Cities and Sub-Nationals

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

49% Want Urgent Climate Action as Canadian Wildfire Impacts Mount

Half of Canadians say the recent wave of heat, drought, and wildfires sweeping the country has given them a heightened sense of urgency about the climate crisis, according to an Ipsos poll released Wednesday by Global News.

Whatcom County Becomes First U.S. Refinery Community to Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

A county on the northwest coast of Washington State has made a landmark decision to ban new fossil fuel development, reversing a trajectory that had it on course to become a gateway for oil, gas, and coal exports to Asia.

Ottawa Announces $5.2-Billion Bailout for Muskrat Falls Hydro Megaproject

The Trudeau government has agreed to a tentative, C$5.2-billion bailout for Newfoundland and Labrador’s troubled Muskrat Falls hydropower megaproject, aimed at stopping local electricity rates from almost doubling while taking some of the immediate heat off a province facing serious financial woes.

U.S. Nearly Doubles Wind and Solar Capacity in 2020

The United States almost doubled its new installed capacity of wind and solar power in 2020, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACPA).

‘Provincially Legislated Monopoly’ Blocks Renewables in New Brunswick, Developer Says

A solar and wind power developer in Fredericton is taking the New Brunswick government to task for letting a “provincially legislated monopoly” keep a lid on renewable energy investment.

Jason Kenny and Sonya Savage

Groups Pan ‘Farcical Attack’ in ‘Anti-Alberta Energy’ Commission Report

The report of a two-year, $3.5-million report on supposed “anti-Alberta energy campaigns” shows the whole process up as a “farcical attack” on Canadians’ rights with a strong overtone of climate denial, say two campaign organizations that have seen a draft of the still-confidential document.

Ottawa, B.C. Pick ‘Wrong Path’ as New Innovation Centre Favours Carbon Capture Technology

The federal and British Columbia governments are on the wrong path to counter the climate emergency, a West Coast advocacy group is warning, after Premier John Horgan and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough announced funding for a new low-carbon innovation centre led by Shell Canada.

New Climate Adaptation Coalition to Stress Social Equity, Just Transition

A new climate adaptation coalition is bringing together an unusually wide mix of voices—from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to the Métis National Council—and placing carbon reductions, social equity, and a just transition off fossil fuels at the centre of its strategy for building climate resilience.

Wilkinson Funds Alberta Flood Control Reservoir Because ‘the Hits Just Keep On Coming’

The federal government has provided the final piece of the puzzle to allow a controversial reservoir that could protect Calgary from future flooding to move forward.

More Trees, Less Pavement Can Reduce Urban Heat Islands

A new report from Climate Central lays out how U.S. cities can mitigate urban heat islands (UHIs) and adapt to the increasing frequency of extreme heat events. 

Expanding Tailings Pond at Copper Mountain Mine ‘Flirts with Disaster’ for B.C., Washington

The expansion of a tailings pond at a southeastern B.C. copper mine must not be allowed to go ahead without a thorough environmental assessment, says one of the founding organizers of Earth Day.

Quebec Rejects $14-Billion LNG Terminal

Quebec has rejected GNL Québec’s application to build a C$14-billion liquefied natural gas terminal in the Saguenay region, capping years of opposition by Indigenous communities, climate campaigners, scientists, and health professionals.

Terrifying Headlines Sweep the Globe as Climate Impacts Accelerate Worldwide

While terrifying wildfires and flash floods make headlines across the globe, researchers are offering a starkly honest road map for cities looking for the swiftest path to greater resilience.

Two Manitoba Municipalities Declare Agriculture Disaster

Farmers are calling for emergency relief after two rural municipalities in Manitoba’s Interlake region declared a state of agriculture disaster earlier this month following drought, extreme heat, and a destructive surge of grasshoppers. 

‘We Have No Choice’: Ottawa adds $1.4B to Climate Adaptation Fund

The federal government is adding almost C$1.4 billion to its disaster mitigation and adaptation fund this year to help communities across Canada facing climate change and environmental disasters.

Climate Change Adds New Risks for Retirement Savings

Individual retirement savings are facing a new form of risk as climate change wallops the corporate world’s physical assets and drives heavy economic losses.

Nisga’a Nation in B.C. Proposes $10-Billion LNG Project

The Nisga’a Nation in British Columbia is teaming up with seven natural gas producers to propose a C$10-billion liquefied natural gas development, claiming the project will bring its emissions to net-zero within three years of starting operations in 2027 or 2028.

Canada Must Protect ‘Near Urban’ Wild Spaces to Meet Conservation Goals

The federal government must prioritize the protection of “near-urban” nature—spaces rich in biodiversity but increasingly fragmented and fragile—if Canada is to make good on its promise to protect 30% of its land and waters by 2030.

New Solar Projects Train Indigenous Youth in 2 Saskatchewan Communities

Two Northern Saskatchewan Indigenous communities are engaging younger generations in renewable energy by launching in-school solar power projects.

Chicago, Detroit Floods Show Inland Cities Threatened by Rising Waters

As climate change wreaks havoc with the world’s water cycles, Chicago and Detroit are facing a serious reckoning with their engineering—and social—underpinnings.

188 Dead, Widespread Destruction as Western Europe Receives 2 Months of Rain in 2 Days

After two months’ worth of rain fell in just two days through July 14 and 15, causing severe flooding in much of Western Europe and leaving nearly 200 people dead, political leaders are attributing the deluge to the climate emergency.

