridge Inc., signed on as the new executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute.

Drilling Spill Forces Kinder Morgan to Suspend Work on Texas Gas Pipeline

Quebec, Ontario First Nations Plan Joint Study of Gazoduc Impact

Keystone XL to Start Construction with $8 Billion in Financial Aid from Alberta

Calgary-based TC Energy is starting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta and Steele City, Nebraska, after the Jason Kenney government announced a US$1.1-billion “strategic investment” and put up another $4.2 billion in loan guarantees to underwrite the fiercely-contested project.

Alberta Suspends All Environmental Reporting, Cuts Back Fossil War Room

The Jason Kenney government in Alberta is cutting its pro-fossil war room back to “subsistence operations” over the next three months, after intuiting that a global pandemic isn’t the best time to be blasting out marketing messages for the oil and gas industry.

In Conversation: Pandemic Recovery Can Boost the Economy, Attack Emissions, Increase Climate Resilience, Nagata Says

Kai Nagata is Communications Director at Dogwood in British Columbia. Since the pandemic began, he’s been pointing out that every dollar spent on the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline is a dollar diverted from pandemic response—and that in any health emergency, none of us is safe unless all of us are safe.

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.

Scotford Upgrader Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

Shell Postpones ‘Crucial Maintenance’ on Alberta Upgrader to Minimize COVID-19 Risk

Shell Canada is postponing what the Calgary Herald describes as “crucial maintenance” on its Scotford tar sands/oil sands upgrader in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, to minimize transmission of the coronavirus.

Urban Freight is the Next Frontier

Keystone XL Faced Economic Hurdles Before Oil Prices Crashed

Renewable Energy

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.

U.S. Judge Orders New Environmental Assessment for Dakota Access Pipeline

A U.S. federal judge has sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back the drawing board in its review of the fiercely-contested Dakota Access pipeline, after agreeing with the Standing Rock Sioux of North and South Dakota that environmental assessments missed the full impact of the project.

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.

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.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

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.

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.

Derailed Petcoke Train Near Prince George Also Carried Methanol, LNG

Cleaning up the 40 tonnes of petroleum coke that spilled into a local creek will not be an easy task, but far worse could have happened if derailed cars containing toxic methanol and liquid petroleum had ruptured, according to updates on the recent CN derailment northeast of Prince George.

Michigan Queries ‘Troubling’ Track Record of Enbridge’s Line 5 Contractor

TC Energy Starts Prep Work on U.S. Portion of Keystone XL

Coastal GasLink Documents $115M in Payments to Communities

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.

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.

2018 Pipeline Explosion Near Prince George Revealed “Shocking” Safety Breaches

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has responded to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on an October 2018 Enbridge pipeline explosion near the community’s borders, saying the report contains “shocking” confirmation of serious safety breaches.

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.

Coastal GasLink Resumes Construction After Wet’suwet’en, Canada, B.C. Reach Draft Agreement

Business Press Sees Investors Jumping Back into Pipelines

U.S. Insurers Should Support People, Not Fossils

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

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.

Line 3 Impact Exceeds Minnesota’s GHG Emission Cuts, Climate Groups Warn

Coastal GasLink Agrees to Two-Day Construction ‘Pause’ as Wet’suwet’en-Crown Negotiations Begin

The company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline through unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northeastern British Columbia has agreed to pause construction for two days to “facilitate” preliminary negotiations between hereditary chiefs and the governments of Canada and B.C.

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.

U.S. Fossil Pulls the Plug on 124-Mile Constitution Gas Pipeline

Climate campaigners are chalking up another win in New York State this week, after Tulsa, Oklahoma-based fossil giant Williams Companies pulled the plug on its proposed 124-mile Constitution gas pipeline and wrote off the US$345 million it had already spent on the project.

Teck Gives Up on Frontier Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

In a bombshell announcement yesterday evening, Vancouver-based Teck Resources has withdrawn the application for its C$20.6-billion Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, less than a week before the federal cabinet was due to accept or reject the contentious and carbon-intensive project.

As It Happened: Pressure Was Building Against Teck Mine Proposal as 41 Nobel Laureates Weighed In

With the federal cabinet still on track last week to decide whether to approve the C$20.6-billion Teck Frontier megaproject, 41 Nobel laureates urged the government to reject the project, a columnist argued that any decision was better than postponing the issue, and the company that ultimately pulled the plug on its own proposal was already considering exiting the tar sands/oil sands entirely.

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.

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.

Tyendinaga blockade

Blockades Continue, Businesses Seek Compensation as RCMP Continues Patrols on Wet’suwet’en Territory

With the RCMP closing its outpost but continuing its patrols on Wet’suwet’en territory, Tyendinaga Mohawks facing a deadline to end their rail blockade in Ontario, and businesses demanding compensation for lost freight access, the community members at the heart of the fight against the Coastal GasLink pipeline say they’re a long way from signalling an end to a growing country-wide protest.

