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

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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With this week’s federal re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion triggering outrage and likely legal action across the country, two other pending pipelines—Line 3 through Minnesota, and Line 5 through Michigan—were running into new regulatory and political roadblocks south of the Canada-U.S. border.

RCMP Has ‘Army’ of Officers to Protect B.C. Pipeline, No Time to Investigate Murdered Indigenous Woman

Though suddenly possessed of an “army” of officers to thwart peaceful protests against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, the region’s RCMP couldn’t muster a single constable last summer to help desperate family members search for 18-year old Jessica Patrick of Lake Babine Nation—and have since demonstrated little inclination to investigate her murder.

Morneau Acknowledges Alberta’s Anxiety, While Whittingham Endorses TMX Approval

Finance Minister Bill Morneau acknowledged Alberta’s anxieties over the post-carbon transition in a breakfast speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Calgary Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Trudeau government confirmed its re-approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied

In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

CAN-Rac: Canada’s Next Climate Plan Must Cut Carbon Faster, End Fossil Subsidies

Faster carbon reductions, an end to fossil subsidies, more support for international emission reductions, and a commitment to “leave no community, group, or worker behind” are the cornerstones of the comprehensive, accountable climate plan Canada will need after this year’s federal election, Climate Action Network-Canada (CAN-Rac) asserts in a policy paper released earlier this week.

Resource Development, Climate Impacts, Federal Negligence Bring Wood Buffalo Park Close to Heritage in Danger List

A UN agency is on the verge of placing Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest, on the World Heritage in Danger List, and urging the country to take far more strenuous measures to protect the territory and its extraordinary biodiversity.

No Business Case for Trans Mountain, Ex-Cabinet Minister Warns, as Decision Day Nears

With the Trudeau government widely expected to announce re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion tomorrow, news reports have excitement building in Calgary, and a former Liberal cabinet minister warning there’s no business case for the project.

Pembina Applauds, Fossils Claim ‘Disrespect’ as House Passes Amended Impact Assessment Act

The Pembina Institute applauded a step forward and the fossil lobby accused a senior federal cabinet minister of being “disrespectful” as the amended Bill C-69, the proposed federal Impact Assessment Act, passed the House of Commons in a party-line vote Thursday evening with its essential features largely intact.

Toxic Tailings Don’t Belong in Athabasca River

Liberals to Reject Most Senate Amendments to Impact Assessment Act

The federal government is poised to reject most of the amendments to the proposed new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, put forward last month by unelected Conservative Senators following a relentless lobbying and public relations effort by the fossil industry.

‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’? Calgary-Based Enbridge Underwrites Pro-Line 3 Advocacy Group in Minnesota

A pro-pipeline group in Minnesota that presents itself as the voice of public support for the Line 3 pipeline is little more than a mouthpiece for North American pipeliner Enbridge Inc., the company that funds and directs its operations, according to an investigation by DeSmog Blog.

Another Foreign Fossil Departs Canada’s Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Kenney Unveils Fossil ‘War Room’, Faces Criticism on Carbon Tax Repeal, Wildfire Impacts

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Environment Groups Declare Fossils’ Election Platform a Recipe for ‘Climate Chaos’

National environmental groups declared the fossil industry’s election campaign demands a recipe for “climate chaos” last week, after the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) issued a call for the country’s next government to displace imported oil with Canadian supplies and ramp up fossil production and pipelines.

Minnesota Appeals Court Rejects Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Fossils were disappointed and Enbridge saw its share price fall 4.7% Monday, after a Minnesota appeals court ruled a state regulator had failed to properly consider the impacts of a Lake Superior oil spill in its approval of the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement.

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

MMIWG Inquiry Highlights Connection Between Megaproject Work Camps, Sexual Violence

Natural resource companies and their regulators must factor in the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls at every step in planning and developing a project, Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concluded this week, in a final report in which five out of 231 recommendations were devoted to the connection between megaproject work camps and sexual violence.

Indigenous Group Pitches to Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline

Texas Investor Sees New Potential in Canadian Oilpatch

Coastal First Nations Demand Senate Passage of B.C. Tanker Ban

A coalition of nine First Nations from coastal British Columbia is demanding that unelected senators endorse the Trudeau government’s bill to ban tanker traffic on the province’s northern coast, after the Senate Energy Committee defeated the measure on a tie vote May 15.

Greens Want to End Oil Imports by 2030, Break Canada’s ‘Oil Habit’, but Keep Producing Plastics from Bitumen Past 2050

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May appears to be borrowing a page from Conservative Andrew Scheer’s playbook, with a campaign promise to free the country from oil imports and rely on domestic crude while it still needs to.

Spill Response Only Recovers 15% of the Oil Lost in an Average Marine Spill

News reports of a recent oil spill recovery drill off the coasts of British Columbia and Washington State are shining a light on an alarming reality: that only about 15% of the oil is recovered after the average marine spill.

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

B.C. Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Judges’ Decision Against Trans Mountain Regulation

British Columbia is on its way to a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled unanimously against its right to apply environmental regulations to heavy crude shipped through the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

New York State Rejects $1-Billion Natural Gas Pipeline

Presenting their decision as rooted in a responsibility to protect state waters from pollution, New York State regulators have rejected a contentious US$1-billion dollar natural gas pipeline that would have linked their state to the gas fields of Pennsylvania.

U.S. Commerce Department Upholds Steel Tariff on Kinder Morgan’s Permian Gas Pipeline

New Federal-Provincial Rules Will Allow ‘Inevitable’ Release of Toxic Tar Sands/Oil Sands Tailings

The federal and Alberta governments are planning to allow tar sands/oil sands companies to release 1.3 trillion litres of liquid waste, currently held in 220 square kilometres of tailings ponds across the northeastern part of the province, into the Athabasca River, under new regulations intended to take effect in 2022, the Globe and Mail reports.

Giant News Chain Postmedia Plans to Cash In on Alberta’s Fossil ‘War Room’

Canada’s biggest newspaper chain is hoping to make money by offering content services to the C$30-million fossil “war room” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has vowed to set up, in what one Alberta journalism professor calls a “complete abrogation of the societal mandate that Postmedia should be upholding.”

‘Unprecedented’ Interference by Unelected Senators Puts Environmental Reforms in Jeopardy

Politicians and environmental groups are raising the alarm about political interference after unelected Canadian senators voted down one environmental protection bill in committee and adopted hundreds of amendments to a second one, after both had been passed by the elected House of Commons.