In Conversation: ‘Crushing Moments’ of Wildfire, Drought Must Spur Governments to Action, Newton Says

Teika Newton is Managing Director of Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) and lives near Kenora, Ontario. In this feature interview conducted last Friday, she talks about the day-to-day realities of a climate emergency, the resilience she’s learned from other generations, and what it’s like to work on climate policy with wildfires nearby…and the winds blowing in her direction.

International Fossils May Sell Off $13.4 Billion in Alberta Oilpatch

International oil companies may be on the verge of divesting tar sands/oil sands properties worth C$13.4 billion, according to a new report published earlier this month by Toronto-based Veritas Investment Research.

No GNL Québec Pipeline on Ancestral Lands, Innu Say

There won’t be any more negotiations over a proposed natural gas pipeline crossing Indigenous lands in northern Quebec, say Innu leaders who oppose it.

Child cycling with a mask

New Study Shows 25 Mega-Cities Producing 1.2 Gigatonnes of CO2

Just 25 mega-cities, 23 of them in China, accounted for more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by a collection of 167 urban centres assessed in a new study in the open access journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.

South Portland, Maine Wins Marathon Pipeline Battle

In a reversal being hailed as a new precedent, a pipeline operator is dropping its six-year-long federal
lawsuit against the city of South Portland, Maine.

‘Low-Propensity’ Environmental Voters Could Turn the Tide in 2022 U.S. Election

The non-partisan group in the United States that mobilized an “army of environmental super voters” in last year’s presidential campaign is back with new analysis that shows how important those voters could be in mid-term elections in 2022.

Elon Musk’s Fort Lauderdale Tunnel Plans Don’t Hold Water

As Fort Lauderdale, Florida, formally accepts proposal a proposal from Elon Musk’s Boring Company
to build an underground transit tunnel, many are asking if the decision is wise, given the porous ground on which the city sits and the high risk of sea level rise in the area.

Toronto Endorses Fossil Non-Proliferation Treaty, Adopts New Building Retrofit Standards

Toronto city councillors carried off a two-fer this week, adopting two new policies Wednesday to accelerate energy-efficient building retrofits before endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Thursday afternoon on a 22-2 vote.

‘Moral Equivalent of War’: Mass Retrofits Drive Deep Emission Cuts, Torrie Says

In 1906, American philosopher William James coined the phrase “the moral equivalent of war” in referring to the problem of sustaining political unity and resolve in the absence of war. U.S. President Jimmy Carter used the phrase in his famous energy crisis speech of 1977 to describe what it was going to take to respond to the security threat posed by the OPEC oil embargo.

B.C. Fracking Fields Emit 1.6 to 2.2 Times More Methane than Federal Estimates

Methane emissions from British Columbia oil and gas fields are 1.6 to 2.2 times higher than the federal government is estimating, according to yet another study that contrasts actual measurements from airborne monitoring with the Ottawa’s official calculations.

Northwest Ontario Fire Evacuations a ‘Race Against Time’

As much of Canada continues to bake under fierce heat, northwestern Ontario communities are calling out the provincial government’s failure to prepare for wildfire season.

BREAKING: Two-Thirds of Canadian Oil and Gas Workers Want Net-Zero Jobs

More than two-thirds of Canadian fossil fuel workers are interested in jobs in a net-zero economy, 58% see themselves thriving in that economy, and nearly nine in 10 want training and upskilling for net-zero employment, according to a groundbreaking survey released this morning by Edmonton-based Iron & Earth.

Opinion: Toronto Councillors Can Help Wind Down Fossil Fuel Proliferation

Days after people across the Greater Toronto Area watched a “heat dome” scorch much of western Canada and burn Lytton, British Columbia to the ground, Toronto City Council has a unique opportunity to help turn down the heat.

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Shell Announces CCS Plan for Edmonton-Area Refinery

Shell Canada Ltd. has announced tentative plans to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage project at its Scotford Complex near Edmonton, part of its strategy to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050.

Gulf of Mexico Fracking Releases 250 Million Litres of Toxic Waste

Oil and gas fracking has released at least 66.3 million gallons/250 million litres of waste into the Gulf of Mexico since 2010, according to an analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Canadian Fossil Expansion ‘Not Well Aligned’ with Net-Zero, Panel Co-Chair Says

The co-chair of a new expert panel set up to advise Ottawa on how to reach net-zero emissions says expansion of Canada’s tar sands/oil sands industry is “not well aligned” with that goal.

B.C. Battles 300 Wildfires as Next Western Heat Wave Begins

Crews in British Columbia battled nearly 300 wildfires, temperatures in Death Valley, CA hit 130°F/54.5°C, more than 31 million Americans were under heat warnings, and a mega-drought spanned 93% of the western United States, as an entire region of North America faced a second massive heat wave just a bit milder than the last one less than two weeks ago.

abandoned oil well

Federal Orphan Wells Fund Replaced Money Fossils Were Already Spending: Report

Much of the federal subsidy that has helped clean up abandoned oil wells in Alberta may have simply replaced money that fossil companies would have spent anyway, according to a new analysis.

Schumer Opposes Local Gas Peaker Plant, Wants Gas Left Out of Clean Electricity Standard

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out against a new natural gas peaker plant in his home state, and is pushing to exclude a “clean gas” provision from the upcoming Clean Electricity Standard that is a centrepiece of U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate plan.

