The Energy Mix team scans about 1,200 incoming headlines each week to build our story lineup. Here’s a rundown of some of the stories that were fit to print but didn’t fit the page.
Vancouver City Council let Big Oil off the hook by withdrawing support for a class action lawsuit. An Alberta oilpatch analyst called Premier Danielle Smith’s fossil advisory panel a representative of a bygone era, and Toronto’s Brookfield Asset Management set out to raise another $20 billion for the energy transition.
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A lithium miner was looking for $150 million on the Toronto Stock Exchange for 27 new projects, Nova Scotia saw a boom in lithium mineral claims, and mining the moon was said to be the next big thing. The Whitesand First Nation announced a C$35-million biomass generation plant, Calgary-based Enbridge earmarked $1 billion to turn food waste into gas, and Parkland Fuel said competition from U.S. subsidies forced it to cancel a renewable diesel plant in Burnaby, B.C. An anonymous note claimed activists had sabotaged the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and the United States said a pro-Ukrainian group had sabotaged the Nord Stream pipeline.
Canada’s Teck Resources stood accused of greenwashing after selling off its coal assets, the EU introduced greenwash prevention rules for investments, and green labels were greenwashing deforestation. The U.S. gas industry knew its stoves were producing air pollution in the 1970s, Australia’s gas lobby was called out for “overcooking” the cost of electrification, and Maryland Governor Wes Moore withdrew a gas lobbyist’s nomination to the state Public Service Commission. Two Democratic coal state senators, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted with Republicans to block a green investment rule, as West Virginia started to wander away from coal. Private equity investors poured money into fossil fuels, California’s push for corporate emissions disclosure set a precedent for the U.S., and U.S. conservatives’ fight against so-called “woke” green investment policies began to backfire.
A US$6-billion underwater power line from Quebec to the New York borough of Queens broke ground after 15 years of planning. The U.S. announced $315 million for energy access in rural and tribal communities, a private company financed 30 megawatts of community solar in New York State and California, and the U.S. grid regulator looked at distributed energy resources in the Northeast.
An author declared the end of range anxiety for electric cars, but lower-income drivers stood to miss out on £9 billion in cost savings without more used EVs on the market. The United States looked for a trade deal to ease tensions around EV subsidies, U.S. incentives had Tesla scaling back plans for a battery plant in Germany, and Volkswagen announced a US$2-billion EV plant in South Carolina. North Carolina utility Duke Energy turned to a microgrid for more reliable EV charging. Leasing companies overcharged customers for electric cars, and tires on ever-larger cars produced more particle pollution than exhaust.
China had potential to exceed 1,000 gigawatts of rooftop solar capacity, Australia hit 20 gigawatts, and wind+storage delivered 24/7 power to a massive Australian mine. India required new coal plants to build or buy renewables and approved its biggest hydropower project. A new UK tax impeded onshore wind development, and UK cabinet ministers were warned about legal consequences for climate inaction. Ørsted said rising costs would put the world’s biggest wind farm in doubt without tax breaks and won a permit to build a 15-gigawatt offshore project in Swedish waters.
Colossal fossil BP sent its stock pricing soaring by scaling back its climate plan, and the United Arab Emirates denied it was considering leaving OPEC. Oxfam saw the UN’s new loss and damage fund becoming an “empty bucket”, Nigeria’s new president cited finance as a key climate issue, and analysts said Mozambique would need a $20-billion LNG project to keep on paying its debts. Offshore energy workers in the UK called for public ownership in the net-zero transition, one-fifth of U.S. oil and gas workers felt like outsiders at work, and climate change became a kitchen table issue in the U.S. The Biden administration’s strategy on weapons of mass destruction addressed radioactive waste from small modular reactors (SMRs), and analysts questioned whether the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission would approve any of the SMR designs now under development. Airlines sued the government of The Netherlands for cutting down on flights, and the massive haul of pandemic shopping reached customers via dirty cargo ships.
Flooding forced 40,000 people from their homes in southern Malaysia, carbon-negative Panama faced population displacement due to sea level rise, and analysts said climate change could cost Latin America 16% of its GDP this century. Climate change fuelled conflict between humans and wildlife, back country trails saw conflict over e-bikes, and Norway took heat for its plans to green industry. Satellites showed boreal forest wildfires releasing record levels of carbon, a long bushfire season wore down firefighters in Australia, Gabon needed financing to protect its rainforests, and urban forests contributed to health and well-being. Scientists connected deforestation with changing rainfall levels and discovered ocean phytoplankton blooms covering areas nearly half the size of Canada. A lakeside community in Ohio tried to cope without winter ice, people in Ottawa planned a vigil to mourn the city’s iconic Rideau Canal skateway, and European cities were turning over their outdoor ice rinks to roller blading.
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