Oilpatch Journalist Debunks Krause’s Conspiracy Theories About Anti-Pipeline Campaigners

Part of Jason Kenney’s “pushback strategy” is a C$2.5-million public inquiry into “the foreign source of funds behind the campaign to landlock Alberta energy.” Another is a $30-million-per-year “energy war room” that will “tell the truth assertively,” presumably tweet for tweet. Kenney has said in speeches and press releases that his pushback strategy is based upon VIvian Krause’s work. What if she’s wrong? – An investigative report by Markham Hislop

Two Emergency Resolutions, One New Climate Platform as Parties Position for Fall Vote

Three federal political parties in Canada are talking about the climate crisis this week, with the Liberals and New Democrats tabling duelling emergency resolutions in the House of Commons and the Green Party releasing a five-page plan that includes a call to double the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 60%.

Federal Tanker Ban Goes to Full Senate After Committee Defeat [Campaign]

The Trudeau government’s ban on oil tanker traffic off the north coast of British Columbia, Bill C-48, was defeated Wednesday evening on a 6-6 vote of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee. It now goes to the full chamber for further debate.

Nebraska Flooding Points to Spill Risk from Keystone XL

The “bomb cyclone”-driven flooding across the midwestern United States has become the latest in a litany of arguments against construction of the US$8-billion Keystone XL pipeline, with a Nebraska farmer, former oilfield worker, and avowed Republican pointing out that the rising waters could have triggered a spill on his property if the pipeline had been in place.

Alberta Carbon Tax Repeal Will Have ‘No Bearing’ on Trans Mountain Decision, Trudeau Says

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is on the verge of tabling a bill that will cancel his province’s carbon tax by the end of the month, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will have “no bearing” on whether the federal government re-approves the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Pipeline Plan Fractures New York State’s Green Image

Forget Kenney: Climate Change is Already Canada’s National Unity Crisis, Columnist Concludes

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fulminating about western alienation as a national unity crisis—after working so hard to stoke that alienation on the campaign trail—Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason says Kenney is too late. The unity crisis is already here, and its name is climate change, amped up by the extreme communications of the social media era.

Canada On Track to Re-Approve Trans Mountain, But Northern Gateway Restart Looks Unlikely

Canada is likely to re-approve the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, but a resurrection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline plan is not in the cards, according to two separate news reports this week.

Alberta Fossil Nets Another $8-Million Federal Subsidy to Cut Production Emissions

Legal Battle Looms Over Europe’s Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

Texans File Suit Against Kinder Morgan’s Permian Pipeline

Canadian Coalitions’ Election Platforms Call for Faster Action on Climate

With national elections in Canada just 5½ months away, three different coalitions are out with non-partisan campaign platforms aimed at propelling all the federal parties toward faster, more ambitious action on climate change.

Two Profs Quit McGill University Board to Protest ‘End-Run’ Around Fossil Divestment Resolution

Two professors have resigned from the McGill University Board of Governors, in anticipation that the institution will reject its own Senate’s resolution to divest its holdings in fossil fuels.

Kenney’s Big Promises Face Economic Realities, Grassroot Expectations

On his first visit to Ottawa last week as Alberta premier, Jason Kenney rattled sabres about national unity and fossil regulation, briefly stepped back from a campaign promise to abandon his province’s cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and mostly managed to avoid the economic and political realities and grassroot expectations already confronting his new government.

National Bank Looks Outside Canada for Renewable Energy Investments

Canada’s sixth-biggest bank has to look abroad for projects to meet its renewable energy investment targets, its CEO revealed during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting late last month.

Texas State Bill Would Punish Pipeline Protest on Par with Second-Degree Murder

The Texas state legislature is considering a bill that could make peaceful efforts to hinder pipeline construction a crime on par with second-degree murder, an escalation of penalty which observers say violates constitutional protections on the rights to protest, and to protection from undue punishment.

Jason Kenney: ‘Emissions Be Damned’

Premier-designate Jason Kenney torqued up his recent Alberta election win by triumphantly arriving at a Calgary Stampede site stage with the help of almost 400 horses corralled under the hood of his eight-cylinder Dodge Ram campaign truck. It was painted Party blue. His UCP crowd went wild, and began chanting “Build that pipe! Build that pipe!” An analysis by Paul McKay.

Cenovus Shareholders Reject Move to Align Emissions with Paris Targets

Shareholders at Cenovus Energy’s annual meeting in Calgary last week roundly defeated a shareholder resolution that would have required the Alberta tar sands/oil sands producer to align its greenhouse gas emission targets with the Paris Agreement.

TMX-Protesting Grandpa Arrested in B.C., 34 Hours After Climbing Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report of Excessive CO2 Emissions Leaves Fossil Lobby Speechless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenney Vows to ‘Stand Up’ for Fossil Jobs, ‘Turn Off the Taps’ to B.C.

With about 55% of the popular vote and 63 out of 87 seats in the next Alberta legislature, premier-designate Jason Kenney used his victory speech Tuesday evening to amp up the rhetoric on the perceived mistreatment of his province’s fossil sector and lay down a warning to environmental groups.

Canada Reports Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase for 2017

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased marginally in 2017, from 708 to 716 million tonnes, driven mostly by increased oil and gas production, according to the national inventory the country filed this week with the United Nations climate secretariat.

Alberta Builds World’s Biggest CO2 Pipeline

Expect ‘Flood of Litigation’ if Bill C-69 is Watered Down, Athabasca First Nations Warn

Canada will face a “flood of litigation” if the Trudeau government’s proposed Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, is watered down, four First Nations chiefs from the Alberta tar sands/oil sands region warned last week in testimony to a travelling Senate committee.

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

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

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

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

Analysis: If Kenney Takes Alberta, Trudeau Finally Gets to Make a Decision

With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) looking virtually certain to win the Alberta provincial election next week, news analysts are beginning to weigh in on the implications for Canadian pipeline politics and climate strategy.

Alberta Oil Well Cleanup Costs Could Hit $70 Billion

The cost of cleaning up Alberta’s old and unproductive oil wells could max out at C$70 billion, according to a new report by a consortium of landowners and scientists that used data from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to come up with its estimate.

Alberta Officials Took 12 Hours to Notify First Nation of Potentially Toxic Hydrogen Sulphide Leak

When a cloud of toxic chemicals began wafting toward the First Nations hamlet of Fort McKay from Syncrude Canada’s Mildred Lake tar sands/oil sands plant 10 kilometres away, it took officials 12 hours to notify the community—a massive health and safety failure that critics blame on the fossil industry’s takeover of regulatory oversight in the Alberta oilpatch.