New York Commuters Wade Through Filthy Floodwaters as Storm Swamps Subway Station

Subway riders slogged through waist-deep water and more than a dozen people had to be rescued from a flooded stretch of highway Thursday as Tropical Storm Elsa brought heavy rains and winds up to 50 miles per hour to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Lytton-Area Tribal Council Criticizes B.C.’s ‘Slow, Chaotic’ Wildfire Response

As experts warn that the planet is entering a “runaway fire age,” First Nations in and around Lytton, British Columbia, are expressing anger as response crews prioritize fire-damaged rail infrastructure over people.

Ottawa Announces $420 Million for ‘Green Steel’ Conversion in Sault Ste. Marie

Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will receive up to C$420 million in federal funding to replace its coal-fired production processes with electric arc furnaces, one of a trio of green infrastructure announcements this week that included a high-frequency rail promise for the Quebec City-Toronto corridor and light rail funding for the long-delayed Green Line in Calgary.

B.C. Plan Risks GHG Emissions from ‘Blue’ Hydrogen

British Columbia’s natural gas-friendly government is taking fire for introducing a new hydrogen strategy, the first to be introduced by any Canadian province, that emphasizes “blue” hydrogen production from methane-heavy gas alongside “green” hydrogen development meant to reduce emissions and produce cleantech jobs.

Study Shows $23 Billion in Taxpayer Support to Three Fossil Pipelines

Federal and provincial governments have lavished C$23 billion on fossil fuel pipelines, mostly in the form of loan guarantees and other fiscal measures that are heavily distorting Canada’s financial marketplace, according to new research released this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Offshore Oil Subsidies a ‘Misuse of Funds’, Carter Warns Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador’s federally funded subsidies for offshore oil are a “misuse of funds” and another step in the wrong economic direction for the cash-strapped province, says a political scientist who previously taught in the province has studied the province’s oil sector.

Alberta’s Failed ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe an Affront to Democracy: Stewart

The Jason Kenney government’s inquiry into supposed foreign-funded interference with the province’s fossil industry has failed to make its case, but is still an affront to democracy, Greenpeace Canada senior energy strategist Keith Stewart argues this week in an opinion piece for the Edmonton Journal.

https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/environmental-justice-activists-in-california-fight-off-a-new-gas-plant/

Oxnard, California Declares Environmental Justice Win as Batteries Replace Gas Peaker Plant

A California utility’s decision to replace a natural gas peaker plant with a battery storage installation is being hailed as a victory for environmental justice and an example of what the future of the state grid could look like.

Deadly Western Canada Heat Wave a ‘Wake Up Call’ for Climate Action

As the town of Lytton and the Lytton First Nation mourn all they lost to last week’s British Columbia inferno, climate experts and health professionals warn that further tragedies await in the absence of an “all hands on deck” approach to fighting the climate crisis.

Peace River

Extensive Fracking, Industrial Development Violate B.C. First Nation’s Treaty Rights, Court Rules

The Blueberry River First Nations will be able to limit development in a key natural gas fracking region in northeastern British Columbia, after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the province violated Treaty 8 with the amount of industrial development it had permitted in the area.

Climate Hawks Celebrate as Goldboro LNG Misses June 30 Investment Deadline

Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Ltd. has missed its June 30 deadline for a decision on whether to go ahead with its controversial Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Nova Scotia, stating in a release Friday that “cost pressures and time constraints due to COVID-19 have made building the current version of the LNG Project impractical.”

‘Nationalize’ Old Oilfields and Use Revenue for Cleanup, Researchers Urge Alberta

Most of Alberta’s energy wells no longer hold enough oil and gas to pay for their cleanup and the public should take them over to ensure their remaining revenue funds remediation, a new report concludes.

Locals Evacuate, Firefighters at Risk as Lithium Batteries Explode in Illinois Paper Mill Blaze

Lithium batteries exploded loudly overnight inside a burning former paper mill in northern Illinois that officials had believed was long abandoned, and fire officials have decided to let the blaze burn out because they fear trying to extinguish it could trigger more explosions.

Scientists Affirm Climate Change Connection as Western ‘Heat Dome’ Shatters Records

Pavement buckled, light rail power cables melted, all-time high temperature records fell, then fell again, and utilities in British Columbia and Alberta reported record electricity demand as a brutal “heat dome” brought broiling temperatures to western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest this week, prompting scientists to draw an immediate, obvious connection to climate change.

Pérez: New Paris Target Must ‘Break the Cycle’ of Fossil Emissions

Canada’s new emission reduction target under the Paris climate agreement is the federal government’s opportunity “to finally do the right thing and address the disconnect between its climate goals and its ongoing support for oil and gas,” writes Eddy Pérez, international climate diplomacy manager at Climate Action Network-Canada, in a post this week for Climate Home News.

B.C. Old Growth Forest Panel Raises Hopes, Suspicions

British Columbians fighting to save the province’s remaining old-growth forests are cautiously welcoming the provincial government’s decision to assemble an independent Old-Growth Technical Advisory Panel.

Oregon Wildfires Leave Legacy of Psychosocial Risk, New Challenges for Mental Health Systems

People in rural Oregon are living through serious distress and trauma, in their case as a result of record drought an horrific local wildfires. Bob Doppelt, coordinator of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, originally published this account on Undark.

Boston Transit Revival Must Connect Climate Resilience, Equity Concerns

If we want equitable cities, the post-pandemic revival of mass transit systems must prioritize both day-to-day and extreme-event climate resilience, says a new in-depth study by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).