Alberta Approves New Suncor Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project

BREAKING: Federal Export Agency Considers ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Loan to Coastal GasLink

The federal Export Development Corporation is weighing what a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief calls a “highly inappropriate” loan to TC Energy, the company behind the contested Coastal GasLink pipeline, to help the company push the 670-kilometre project through unceded Indigenous land.

Ottawa ‘Very Hopeful’ Blockades Will End as RCMP Promises to Leave Wet’suwet’en Territory

RCMP in British Columbia decided Thursday to abandon the presence in Wet’suwet’en territory that has sparked railway blockades, economic disruptions, and nearly 1,000 layoffs across the country, leaving Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “very hopeful” that negotiations with hereditary chiefs over the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline can now proceed.

Skyrocketing Price Drives Down Public Support for Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Public support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tips toward opposition when Canadians learn that the cost of the controversial project has ballooned to C$12.6 billion, the Angus Reid Institute reports this week based on a new opinion survey.

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.

Oil Train Derails, Leaks Crude in Northwestern Ontario

Yet another oil train has derailed along the CN Rail line, with 30 cars off the tracks and five of them leaking crude oil near the northwestern Ontario town of Emo, near Fort Frances.

Manitoba Premier Won’t Rule Out Oil Pipeline to Churchill

Delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Balloons to $8 Billion

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.

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

Fast-Growing BlackRock Investment Fund to Exclude Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Thermal Coal

Asset management giant BlackRock is promising to exclude tar sands/oil sands and thermal coal projects from of its fastest-growing sustainable investment funds.

100 Teck Protesters Occupy Guilbeault Constituency Office

About 100 student demonstrators occupied the downtown Montreal constituency office of Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault Friday afternoon, calling on the former Greenpeace activist and the rest of his cabinet colleagues to refuse approval for Teck Resources’ controversial Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine.

Mexico Plans to Divert TC Energy Gas Pipeline to Skirt Indigenous Lands

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.

Canadian Pipeliners Jump Onboard ESG Trend

Buying Trans Mountain Would End Badly for Brookfield, Analyst Warns

It would be a serious error for Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to invest in the Trudeau government’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a leading energy and finance analyst warned yesterday, after a news report identified Brookfield as a potential “dark horse” buyer for the project.

‘This is Not Okay’: Protests Across Canada Stand Up for Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protests in support of Wet’suwet’en land defenders in British Columbia have been sweeping across Canada, with rail lines blocked in Quebec and Ontario, the B.C. government’s Speech from the Throne disrupted, and rallies or blockades reported in at least seven provinces.

Trans Mountain Construction Cost Rises 133% to $12.6 Billion

The projected cost to complete the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has skyrocketed to C$12.6 billion, driving the total price tag above $16 billion when the expense of buying the project on taxpayers’ behalf is taken into account.

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.

Tyendinaga Protesters Block Rail Line Near Belleville in Support of Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Protesters from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario have blocked passenger and freight trains through Belleville, Ontario, in a multi-day demonstration of support for the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia.

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

Ottawa Mulls Alberta ‘Aid Package’ as Province Angles for Teck Mine Approval

With an end-of-month deadline looming for a cabinet decision on Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine, Ottawa was preparing an “aid package” to cushion the blow for Alberta if it rejects the company’s plan, Alberta said it wasn’t interested in a federal “handout”, and Teck itself was facing stiff financial headwinds that were entirely unrelated to the C$20.6-billion megaproject.

RCMP Arrest Six in Pre-Dawn Raid on Wet’suwet’en Support Camp

More than a dozen heavily-armed RCMP arrested six people Thursday morning in a pre-dawn raid at a camp on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory, as the force began acting on a court injunction against protesters blocking construction of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline.

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.

Week 2, January 13: A Green New Deal

In Week 2 of Guy Dauncey’s 26-week climate emergency transition plan, Canada introduces a Green New Deal in partnership with business, labour unions, First Nations and non-profit societies to manage a 20-year transition off fossil fuels in a planned, coordinated manner.

Yeb Saño: Tar Sands/Oil Sands Morally Responsible for Death, Destruction

BlackRock Considers Gas Pipeline Buy, But Sees Renewables and Storage as Biggest Opportunity

After releasing its splashy, new climate-friendly investment policy last month, asset management giant BlackRock is still considering new investment in a US$15-billion gas pipeline network, but is signalling deep, continuing interest in the energy options that will gradually drive fossil fuels out of the market.

Cenovus Puts Up $50 Million for Indigenous Housing

Jonathan WIlkinson