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

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

20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline

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

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

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

Canadian Organizer Calls for Bank Strike Against Fossil Fuel Investments

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

C-69 Would Deliver More Timely, Credible Decisions, Impact Assessment Specialist Argues

The federal government’s embattled Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, would actually deliver more credible project decisions, better consideration of economic factors, and more timely, effective consultations than its Harper-era predecessor, despite the relentless battering it has received from the Canadian fossil lobby, veteran impact assessment specialist Robert B. Gibson writes in a post for Policy Options.

Trump Issues New Keystone Permit in Defiance of Montana Court Ruling

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

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

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

EXCLUSIVE: Ottawa Leans Toward California on Fuel Economy Rules, Will Seek Feedback on Fossil Subsidies

The federal government is leaning toward supporting tougher fuel economy standards against Trump administration rollbacks, and is about to announce incremental progress on curbing fossil fuel subsidies, The Energy Mix learned Thursday evening, during a town hall hosted by Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna.

Five Indigenous Groups Vie for Ownership of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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

Line 3 Gains Final Approval from Minnesota PUC

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

Alberta Municipalities Face $81 Million in Unpaid Fossil Property Taxes

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

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

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

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

Two Alberta Projects Aim for Wider Dialogue on Energy Futures

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

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

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

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

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

New Laws Aim to Protect Environment, Not Stop Trans Mountain, B.C. Tells Appeal Court

British Columbia has the right to pass environmental laws to mitigate the harm that could result from the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but it isn’t trying to stop the project outright, provincial lawyer Joseph Arvay told the B.C. Court of Appeal earlier this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Dakota Plans Financial Penalties for Keystone XL Protesters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manitoba Train Derailment Spilled One Million Litres of Crude

SNC-Lavalin and Trans Mountain: Two Sides of a Counterfeit Coin

In an analysis for The Energy Mix, award-winning investigative journalist Paul McKay traces the parallels between the SNC-Lavalin scandal that has transfixed Canada’s capital and the Trudeau government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline in spite of its avowed commitment to climate action. “As nature abhors a vacuum,” he writes, “democracy abhors a stacked legal deck.”

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

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

Former Army Corps General Lobbied for Dakota Access Pipeline

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

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

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

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

Indigenous Land Defender Murdered in Mexico Ahead of Key Pipeline Vote

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

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

NEB Rules Against Climate Impact Review for Trans Mountain Pipeline

The National Energy Board (NEB) has turned down’s request that it undertake a review of the climate impacts of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as it did for the equally contentious Energy East pipeline in 2017.

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

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

New MN Governor Vows to Continue Fight Against Line 3

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

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

Study Reveals Unreliable, Inconsistent Assessments of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Impacts

Inconsistent science has marred the credibility of dozens of past environmental impact studies of the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, according to a new assessment published in the journal Environmental Reviews.

Poll Shows Little Public Awareness, Balanced Perspective on Federal Impact Assessment Act

Despite a months-long effort by the fossil industry and its supporters to gin up opposition to the new federal Impact Assessment Act, pollsters say Bill C-69 has yet to emerge as a “highly controversial” national concern.

Canada Drags on Promise to Phase Out Fossil Subsidies

Ottawa is being accused of dragging its feet on its 2016 promise to phase out “inefficient” fossil subsidies by 2025, two years after then-auditor general Michael Ferguson concluded the Trudeau government had failed to identify the non-tax subsidies it actually pays out to the oil and gas industry.

Montana Judge Mostly Keeps Keystone XL Injunction in Place

Analysts See Oil Industry’s Twilight, But Not Soon Enough to Hit Climate Targets

Two different analyst reports this week show the oil industry moving into its twilight, but the projected rate of decline is still far too slow to hit a 1.5°C threshold for average global warming and hold off the worst effects of climate change.

Supreme Court’s Redwater Decision Could Make Credit More Costly, Less Available for Canadian Fossils

Lenders are paying attention to the recent Supreme Court decision holding bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up the production sites they abandon. The result may be tougher loan terms for new oil and gas projects.

Alberta Oil Curtailment Drives Down Crude By Rail

Alberta’s plan to boost the price Canadian heavy crude by eliminating a glut via mandatory production curtailments has created an unintended consequence that has some fossils crying foul: It’s driven prices high enough to make it tougher for producers to ship oil by rail.

Suncor Shifts Fort Hills Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine to Autonomous Trucks

Stewart: CAPP is Asking Albertans to ‘Vote for Climate Destruction’

Albertans this spring and Canadians this fall should not be fooled into voting for climate destruction just because Big Oil wants them to, Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart writes in an opinion piece for iPolitics.

Retired B.C. Lawyer Risks 28-Day Sentence to Invoke Necessity Defence for Pipeline Protest

A retired lawyer from Vancouver is risking a 28-day prison sentence to test the necessity defence as a legal strategy to block fossil projects that would drive up the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Twitter Trolls Try to Roil Pipeline Debate, and CBC Trolls Greenpeace Canada Campaigner

Twitter trolls played a minor role in amping up public divisions on pipeline policy in January 2017, when Donald Trump signed an executive order clearing the way for construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Keystone Tagged as Likely Source of Missouri Oil Spill

Valve Turners Try to Shut Down Enbridge Lines 3 and 4

Trans Mountain’s Fee Plan for Fossil Customers Represents $2-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy

Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook for another $2-billion fossil fuel subsidy if the National Energy Board accepts the latest request from the federal Crown corporation that now operates the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, economist Robyn Allan reports in a National Observer exposé.

Fossils’ Poor Stock Performance Makes Case for Divestment: IEEFA

Pouring more dollars into the fossil sector no longer makes sense for investors paying attention to a decade of poor stock performance, the gradual departure of institutional investors, depressed profits, a shaky future outlook, and the fact that fossils placed dead last in the 2018 Standard & Poors 500 stock market index, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis argues in a new briefing note.

Ottawa-Bound Pipeline Convoy Organizers Splinter Again

Washington Governor Inslee Pledges to Fight Trans Mountain ‘Every Way’ He Can

Suncor Loses $280M in Fourth Quarter, Blames Alberta Supply Curtailment

Notley’s Tantrums Won’t Pull Alberta Out of Fossil-Induced Slump

Legal Challenges Push Two U.S. Gas Pipelines Behind Schedule, Over Budget

Two U.S. natural gas pipelines, the Atlantic Coast line from West Virginia to North Carolina and the Mountain Valley line from West Virginia to Virginia, have both fallen behind schedule and run over budget, partly due to fierce legal opposition on environmental grounds.