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U.S. Justice Department Backs Line 3 Pipeline while Army Corps Orders Full Review for Line 5

One U.S. oil pipeline gained support from the Biden administration, a second acquired a new regulatory hurdle, and a third might soon find itself back in court, as federal data showed 19 pipeline projects pushing toward completion this year.

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California Brings Renewables ‘Into the Spotlight’ with 11.5-Gigawatt Power Purchase Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is calling for 11.5 gigawatts of new generating capacity, almost all of it clean, by 2026, a procurement equal to one-fifth to one-third of the power the state consumes.

Global Bike Demand Soars While Supply Crashes

Broken supply chains intersecting with pandemic-weary multitudes desperate to get out on two wheels have meant a stressful year for bike shops—and bike buyers—around the world, with little change expected for months to come.

Pandemic May Kill Off Traditional Rush Hour for Good

As life edges toward a degree of normalcy in many U.S. cities, traffic experts are waiting to see whether rush hour returns to “normal” as well—while they envision how it could be better.Traffic may be returning along with a reviving economy, but “planners, transit agencies, and researchers are now considering the remarkable possibility that in many places it won’t revert to its old shape amid newfound work flexibility,” reports The New York Times.

Deep Retrofit Program Could Fix Every Canadian Building by 2035, Supply Enough Electricity for 10 Million EV’s

Taking on an audacious “national retrofit mission” would enable Canada to upgrade every building in the country by 2035, eliminate their fossil fuel consumption by 2050, make energy poverty a thing of the past, and free up 50 terawatt-hours of electricity for other uses—enough to eliminate 60 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year if it were used to power 10 million electric vehicles, according to new analysis released this week by Efficiency Canada.

Clean Energy Will Create More Jobs by 2030 than Fossil Industry Will Lose, New Analysis Shows

Canada is on track to add more than 200,000 clean energy jobs this decade, considerably more than 125,000 that will be lost in a declining fossil fuel industry, Clean Energy Canada concludes in an analysis released last week.

Big Alberta Solar Farm to Sell Power to Amazon

Amazon announced Wednesday it will purchase power from a massive new solar farm in Alberta, marking the e-commerce giant’s second renewable energy investment in Canada.

Canadian Survey Shows Split on Preserving Jobs vs. Preserving Climate

The majority of Canadians believe a national climate plan must nurture strong economies across the country, but there are sharp regional differences on how that plan should be carried out, the latest Confederation of Tomorrow survey shows.

U.S. Virgin Islands Refinery Shuts Down after ‘Raining Oil Droplets’ on Residents

A notoriously dirty oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands is shutting down after “escalating environmental scrutiny made it impossible for backers to obtain desperately needed financing,” Bloomberg News reports.

$26-Billion Seawall System May Not Protect Houston Area from ‘Killer Surges’

When Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008, Bill Merrell took shelter on the second floor of a historic brick building in downtown Galveston, Texas, along with his wife, their daughter, their grandson, and two Chihuahuas. Sustained winds of 110 miles per hour lashed the building. Seawater flooded the ground floor to a depth of over eight feet. Once, in the night, Merrell caught glimpses of a near-full moon and realized they had entered the hurricane’s eye.

Sea Level Rise Could Swamp Denmark’s Financial System

The Danish financial system is becoming concerned about future losses due to flooding, with its potential to swamp assets in a relatively small country with a coastline that stretches more than 8,000 kilometres.

Developers ‘Blindsided’ as Australia Scuttles 26-Gigawatt Renewable Energy Hub

Australia has pulled the plug on a proposed 26-gigawatt plan to produce green hydrogen and ammonia from wind and solar power, just months after the project was awarded major project status by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coal-friendly national government.

Vision Zero Principles Reclaim City Streets for Cyclists, Pedestrians

The century-old mindset that framed pedestrians and cyclists who dared to use city streets as trespassers in the kingdom of the car is finally fading—and good riddance, says the Globe and Mail.

Provincial ‘Lifeline’, with Federal Funds, Averts Shutdown at Terra Nova Offshore Oilfield

The Newfoundland and Labrador government insists it’s getting a good deal after throwing fossil companies a C$505-million lifeline to help keep the Terra Nova offshore oilfield alive, even if it means it will reap just $35 million in royalties over the next decade.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

‘Death Knell’ for Coal as Fed-Prov Review Denies Permit for New Alberta Mine

A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring.

City of Ottawa Doubles Down on Transit Electrification Plans

After announcing its access to a C$400-million loan earlier this month, The City of Ottawa is now putting its financial pedal to the metal, committing to spend nearly $1 billion by 2027 to start electrifying its bus fleet.

crude oil

Value of Canadian Oil Exports Leaps 15-Fold in 30 Years

The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased over 15-fold in the last 30 years, according to a report from Statistics Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator.

Fracking Companies Win Big as B.C. Doubles Fossil Fuel Subsidies Since 2017

Fossil fuel subsidies have more than doubled in British Columbia since the Premier John Horgan’s NDP government took office in 2017, with oil and gas fracking companies the biggest winners, according to an analysis released this week by Stand.earth and Dogwood.

Ontario Communities Face Health Risks from Thousands of Abandoned Oil Wells

The putrid smell makes Paula Jongerden sick to her stomach.
It comes from a natural gas well about 300 metres from her home near Delhi, ON, that erupts at least twice a week.

