The Energy Mix team scans about 1,200 incoming news headlines each week so that you don’t have to! Here’s a rundown of some of the stories that were fit to print but didn’t fit the page.
A United Nations body called on Canada to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, just over a week after the UN Indigenous People’s Forum declared rich countries’ climate strategy a form of “green colonialism”. Indigenous journalist Brandi Morin said oil sands discharges into Alberta First Nations’ water supplies were the latest example of exploitation, and Imperial Oil President and CEO Brad Corson had a rough ride before a House of Commons committee investigating the epic leak at the Kearl Lake oil sand mine. “I have just one question,” Green Party co-leader Elizabeth May told Corson. “How do you sleep at night?”
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Suncor spent up to $6.1 billion to take full ownership of the Fort Hills oil sands mine from French colossal fossil TotalÉnergies. Indigenous workers at an oil sands “man camp” said they were unfairly terminated, dead wildlife was found outside an oil sands tailings pond in northern Alberta, and a U of Alberta PhD candidate said the province should grab every penny of fossil royalties while it can.
No one was injured in an underground fire at Nova Scotia’s Donkin coal mine. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ontario’s Pickering nuclear plant will help make Canada an energy superpower, and the Bruce nuclear plant reported a leak of radioactive heavy water. Quebec cancelled plans to include car traffic in a new tunnel from Quebec City to the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, and a Hydro-Québec transmission line, the New England Clean Energy Connect, was stalled despite a court victory. BC Hydro said it would be better for the fish if it left construction debris from the Site C dam underwater. The Canada Infrastructure Bank invested $220 million in EV charging company Flo, no one wanted a hydrogen truck in Denmark, and a UK village declared hydrogen heat a pipe dream.
Bloomberg Green looked at where the world is spending $1.1 trillion on climate technology, private investors pivoted to renewables and energy storage, leading private equity firm the Carlyle Group doubled its emissions while claiming climate leadership, and three big U.S. banks faced climate votes. U.S. renewables powerhouse NextEra said billions of dollars are still sitting on the sidelines, the Bank of Canada began reporting climate risk, the Bank of Montreal said green finance coalitions are misunderstood, the Swiss National Bank rejected climate demands, and Regina’s International CCS Knowledge Centre said 2050 is a more important climate target than 2030. “Whether we like it or not, it’s going to take time,” President and CEO James Millar told The Canadian Press.
Sea level rise may have pushed Vikings out of a settlement in Greenland, and salt water infiltration combined with poor maintenance pushed Florida condo dwellers out of their homes. Record high temperatures threatened the Inuit way of life in Nunavik, Anchorage was at risk for wildfire, and climate change thawed the world’s northernmost research station in Svalbard, Norway. The deadly drought in the Horn of Africa would not have happened without climate change, people faced record heat last month in Asia and Spain, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said global warming is a good thing because his state is cold.
Colossal fossil BP faced lawsuits over the health impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore oil disaster and protests over its more recent decision to water down its climate goals, but dodged questions on the health impacts of fossil gas flaring after 21-year-old Ali Hussein Jaloud died of leukemia before he could attend the company’s annual meeting. Jaloud lived next door to one of BP’s biggest oilfields in Iraq. ExxonMobil’s and Chevron’s profits were booming as if oil were at $145 per barrel. But Exxon was scrambling to salvage its investments in Colombia before the country bans fracking, while Norway laid plans to nationalize most of its gas pipelines.
The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said renewables were under attack after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) threatened to help repeal his own Inflation Reduction Act while teasing a third-party run for president in 2024. Meanwhile, the country’s sixth-biggest coal miner left behind “polluted streams and mud-shrouded roads” in Manchin’s home state after declaring bankruptcy. Democrats targeted 26 House Republicans who voted against climate action after their districts benefited from billions of dollars in clean energy investment. Berkeley, California’s gas ban was overturned, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a statewide ban on gas in new buildings, and Oil Change International declared fossil gas certification a “certified disaster”. LinkedIn called for green upskilling to meet new demand for sustainability workers, and U.S. government contractors were not pleased with new emissions disclosure rules.
The U.S. played catch-up on international climate finance, an analyst questioned whether the World Bank is really greening its investments, and China invited the U.S. to talk climate despite wider geopolitical tensions. “Net-zero” tree planting in drained peat bogs was driving up UK emissions, UK biofuels giant Drax’s own advisors told it to stop calling itself carbon-neutral, U.S. biofuel policy faced trade-offs over land use, and British Columbia pushed fire inspectors for “organizational alignment” on mass timber buildings.
The European Union set the world’s biggest binding mandate for green aviation fuel, finalized the world’s first carbon import tax, and prepared to exit the “climate-killing” Energy Charter Treaty. California set a 20-year deadline to electrify trucking and forced rooftop solar installers to adapt to new pricing rules, while one company received a $3-billion federal loan to expand access to solar+storage. A German company introduced a new vertical solar array for parking lots, and U.S. warehouses had roof space for enough solar to power nearly 20 million homes. Scientists discovered how to recover 100% of the silver from one type of solar panel, and solar crime was on the rise.
A big, eight-hour battery in Australia outperformed pumped hydro, and New South Wales got “stunningly low prices” below 3.5¢ per kilowatt-hour for solar and 5.0¢ for wind in its latest renewable energy auction. Petrostate Nigeria wanted 250 gigawatts of solar by 2060, steelmaker Arcelor Mittal planned for 554 MW of wind in Brazil, wind developers had 1,250 gigawatts under development worldwide, and global solar capacity hit 118 terawatts at the end of 2022. The Asian Development Bank pushed for a faster shift off fossil fuels, Japan faced scrutiny for its “green transformation” plan, and Iran seized an oil tanker bound for Houston.
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