Trans Mountain Expansion to Drive Up Revelstoke Gas Prices

Imperial Cuts Oil by Rail, Blames Alberta Production Curtailment

Supreme Court Holds Bankrupt Fossils Responsible for Cleaning Abandoned Sites

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling that holds bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up their abandoned oil and gas wells will produce lasting impacts across western Canada, but may not completely address the massive environmental liabilities the companies leave behind, according to initial reporting and analysis of the decision.

Ottawa May Have Paid $1 Billion Too Much in Trans Mountain Buyout, Parliamentary Budget Officer Concludes

The federal government may have paid up to C$1 billion more than it should have when it bought the Trans Mountain pipeline last year, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux concludes in a report released late last week.

Canada Falls Farther Behind Its Paris Emissions Target, with Fossils the Primary Driver

Carbon pollution from Canada’s fossil industry and some questionable assumptions about carbon credits are driving projected greenhouse gas emissions more than 100 million tonnes beyond the country’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement, according to an analysis of the federal government’s latest emission calculations.

Oilfield Services Giant Sees Future in Renewables

The world’s third-biggest oilfield services provider is looking to expand its offerings for wind and solar energy suppliers, as it begins to contemplate a future world without hydrocarbons.

Fort McMurray Adopts 75-Kilometre Ban on Fly-In/Fly-Out Work Camps

Staring down fierce opposition from tar sands/oil sands companies, councilors from Fort McMurray and the surrounding region have voted to impose a moratorium on fly-in/fly-out work camps that critics increasingly identify as benefiting only the fossils’ bottom-line, while extracting steep costs from surrounding communities.

Athabaska Chipewyan Push Back on Syncrude Expansion

New Great Lakes Governors Make Climate a Priority

TransCanada Tries to Offload Majority Share of Coastal GasLink Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is trying to sell off a majority share of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the controversial, C$6.2-billion project that has faced sustained opposition from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in northwestern British Columbia.

Trans Mountain’s ‘Amateur Hour’ Work Destroys River Habitat, Endangers Salmon

Federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation’s “amateur hour” work on the Stewart Creek river crossing in Chilliwack, British Columbia has destroyed habitat and will reduce food sources for coho and chum salmon that are part of the diet of the endangered southern resident killer whale pod off the west coast.

Ottawa Won’t ‘Cut Corners’ on Trans Mountain Review, Sohi Says

With the National Energy Board set to report February 22 on the marine impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said last week the government won’t take any shortcuts in its review of the project—even though he understands how badly Alberta oil and gas workers want to get construction under way.

France, Spain Drop Plans for International Gas Pipeline

2019 Set to Deliver Big Jump in Atmospheric CO2

Scientists are looking ahead to a “worrying” jump in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations this year, right on the heels of a report declaring 2018 the fourth-warmest year on record.

Coastal GasLink Destroys Traplines as Federal Minister Blames Indian Act for Conflict

Construction crews working on the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline are bulldozing traplines in Wetsu’we’ten territory in northeastern British Columbia, the community is warning, in violation of the Wildlife Act and in spite of an agreement between hereditary chiefs and the RCMP that called for no interference with traplines or other traditional practices.

More Fossils Caution Fort Mac on Man Camp Restrictions

New MN Governor Promises ‘Active Engagement’ on Line 3

Alberta Wants $1.6B to Upgrade High-Load Road Corridor

Six Pipelines, Assorted Tax Breaks Lead Fossil Wish List as Alberta Election Approaches

Government support for six new tar sands/oil sands pipelines and four major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, along with assorted tax cuts and regulatory breaks, led the wish list the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released Tuesday in advance of the provincial election coming up in Alberta this spring.

McQuaig: GM Canada Closure Should Prompt Federal Buyout, Shift to EV Production

The impending closure of the General Motors auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario creates an opportunity for the federal government to step in, buy the facility, and shift its production to electric vehicles, columnist Linda McQuaig argues in a recent post for the Toronto Star.

JPMorgan, Bank of Montreal Lead List of 21 Banks Backing Coastal GasLink Pipeline

JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of Montreal, Deutsche Bank, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are the four most important banks backing TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.) in its effort to build the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline, according to research released this week by the Rainforest Action Network.

Lack of Climate Disclosure Puts Canadian Pensioners, Investment Funds at Risk

Canada needs a three-year plan to mandate better disclosure of climate-related risks in corporations’ annual reports, Ottawa-based cleantech analyst Céline Bak concludes in a study released last week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Fossil Threatens to Move Workers Out of Fort McMurray Over Restrictive Work Camp Policy

Tar sands/oil sands producers and elected councillors in Fort McMurray got into a heated debate earlier this week over a proposal to move more of the work force out of the “man camps” surrounding the community.

TBT: What If Canada Had Spent $200 Billion on Wind Instead of Fossils?

In June 2018, international environmental journalist Stephen Leahy asked a provocative question: What if Canada had invested $200 billion in wind energy over the last two decades, rather than pouring it into the tar sands/oil sands?

Include Climate Impacts in Trans Mountain Review, IPCC Authors Urge NEB

New fossil projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will make it far tougher to meet the 1.5°C global warming target that is essential for averting the worst effects of climate change, a Canadian climate scientist told the National Energy Board this week.

Steelhead LNG Proposes Fracked Gas Pipeline from Chetwynd, B.C. to Vancouver Island

The Steelhead LNG liquefied natural gas project is studying a pipeline route from Chetwynd, in northeastern British Columbia, to the Kwispaa LNG facility it plans to build on Vancouver Island.

Beer: If Fossils ‘Don’t Need Handouts’, Let’s Do Something About Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Federal Opposition leader Andrew Scheer’s mid-December claim on behalf of Canadian fossils that “we don’t need handouts” was a great invitation to rescind the billions of dollars in subsidies the industry happily takes from federal and provincial coffers, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer argues in a post this week for Policy Options.

CN, Alberta First Nation Plan Pilot Plant to Produce ‘Bitumen Pucks’

CN Rail and the Heart Lake First Nation northeast of Edmonton are planning to build a pilot plant this year to produce “bitumen pucks”, a solid tar sands/oil sands bitumen product that would float on water, could be delivered without pipelines or oil tankers, wouldn’t require diluent, and could increase fossil producers’ profits by C$15 per barrel.