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Newfoundland Oil Workers Rally as Offshore Drilling Project Faces Closure

About 100 oil workers gathered outside Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislature Monday, a day before Suncor Energy was expected to announce whether the Terra Nova offshore oilfield will be shut down for good.

Gas Lobby Fails to Delay Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Plan

An effort backed by a powerful natural gas organization to erode Vancouver’s climate emergency plan has failed, but the thin margin on the final council vote has campaigners and green builders on alert for a protracted battle.

Alberta Government Mishandling Funding for Contaminated Sites, Repeat Audit Concludes

Alberta’s auditor general is criticizing the government for failing to fix problems pointed out six years ago in a program that’s supposed to guarantee coal and oilsands mines clean up after themselves.

http://cdooginz.deviantart.com/art/California-Drought-518267539

California Could Divert Floodwaters to Recharge Parched Aquifers

California may be able to address its side-by-side problems with flooding and drought by diverting water from areas with two much moisture to other parts of the state that need it, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances.

‘Never, Ever Give Up’, McKibben Says, as TC Energy Cancels Keystone XL

It took nearly five months, after U.S. President Joe Biden dealt a death blow to the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office. But Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy finally, formally cancelled the project this week, acknowledging that a decade-long fight has come to an end.

Air Products Fort Saskatchewan

$1.3-Billion Edmonton Project Raises Hopes for Blue Hydrogen, Doubts About Greenwashing

A plan by a Pennsylvania-based industrial gas and chemical company to build a C$1.3-billion “blue” hydrogen plant in Edmonton is raising cautious optimism about a new way to drive the transition from a fossil- to renewable-based fuel, while raising concerns about the methane emissions the project could trigger and its potential to lock in future demand for climate-busting natural gas.

$400M Loan Brings Ottawa Closer to All-Electric Bus Fleet

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank has agreed in principle to lend the City of Ottawa C$400-million to help it buy 450 electric buses and build out the necessary charging infrastructure.

85% of British Columbians Want Stronger Protections for Old-Growth Forests

A strong majority of British Columbia residents care a great deal about the health of the province’s old-growth forests, and many believe the Horgan government is doing a poor job of protecting them, a recent survey suggests.

Student Team’s ‘Welcoming, Affordable’ Vision Wins $50,000 Global Urban Design Award

The 21st-century challenges cities face can only be solved by governments, not by profit-driven corporations, say five recent Canadian winners of a prestigious global urban design award.

Open house

Climate Risk Becomes Major Issue on Home Buyers’ Checklists

Climate risk, with its implications for a home’s safety today and its resale value tomorrow, is emerging as an important new item on many buyers’ checklists, as new mapping technologies and data sources make it easier to track down information on fires, floods, and other potential impacts.

Biden to Restore State, Indigenous Right to Block Energy Megaprojects

In a major reversal of Trump-era efforts to advance fossil interests, the Biden administration is restoring the rights of state and Indigenous lawmakers to refuse major energy projects that could threaten water security.

power pylons sunrise grid

California Grid Rethinks Benefit of Energy Efficiency for Environment, Equity Goals

California is changing the way it values energy efficiency, calculating the “total system benefit” of conservation programs to include environmental and equity goals as well as economic savings on reduced energy use.

Ottawa Directs Dollars to Clean Grid, Transit, Indigenous Guardians

Federal departments and agencies have spent the last few days issuing a flurry of new funding announcements for clean technologies, and for nature protection through the Indigenous Guardians program.

Alberta Government’s Objections No Longer Matter after IEA Roadmap, ‘Cataclysmic’ Week for Oil

Alberta’s predictably hostile, defensive reaction to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) landmark Net Zero by 2050 roadmap shows it no longer matters what the Kenney government or its fossil industry allies think about the drive to decarbonize the global economy and hold average global warming to 1.5°C.

Horgan Favours Lumber Access as B.C. Old-Growth Forests Fall

As the British Columbia government moves to overhaul the province’s forestry sector, the Sierra Club of BC is decrying the decision to prioritize access to wood fibre over old-growth forest protections.

Texas Storm

True Death Toll from Texas Winter Power Failure Rises to 702

The death toll from February’s power grid failure in Texas could be five times what officials have so far declared—and little is being done to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

85% of Albertans Mistrust Coal Industry Regulation, Government Survey Finds

A public consultation committee on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains will consider why Albertans’ level of trust in the province’s regulatory bodies is so low, the panel’s head said Monday.

VCIB Unveils First Dedicated Loan Program for Commercial Solar Projects

Canadian businesses and non-profits will be able to borrow up to $10 million to install solar panels on their properties under a new commercial solar financing program introduced by the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB).

Fracking Means More Frequent, Damaging Earthquakes in Northern B.C.

More damaging earthquakes can be expected more often in northern British Columbia as fracking oil and gas wells increases pressure underground, says newly published research.

Ottawa Unveils $5,000 Home Energy Retrofit Grant

The federal government is receiving a rocky response after unveiling its seven-year, C$2.6-billion plan to help Canadians cover the cost of home energy retrofits.

Pipes at gas compressor station

Satellite Flags Big Methane Release Over Alberta Fracking Field

A fracking field in Alberta has produced Canada’s biggest methane cloud since satellite tracking began, with the third-highest rate of emissions in North America this year, according to a geospatial analytics firm working with data from the European Space Agency.

abandoned oil well

Alberta Landowners, Taxpayers ‘Left Behind’ by Cost of Abandoned Wells

The costs of Alberta’s growing stock of abandoned and inactive oil and gas wells are falling unfairly on landowners and taxpayers, says a report from the University of Calgary.

Biden test drive

Analysts See Ford’s F-150 Electric Truck Bringing EV’s to Mainstream

A Twitter video this week of a smiling U.S. President Joe Biden trying out an F-150 Lightning electric truck along a Ford Motor Co. test track was a step in the company’s bid to turn the popular pickup into the Model T of the electric vehicle era—with the side benefit of a battery that can power the average home for three days.

Jason Kenny and Sonya Savage

Alberta Grants Fourth Extension to Foreign Influence Inquiry, Blames Ecojustice Lawsuit for Delay

Alberta’s inquiry into the funding of oil and gas industry critics is getting its fourth deadline extension.

Most Municipal Climate Plans Fall Short of What’s Needed

While the number of cities with climate plans has rocketed from 16 to 365 since 2010, fewer than 20% are tackling all four of the most emissions-heavy sectors.

energy efficient home retrofit

Ottawa Looks to Train 2,000 New Energy Advisors for Home Retrofit Program

The federal government is looking to train 2,000 more people to do energy audits as it tries to get its new green home renovation program off the ground.

Transit Projects in Toronto, Hamilton Nab $12-Billion Federal Investment

The Trudeau government is getting a thumbs-up from the Globe and Mail editorial board after announcing more than C$12 billion for major transit projects in Toronto and Hamilton.

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Louisiana Forms Climate Task Force as Fossils Dig In

Louisiana is sending mixed signals on climate action, with Governor John Bel Edwards (D) setting up a task force in support of his pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while legislators push to make the state a “fossil fuel sanctuary.”

Syrians in Rebel-Held Region Embrace Solar Panels as ‘Blessing from God’

An “unlikely solar revolution of sorts” is taking place in Idlib Governate, a rebel-held province in northwestern Syria, where local residents are turning to a cheap electricity source they can count on in the midst of a brutal, 10-year civil war.

Air conditioner

Desert Cities Tap into Waste Water from Air Conditioning Units

From the Negev Desert to the state of Texas, the private and public sectors are tapping into a previously overlooked source of water: condensate from air conditioners.

Ending Daily Commutes Could Save Canadian Office Workers $3,000 to $6,000 Per Year

Difficult as it was for many people to adjust to working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit—and to absorb the searing realities of who got to stay home and who didn’t—the shift back to regular workplaces may be even more complex.

Outdoor dining, Church Street Marketplace

Restaurants Gain from Pedestrian-Only Streets, Study Finds

As America’s cities begin to reopen, a new Yelp analysis is putting economic weight behind calls to make the temporary “slow streets” that many cities put in place during the pandemic a permanent feature.

Economic Hit from Prairie Drought Could Be ‘Like Losing Ontario Auto Sector’

Farmers in parts of the Prairies are worrying about crop failures and water-deprived livestock, and communities are already facing local water restrictions and at least one forest fire, as the region enters a period of near-record dry conditions.

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Judge Dismisses Ecojustice Bid to Halt Alberta’s Foreign Influence Inquiry

A judge has dismissed an attempt to quash the United Conservative government’s inquiry into whether foreign groups have conspired against Alberta’s oil industry.

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NWT Communities Evacuate in Face of ‘Scary’ Mackenzie River Flooding

As extreme seasonal flooding hits riverside communities in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the region’s small towns are stepping up to help each other.

Martha's Vinyard

Biden Administration Approves 800-MW Vineyard Wind Project

The Biden administration has approved the 800-megawatt, US$3-billion Vineyard Wind project off the Massachusetts coast, the United States’ first utility-scale offshore wind farm and a key plank of the new White House effort to shift the country’s electricity system to renewables.

Urban Food Forest Movement Tackles Food Insecurity One Community at a Time

The urban food forest in Browns Mills, Atlanta, is one of more than 70 such initiatives scattered across the United States: all the work of volunteers determined to fight food insecurity through urban agriculture.

Canadian physicist Louis Slotin

Canada’s Fatal Fission Attraction

Seventy-five years ago, Canadian scientists began a reckless romance with nuclear fission. Lessons from a tragic death, and a meltdown that destroyed a reactor, were not learned. Serious design flaws with the Candu nuclear reactor were never fixed. Today, Paul McKay writes, the tradition continues.

wind turbine construction

IEA Sees ‘Exceptional’ Solar, Wind Growth as ‘New Normal’

The “exceptional” global growth of solar and wind capacity is set to become a “new normal” in 2021 and 2022, the International Energy Agency says, prompting the epically cautious organization to boost its forecast of future renewables growth by 25%—just six months after it published the last set of figures.

construction worker

‘We’re All Scared’, Worker Says, as Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine Becomes Alberta’s Biggest COVID Outbreak

Tar sands/oil sands workers in the midst of Alberta’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon bitumen mine say their living and working conditions are putting them at risk—but they can’t afford not to work, even if they’re feeling sick.