Atlantic Pipeline Carries Toxics Risk for Historically Black Community

Ottawa Unlikely to Unload Trans Mountain Before Federal Election, Despite Some First Nations’ Interest

The federal government will almost certainly retain ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline beyond this year’s federal election, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in separate media interviews earlier this week, even with a group of First Nations expressing strong interest in bidding for the troubled project.

Buck: Albertans Are Frustrated, but Pipeline Protesters Aren’t Singling Them Out

A singular focus on pipeline politics and carbon pricing may be distracting from all the other steps Canada must also take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions—but oil and gas isn’t the only focus for groups working against climate change, and no one is trying to single out or target just one Canadian province, writes Joshua Buck, Alberta climate program manager for Environmental Defence.

Kinder Morgan Distributes Taxpayer Windfall to Shareholders

‘Ugly, Horrible’ Pipeline Explosion Kills 71 in Mexico

Fossil-Funded Pipeline Convoy Folds, Leaving Supremacist-Affiliated Yellow Vests in Charge

One of the two dueling convoys sending pro-pipeline protesters to Ottawa has folded. The announcement Monday by fossil-funded Canada Action leaves the route along the eastbound Trans-Canada Highway open to Yellow Vests Canada, a group that seems at least as interested in arresting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for “treason” and vilifying ex-U.S. president Barack Obama and billionaire philanthropist George Soros as it is in seeing new pipelines built for the Alberta oilpatch.

U.S. Refinery Issues, Not Just Pipeline Access, Drive Alberta’s Oil Price Woes: NEB

Pipeline Investment ‘Goes Palliative’ in Wake of Unist’ot’en Blockade

Two separate news outlets are declaring the end of pipeline investment in Canada, while several focus in on the differences in jurisdiction between elected and hereditary First Nations chiefs, in the wake of last week’s RCMP raid and subsequent “peaceful resolution” of the Unist’ot’en blockade along TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline in British Columbia.

Two Separate Convoys, Arrival of White Supremacists Cloud Alberta Fossils’ Pipeline Protest

The vaunted protest convoy that fossil interests in Alberta and Saskatchewan are vowing to send to Ottawa in February is still more than a month away. But organizers are already at pains to distinguish between “legitimate” (and often fossil-funded) protesters, and an upstart group modeled on the gilet jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement in France, to which a collection of anti-immigration white supremacists appear to have latched on for the ride.

Alberta Plans New Refinery to Ease Oil Supply Glut

‘Peaceful Resolution’ to Unist’ot’en Blockade Allows Access, Not Construction, Chiefs Say

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation blocking access to TransCanada’s hotly-contested Coastal GasLink pipeline construction site have agreed to allow the company’s workers access through the Unist’ot’en protest camp near Houston, British Columbia, after the Nation’s five hereditary chiefs negotiated a deal to prevent a second RCMP raid on their territory.

TransCanada Plans June Construction Start for Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is hoping to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline in June, with the aim of bringing it online in early 2021.

Negotiations Seek ‘Peaceful Solution’ at Unist’ot’en After RCMP Arrest 14 Blocking Coastal GasLink Pipeline

Negotiations were under way between RCMP and hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Tuesday night, aimed at finding a “peaceful solution” to a standoff that led to 14 arrests when police dismantled the first of two checkpoints set up to stop TransCanada Corporation’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

Fossil Sector Places Last in Major U.S. Stock Index

The fossil energy sector was “solidly in last place” in a comparison of 2018 stock performance on the influential Standard & Poors 500 stock index, despite industry spin that had potential investors looking for a comeback.

Maryland Regulator Rejects TransCanada Gas Link from Pennsylvania to West Virginia

A regulatory body in Maryland has unanimously rejected Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation’s bid to build a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to West Virginia across the western part of the state.

CN Supports ‘Bitumen Puck’ Technology for Safer Shipping

Vipond and Keough: Alberta Can’t Win by Postponing the Transition Off Carbon

With climate change setting the house on fire (literally or metaphorically), it’s in Alberta’s best interest not to demand more lighters, Calgary emergency physician Joe Vipond and sustainable design professor Noel Keough argue in a year-end opinion piece for the Calgary Herald.

Departing Minnesota Governor Appeals Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Ontario Doesn’t Inspect Pipelines, Prompting Auditor General Risk Warning

Alberta Fossils Boycott Whistler Conference After City Flags Climate Costs of Fossil Extraction

Several Alberta fossils are boycotting a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, British Columbia, and the bank is considering moving its annual event elsewhere, after Mayor Jack Crompton asked Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to commit to pay for its “fair share of the costs of climate change being experienced” by the weather-dependent ski resort town.

CNRL Aims to Cut Costs with Driverless Truck Field Test

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) will spend C$75 million by late 2020 to field test driverless haulers at its Jackpine tar sands/oil sands mine in northern Alberta, Chief Operating Officer, Oilsands Scott Stauth told investors earlier this month.

Michigan Pipeline Risks Extend Beyond Line 5

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Halted Over Endangered Species

Dakota Access Builder Accumulates 800+ Violations

Ottawa Set to Lose Money on Trans Mountain Purchase as Morneau Accused of Obscuring Costs

Canada’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Ltd. may be costing taxpayers more in interest charges than the high-touted revenue it receives from existing pipeline operations, according to an exposé last week by National Observer.

Montana Judge’s Keystone XL Ruling Triggers New State Department Review

The U.S. State Department is undertaking a new review of the Keystone XL pipeline, virtually dashing TransCanada Corporation’s hopes of beginning construction on the US$8-billion megaproject in February.

Thousands March in Montreal Against Trans Mountain Pipeline

Trudeau Defends Pipeline Decision, Lectures Project Opponent at AFN Chiefs’ Assembly

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lectured a Trans Mountain pipeline opponent on respect and “process” yesterday, in an unscripted exchange during the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs’ assembly in Ottawa.

Reguly: Trudeau Wins ‘Hypocrisy Sweepstakes’ for Supporting Fossils After Signing Paris

Globe and Mail European Bureau Chief Eric Reguly is branding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a winner in the climate hypocrisy sweepstakes, in a blistering opinion piece that puts the PM’s climate advocacy side by side with his government’s full-scale support for bitumen pipelines and liquefied natural gas megaprojects.