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Suncor, ATCO Seek Government Backing for ‘Multi-Billion-Dollar’ Hydrogen/CCS Project

Tar sands/oil sands producer Suncor Energy Inc. is partnering with utility ATCO Ltd. on a “multi-billion-dollar” project to produce more than 300,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen—as long as governments are ready to facilitate the deal, and taxpayers are standing by to help clear some of the financial hurdles.

ransomware

Colonial Pipeline Pays Ransomware Demand as Panic Buying Grips Eastern U.S. Gasoline Users

Drivers across the southeastern United States have been getting a new sense of the vulnerability of their fuel supplies over the last week, and operators of the Colonial Pipeline ended up paying a ransom to regain control of their system, after a successful cyberattack took out a 5,500-mile pipeline network that runs from Houston to New Jersey and supplies the eastern U.S. with 45% of its fuel.

rooftop solar

Community Solar Microgrid to Save $4 Million for Northern Ontario First Nation

Nearly three dozen households in the Taykwa Tagamou Nation in northern Ontario stand to save hundreds of dollars per month on their power bills with the installation of rooftop or ground-mounted solar panels over the next few months.

Coronavirus Creates Opportunity for Zero-Carbon Transportation

When discussing low-carbon transportation and the question of why cars play such a dominant role in our society, it is often tempting to fall back on a comfortable and familiar answer: We drive cars because we like them!

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U.S. Tribes Work to Advance Water Equity as Colorado Basin Drought Worsens

As a megadrought deepens across the Colorado River Basin, the Indigenous nations of the region are seeing hope for real change after decades of water inequity.

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Campaigners Plan ‘Eviction’ Events, Ottawa Backs Enbridge as Line 5 Closure Deadline Arrives

Campaigners in Michigan planned two days of “eviction” events today and tomorrow, Governor Gretchen Whitmer threatened to seize Enbridge Inc.’s profits if the Calgary-based pipeliner ignored her closure order, and the Trudeau government filed a legal brief in the company’s defence as today’s deadline loomed to shut down operation of the 68-year-old Line 5 pipeline.

COVID Cases Sweep Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Thousands Arrive for Spring Maintenance Work

Tar sands/oil sands companies are stepping up protective measures as a spate of COVID-19 cases sweeps through the region at the same time that thousands of workers are being brought in for spring maintenance shutdowns at various plants.

Good ‘Regulatory Tailwinds’ Prompt Lion Electric to Build in Illinois

Quebec-based electric school bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric is citing a friendly operating environment in its decision last week to locate a US$70-million manufacturing plant in Illinois, a move expected to create about 750 jobs over the next three years.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam Launches Ban to Keep Fossil Ads Off the Streets

The municipal government in Amsterdam, capital of the country where colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell has its headquarters, is seeking to wean the Dutch off fossil fuels by banning many advertisements for the pollutants.

Michigan Calls Line 5 a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ with Closure Deadline Two Days Away

With Michigan’s deadline to shut down the Line 5 pipeline just two days away, the state and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. are telling different stories about whether the leaky, 68-year-old line will still be operating Thursday morning.

Alberta Hands Fossils a Price Break on Tar Sands/Oil Sands Cleanup Fund

Last year’s dive in oil prices has caused Alberta to change the way it calculates payments due from tar sands/oil sands mines make to ensure there’s enough money to clean up the mess they leave behind.

BP Emerges as Lead Customer for Woodfibre LNG Despite Low-Carbon Messaging

The company proposing the Woodfibre liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project near Squamish, British Columbia, says it has struck a second sales contract with BP Gas Marketing Ltd. that allows it to account for more than 70% of future production from the plant.

‘Silence Speaks Very Loudly’ as Solar Replaces Diesel for Yukon First Nation

The town of Old Crow, Yukon will get to shut off its noisy, polluting diesel generators for the first time in 50 years, after the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s new solar farm reaches full capacity in July.

Ring of Fire Access Road Crosses Ontario’s ‘Thin Green Line’, Sierra Club Warns

The proposed “Ring of Fire” mineral development in northern Ontario is equivalent in destructive capacity to Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands, say two researchers from Sierra Club Canada.

U.S. Cities at Risk for ‘Deadliest’ Heat Wave-Power Failure Combo

Millions of urban Americans will be put at serious risk of heat exhaustion this summer if any heat waves coincide with power failures—a deadly conjunction that is increasingly likely, says a new study.

Wilkinson Orders Federal Environmental Review for Ontario Highway 413

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has announced a federal environmental assessment of the Ford government’s contentious, C$6-billion plan for a new highway through the northwestern part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), citing “clear areas of federal concern related to this project.”

Law Profs See Environmental Racism Bill as ‘Catalyst for Transformative Change’

This past winter, COVID-19 outbreaks at two Coastal GasLink work camps in northern British Columbia spilled over into neighbouring Wet’suwet’en communities, according to media reports. The spread of disease to Indigenous communities through industrial projects is an example of environmental racism—when government policies discriminate against racialized communities by disproportionately exposing them to harms from industrial and other toxic activities.

Historic New York Climate Protection Act Remains Underfunded, Underserved

Two years after New York passed its landmark climate protection act, legislators are still failing to approve any meaningful funding to realize its ambitions.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Intensifies as May 12 Closure Date Looms

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is less than 10 days away from implementing a momentous decision to shut down a 68-year-old, underwater pipeline that her administration and many of her constituents consider an environmental hazard and an affront to Indigenous rights, but that Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan has declared a “non-negotiable” irritant in bilateral relations.

Biden Connects Climate to Jobs as Coal Miners Hold Out for Results

With a US$2-trillion infrastructure plan on offer, and a $1.8-trillion American Families Plan backing it up, U.S. President Joe Biden took advantage of his first address to a joint session of Congress to reprise a central theme from his election campaign: that climate action and job creation go hand in hand.