Notley Announces Mandatory Production Cuts to Drive Up Alberta Oil Price

Alberta will mandate an 8.7% reduction in oil production volumes, or 325,000 barrels per day, in the hope of driving up the price of the crude oil and tar sands/oil sands bitumen it sells into world markets, Premier Rachel Notley announced late Sunday.

Brooks: Canada Must Plan for Oil and Gas Exit Rather Than ‘Urging Companies Onward’

Canada urgently needs an exit strategy from oil and gas, rather than allowing the industry and its massive environmental liabilities to continue growing, Environmental Defence Programs Director Keith Brooks argues in a Globe and Mail opinion piece.

Northern B.C. Pipeliner Files Injunction Against Indigenous Protesters

NEB’s ‘Redo’ Could Land Trans Mountain Project Back in Court

The National Energy Board’s “redo” of its failed review of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is taking on the same look and feel as the process that drove the Federal Court of Appeal to shut down construction on the controversial project, writes attorney Eugene Kung argues in a post for National Observer.

Line 5 Pipeline Runs into Deadline Pressure, Legal Jeopardy as Michigan Governor Leaves Office

Enbridge’s controversial plan to replace the aging Line 5 pipeline with a US$500-million tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan and Ontario is running into severe deadline pressure that could set it up for years of legal and regulatory delays, as Governor Rick Snyder prepares to step aside for a new administration.

Indigenous Opposition Blocks TransCanada Gas Line in Mexico

Indigenous opposition has put at least a temporary hold on a TransCanada Corporation gas pipeline from Texas to central and western Mexico, just a couple of years after the Calgary-based pipeliner made it clear it planned to expand its operations in Mexico in the face of regulatory action and community pushback at home.

Alberta Needs a Plan B Before Fossil Economy Collapses, Globe and Mail Columnist Warns

Alberta’s lack of a Plan B to prepare for the looming collapse of the fossil fuel economy received a stern response last week from Globe and Mail national affairs columnist Gary Mason.

Oil and Gas Drilling Overwhelms U.S. Public Lands

Climate Policies in Canada, Russia, China Would Drive Warming Above 5.0°C by 2100

Canada, Russia, and China are pursuing policies that would push average global warming about 5.0°C by 2100 if every country followed their lead, according to a new ranking of countries’ climate action programs, published Friday in the journal Nature Communications.

OPINION: Canadian Fossils ‘Lose Patience’ with Trudeau as World Oil Prices Drag Them Down

With world oil prices heading toward another crash, the swashbuckling free marketeers in Canada’s oilpatch are doing exactly what you would expect: amping up the pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to somehow, magically solve a complex cluster of problems that is ultimately beyond Canadian governments’ control. By Mitchell Beer

Carbon Costs of Trans Mountain Could Hit $8.7 Billion Up Front, $4.1 Billion Per Year

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will trigger additional greenhouse gas emissions worth C$2.1 to $8.7 billion per year up front, and $675 million to $4.1 billion per year for as long as it operates, based on a social cost of carbon between $45 and $270 per tonne, environmental journalist Stephen Leahy calculated earlier this year in a post for Vice Motherboard.

Suncor CEO Steve Williams to Retire in May

TransCanada Considers ‘All of the Above’ Funding Plan if Keystone Proceeds

U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Russia-to-Germany Gas Line

Carbon Pricing Opposition, Pipeline Support Could Undo Scheer’s Political Ambitions in Quebec

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s intransigence on carbon pricing and support for the Energy East pipeline could be the death knell for his party’s hopes of picking up seats in Quebec in next year’s federal election, veteran columnist Chantal Hébert suggests this week in the Toronto Star.

Cenovus Urges Government-Imposed Production Cuts to Drive Up Tar Sands/Oil Sands Revenue

One of the biggest fossils in the Canadian oilpatch, Cenovus Energy, is urging the Alberta government to impose temporary production cuts across the sector in a bid to “alleviate the wide differentials” between the world price for a barrel of oil and the deeply discounted amount that tar sands/oil sands producers can fetch.

Virginia Regulators Think Twice About Pipeline Permit Through Historic African-American Community

Montana Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline

In what InsideClimate News is calling a “striking victory for environmental advocates” who’ve spent more than a decade fighting the project, a federal judge in Montana has ordered an immediate construction halt on the Keystone XL pipeline, after concluding the Trump administration failed to justify its executive order to restart the intensely controversial project.

Hyperbole Replaces Facts in Fossil Lobby Attack on Federal Impact Assessment Bill [Sign-On]

With a new fossil lobby group, Suits and Boots, urging Conservative senators to slow down passage of the Trudeau government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, climate and energy advocates are gearing up their defence of a bill aimed at restoring some of the environmental protections that were gutted by the previous Harper regime.

Top Alberta Fossils Stayed ‘Incredibly Profitable’ Despite Oil Price Crash

Three of Canada’s top five tar sands/oil sands producers were “incredibly profitable” during the oil price crash and the continuing controversy over new export pipelines, according to a new report issued last week by the Alberta-based Parkland Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Imperial Announces New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project as CNRL Berates Competitors’ ‘Windfall Revenues’

Less than a week after two of Canada’s top five tar sands/oil sands producers announced they were cutting back production due to the low price their bitumen fetches on world markets, ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil announced a C$2.6-billion project destined to increase the supply glut.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Look ‘Beyond Combustion’ for New Bitumen Products

Carbon fibre, pelletized asphalt, vanadium flow batteries, and polymers are on the list of possible products that Canadian tar sands/oil sands operators are considering as sources of demand for bitumen in a low-carbon future.

South Dakota Girds for Work Camps, Traffic During KXL Construction

Canadian Fossils’ ‘Remarkable’ Production Cuts Show How a Managed Decline Could Work

Last Wednesday’s announcement by Cenovus Energy that it is cutting back its tar sands/oil sands production is a “remarkable” moment that shows how fossils “could act rationally to wind down production in the face of the urgent need to keep carbon in the ground,” according to an analysis by Oil Change International.

With 155,000 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells, Albertans Bear the Clean-Up Costs

Hot on the heels of National Observer’s report last week that clean-up costs in Alberta’s oilpatch could hit C$260 billion, a new investigation by The Narwhal shows how individual Albertans are already facing down the cost of abandoned fossil infrastructure.

CEO Resigns After Alberta Energy Regulator Apology

Kinder Morgan Touted as Corporate Takeover Target

Regulator’s Scenario Shows $260 Billion in Unfunded Oilpatch Liabilities, Four Times the ‘Public’ Estimate

A “flawed system” of industrial oversight has left Alberta with a staggering C$260 billion in estimated liabilities for abandoned oil and gas facilities, more than four times higher than the figure previously disclosed in public documents from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), National Observer reports, based on a joint news investigation with Global News, the Toronto Star, and StarMetro Calgary.

Ottawa Unveils New Protections for Endangered Killer Whale Pod

The federal government is adopting a C$61.5-million plan to curtail noise pollution, increase food supplies, and reduce water-borne contaminants in a bid to protect the 74 remaining members of the Southern resident whale pod in the Salish Sea off Canada’s west coast.

Analyst Urges Alberta to Freeze Fossil Royalties

New Pipeline Wouldn’t Eliminate Price Discount on Lower-Quality Tar Sands/Oil Sands Crude

No new pipeline will ever be enough to eliminate the price discount Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers have to offer to get their product to market, according to a BNN Bloomberg commodities analysis this week that reinforces one of the key economic arguments coming from the climate and energy community.

Big Fossil Investments Give Canadian Banks an ‘Interest in Continued Growth’

Canada’s five biggest banks were among the fossil industry’s top investors between 2000 and 2015, according to a report last week by the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), with the Royal Bank of Canada placing second only to ExxonMobil as the sector’s biggest single backer.

Hughes: Selling Off Fossil Resources at ‘Bargain Basement Prices’ is Poor Energy Strategy for Canada

Canada’s current practice of harvesting bitumen and fracked oil and gas and selling them off at bargain basement prices is a poor excuse for an energy strategy, Alberta-based earth scientist J. David Hughes argues in a recent opinion piece for the Edmonton Journal.

Alberta Looks for ‘Radically Different Products’ from Raw Bitumen

Calgary Credit Union Drops Shell Name After Company Departs the Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Doctors Ask Trudeau for Independent Health Assessment of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

More than 200 health professionals from Canada and around the world are calling on the Trudeau government to conduct an independent health assessment of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, citing key health impacts of climate change that will be made worse by the C$9.3-billion megaproject.

House Democratic Majority Might Go Slow and ‘Incremental’ on Climate Policy [Midterm Campaign Resources]

With just 14 days to go before crucial U.S. midterm elections, some Congressional Democrats are under fire for only promising “incremental steps” to address climate change if they retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

New Safety Regs to Make 21,000 Canadian Rail Cars Obsolete Next Month

Notley Demands Ottawa Buy Rail Cars to Haul Alberta Crude

Guilbeault Steps Down from Équiterre, Plans Book on AI and Climate Change

Veteran environmentalist Steven Guilbeault announced earlier this month that he is stepping down as senior director of Montreal-based Équiterre, the organization he co-founded with Sidney Ribaux in 1993 and helped build into one of Quebec’s most prominent conservation and climate advocacy organizations.

Seize the Moment for Climate Action, MPs Urge During Emergency Commons Debate

Canadians are feeling the effects of climate change today, and the next 10 to 12 years will give the country one chance to turn the corner on a mounting global crisis, key MPs told the House of Commons Monday evening, during an emergency debate on the implications of last week’s IPCC report on pathways to 1.5°C average global warming.

12-Mile Limit for Tanker Assessment Could Put NEB on ‘Another Collision Course with the Courts’

The National Energy Board’s decision to limit its reassessment of oil tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to a range of 12 nautical miles from the coast, rather than 200, is raising questions about how seriously the Board is taking the process—and could set the review up for yet another court challenge, according to one of the groups involved in the original legal battle against the project.

Nigerian Pipeline Explosion Kills 60

EXCLUSIVE Alberta Alert: Dead Mines Walking?

One week ago, the price American refineries will pay for a barrel of Alberta bitumen fell to just below US$30. A seismic jolt raced through the tar sands/oil sands industry, because that price would barely allow even the biggest, most profitable operators to recover operating costs.

‘We Are Better Than This’: Berman Explores Alberta’s Energy Future. Notley Comes Back with Unicorns.

Activist, analyst, and policy advisor Tzeporah Berman called for civil discussion and a managed transition off fossil fuels, and Premier Rachel Notley tried to refute her with unicorns (seriously, literally), after a speaking invitation from the Alberta Teachers’ Association became one of the year’s most contentious moments in the debate over the province’s energy future.

When Pipeline Opponents Win in Court, U.S. Regulators Just Change the Rules

Opponents of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) through West Virginia keep challenging the project in court. And when they win, state and federal regulators step in and change the rules, as they did in response to a recent court ruling.

Infrastructure Boom Could Boost China’s Demand for Canadian Bitumen

Gas Pipeline Explosion Puts Heating, Hot Water at Risk for 700,000 B.C. Consumers

A spectacular natural gas pipeline explosion in British Columbia raised serious concerns earlier this week about the resilience of the province’s energy supply, with about 700,000 people at risk of losing access to gas and the University of British Columbia briefly concerned that it would be cut off.

EXCLUSIVE: Panic in the (Oilpatch) Suites

Last August 30 was not just a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment for federal and Alberta politicians pushing to accelerate future tar sands/oil sands expansion plans. It was a morning where the coffee urn figuratively tipped over and bestowed third-degree burns.

‘Weak Financial Case’ Makes Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project Unlikely to Succeed: IEEFA

Teck Resources Ltd.’s C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta is unlikely to be commercially viable, offering “a weak financial case with little chance of remaining a going concern for the 41 years promised in the application,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report produced for

350 Canada Urges Emergency Parliamentary Debate on 1.5°C Pathways [Sign-On]

Within hours of the IPCC’s release of landmark report on pathways to 1.5°C average global warming, 350 Canada was out with a petition calling on party leaders in the House of Commons to hold an emergency debate on the topic.

Pipeline Roundup: Ottawa Accepts Appeal Court Decision, Notley Supports ‘Indefinite’ Indigenous Consultation, and Environment Commissioner Scorches Marine Mammal Protections

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced Wednesday that the Canadian government won’t appeal the late August Federal Court of Appeal ruling that suspended federal approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and appointed retired Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci to run a new pipeline consultation with Indigenous communities.

Poitras: Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Trans Mountain Heeds Global Signals on Peak Oil Demand

With Conservatives blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for killing one pipeline, the climate community scorching him for salvaging another one, and his pan-Canadian climate plan bleeding provincial support, a chance at a grand bargain on climate action and fossil fuel production “now appears to have been a typically Liberal attempt to be all things to all people,” CBC journalist Jacques Poitras writes in Policy Options.

Enbridge, Michigan Put Great Lakes at Risk with $500M Line 5 Replacement Deal

Fossils Cheer, Climate Absent as Canada, Mexico, U.S. Reach New Trade Deal

North American fossils were cheering early this week and climate protection was out of the picture as Canada signed on to the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade deal formerly known as NAFTA.

Tar Sands/Oil Sands Claim 16-23% Drop in Emissions Intensity…by 2030

‘Tracking the Efforts’ on Paris: In a Climate Emergency, Where’s the Ambulance?

Energy Mix subscriber Ruth Pickering posted this comment in response to our recent story on the United Nations General Assembly. We’re republishing it with her permission. Are you as frustrated as I am at the language used to describe what is needed in this existential crisis we are facing?

Shut Down Line 5, U.S. National Wildlife Federation Urges

‘Ludicrous’ NEB Deadline Gives Communities Less Than a Week to Enter Trans Mountain Review Process

Facing a tight, 22-week deadline from the Trudeau government, the National Energy Board (NEB) has kicked off a new round of hearings on the intensely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and given stakeholders an October 3 deadline—less than a week—to file comments or register to appear at the hearing.

Trump Repeals Obama-Era Rule to Control Exploding Oil Trains

Hearings Open in Fort McMurray for New $20.6-Billion Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

Public hearings opened in Fort McMurray yesterday for a massive, C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mine proposed by Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd.

Berman Receives Death Threats, Requests Security for Speaking Engagement in Alberta

Veteran climate and energy transition advocate Tzeporah Berman is calling out the “vicious calls” and death threats she’s received since accepting a speaking engagement at an Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) conference next month, and is asking that security meet her at the airport when she arrives.

Century-Old, Leak-Prone Gas Pipes Suspected in Boston House Explosions

U.S. Pipeline Regulator Restarts Work on ‘Unnecessary Boondoggle’

Trans Mountain Opponents Gear Up as NEB Launches 22-Week Review

Pipeline fighters are gearing up for another round and questioning just how much meaningful engagement the Trudeau government expects to deliver, following Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi’s announcement Friday giving the National Energy Board 22 weeks to redo part of its assessment of the C$13.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

NEB Sees No ‘Immediate Danger’ in Hundreds of Faulty Pipeline Fittings

Hundreds of steel fittings currently in use in major Canadian pipelines are at risk of swelling or breaking if they’re put under enough pressure, according to a new National Energy Board report. The NEB says it isn’t concerned that the pipelines are in any immediate danger, even though the fittings fall short of Canadian manufacturing standards.

B.C. Scrambles to Square LNG Development with GHG Reductions as Investment Decision Nears

As a group of investors led by Royal Dutch Shell moves toward a final investment decision on the massive, C$40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas development, the Globe and Mail is predicting challenging times for British Columbia’s NDP minority government as it tries to square natural resource-intensive economic development with its promise of a sound carbon reduction plan for the province.

Exploding Pipeline in Pennsylvania Ties Plastics Manufacturing to Fracked Natural Gas

A natural gas pipeline that exploded outside Pittsburgh earlier this month, just a week after it went into service, is part of a multi-billion-dollar push to connect the northeastern U.S. fracking industry with expanded plastics and petrochemical manufacturing in the region.

CN, CP Go on Hiring Spree as Oil-By-Rail Shipments Hit New Record

Canadian freight rail companies CN and CP are on a “hiring spree” to keep up with oil-by-rail demand that hit a record 200,000 barrels per day earlier this year and could reach 400,000 barrels this winter, according to fossil analysts GMP FirstEnergy.

Michigan Brewer Taps Into Arguments Against Line 5 Pipeline

Trudeau Admits Trans Mountain is a Fossil Subsidy as Report Urges Clean Energy Shift

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as much as admitted this week that the federal bailout of Kinder Morgan’s troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion amounts to a C$4.5-billion subsidy to the fossil fuel industry.

Ottawa Weighs Hiring Retired Judge to Guide Trans Mountain Consultations While Kinder Morgan Plots Canadian Asset Sale

While Houston-based Kinder Morgan made moves to sell off the last of its Canadian assets, federal sources say the Trudeau government—Kinder Morgan’s C$4.5-billion benefactor in the bailout—is considering hiring a retired federal judge to guide a new round of Indigenous consultation in light of last month’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling against the project.

Alberta Runs Canada-Wide Ad Blitz for Pipeline Expansion

42 Order of Canada Recipients Exhort Trudeau to Scrap Trans Mountain

Taking to heart and mind the motto of the Order of Canada—They Desire a Better Country—42 British Columbia-based recipients of the prestigious award have written an open letter exhorting the Trudeau government to scrap the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

McGill Senate Votes to Support Fossil Fuel Divestment

The McGill University senate has voted in favour of dropping the institution’s fossil fuel investments, a decision that puts it at odds with a 2016 board of governors decision to hold onto its oil and gas stocks.

Shadowy Private Intelligence Firm Helps Fossils, Federal Government Monitor Pipeline Activists

A shady private intelligence firm that “promises to help oil and gas operators mitigate the threat posed by an increasingly sophisticated activist movement”, and has counted Kinder Morgan and the Canadian government among its clients, is the focus of a Mother Jones investigation republished last week by National Observer.

‘Toxic Bitumen Export Corridor’ Exposes Salish Sea to Unacceptable Risk, Officials Tell Trudeau

Citing the recent death of a killer whale calf as “our canary in a coal mine,” elected officials from a number of Salish Sea communities, both Canadian and American, are pleading with the Trudeau government to withdraw its support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Even Brief Exposure to Diluted Bitumen Doesn’t End Well for Sockeye Salmon Eggs

Even brief exposure to diluted bitumen significantly impairs the development and survival of sockeye salmon eggs, according to a new paper in the journal Aquatic Toxicology.

Energy Transfer Partners Pipeline Explodes in Pennsylvania

Montana, South Dakota Tribes Go to Court Against Keystone XL

Cenovus, CN Seal Deal to Increase Oil by Rail

China Regulator Flags Pipeline that Crosses Nature Preserve

Army Corps Stonewalls Report on Dakota Access, Tribe Asserts

No Quick Fixes to Trans Mountain Impasse, Trudeau Warns Albertans

On the same day last week when he told media in Edmonton he would consider legislation to restart the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also warned Albertans not to expect a short-term legislative fix to get the C$13.8-billion project back on track.