Biden’s 2022 Budget Earmarks $220 Million for Climate Health Preparedness

President Biden’s budget blueprint for 2022 is looking to prepare the U.S. for future climate impacts by earmarking at least US$220 million for federal climate and health research and an expanded framework to help states and cities generate adaptation plans.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

B.C. First Nation Calls for Federal Environmental Review of Alberta Coal Mine Plan

A British Columbia First Nation has joined calls for the federal government to step in on the environmental review of a proposed open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Ford’s New Appointee Will ‘Actively Wreck Things’ as Greenbelt Council Chair, Critic Warns

The new chair of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council is a former Mike Harris-era cabinet minister who voted against the Greenbelt itself when it was established in 2005.

Cuts to UK Global Resilience Funding Undermine Cities’ Response to Fire, Floods

The UK’s decision to gut the budget for a key global disaster resilience research hub is putting millions of poor and vulnerable city-dwellers in developing countries at a greater risk of climate impacts like flooding and wildfire.

Washington State ‘Cap-and-Invest’ Law Aims for Fast Carbon Cuts without Higher Energy Costs

Washington State is adopting a new “cap-and-invest” law aimed at driving rapid decarbonization without increasing energy costs for ratepayers.

Borealis Lodge man camp Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray Reels Under 1.5% Infection Rate as Third Wave of COVID-19 Hits Alberta Oilpatch

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the Alberta tar sands/oil sands hard, with 12 active outbreaks at man camps and mining sites across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 738 active cases, and a total of 2,054 workers who’d tested positive as of Tuesday.

Canada Must Tie Budget 2021 Spending to Community-Based Action: Op-Ed

While the “serious coin” directed to climate action by Canada’s 2021 budget is most welcome, two experts are urging policy-makers at all levels to double down on community-based climate policies that integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Judge Denies Wet’suwet’en Challenge to Coastal GasLink Permit

The British Columbia Supreme Court has rejected a bid to quash the extension of the environmental assessment certificate for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the project at the centre of countrywide protests in February last year.

U.S. Bike-Share Programs Shift Equity into High Gear

Discounted rates, community outreach, and more docking stations are all helping low-income cyclists, including those in underserved minority communities, gain access to bike-share programs in the United States.

Cats Make Guest Appearance in B.C. City’s Climate Solutions Video

The city of Surrey, British Columbia is out with a 90-second, animated YouTube video that connects big-picture climate solutions back to the benefits citizens can expect in their everyday lives. With guest appearances by cats.

Ontario Creates ‘Innovation Wasteland’ with Latest Renewables Rollback, Critic Warns

The Doug Ford government is turning Ontario into an “innovation wasteland” and setting the province up to increase its dependence on greenhouse gas-intensive natural gas with its latest plan to eliminate renewable energy requirements in provincial legislation—and making its move while communities are preoccupied with a brutal third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, renewable advocates say.

Nesting Hummingbirds Pause Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction through Mid-August

Environment and Climate Change Canada has ordered a halt to construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline through a forest in Burnaby, British Columbia until the end of bird nesting season.

Think Tank Mulls Looser Rules for Transferring Abandoned Wells to New Owners

A western Canada think tank is calling on Alberta to lower regulatory barriers that it says discourage businesses from reusing abandoned and unreclaimed oil and gas well sites. Observers say the scheme could allow fossils to hand off many billions of dollars in environmental liabilities.

Alberta Pauses Rocky Mountain Coal Exploration as Public Pressure Mounts

The Alberta government bowed to public pressure late last week and paused coal exploration in the most sensitive areas of the Rocky Mountains while it continues to gather public feedback about mines.

Carpenter, Passive Solar Builder, Systems Change Advocate: Toronto Climate Community Mourns Peter Shepherd

Climate campaigners and green community practitioners in Toronto shared their shock and sadness, and accolades began pouring in, as word spread over the last week that carpenter, passive solar builder, green economy practitioner, peace and climate justice campaigner, and systems change advocate Peter Shepherd had died April 21 at age 63.

California Pitches 2024 Fracking Ban, 2045 Oil Phaseout as Campaigners Urge Faster Action

California climate campaigners marked a moment of progress Friday while urging Governor Gavin Newsom to pick up the pace, after the state that calls itself the world’s fifth-biggest economy moved to ban new oil and gas fracking projects by 2024 and phase out oil extraction by 2045.

Climate Impacts Could Cost Canada $140 Billion by 2050, Insurance Giant Warns

Canada will be more than $100 billion poorer by 2050 if the world doesn’t work harder to fight climate change, says one of the world’s largest insurers.

Haley: Ottawa’s Energy Efficiency Plans Will Hinge on ‘Nitty-Gritty Details of Implementation’

While last week’s federal budget cemented a significant increase in government support for energy efficiency, the “nitty-gritty details of implementation” have yet to be filled in and more funding will be needed to deliver the scale of building retrofit activity the country needs, Efficiency Canada Policy Director Brendan Haley argues in a follow-up analysis.

Washington State to Ban New Light-Duty Gas Vehicles by 2030

Washington State legislators have come together across the aisle to pass a bill requiring all new light-duty vehicles bought, sold, or registered in the state to be electric-powered by 2030.

Trudeau Disappoints with 40-45% Emissions Pledge that ‘Falls Short of What’s Needed’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed Canada to a 40 to 45% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 yesterday, in an address to the Leaders’ Summit on Climate convened by U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden Promises 50-52% Emissions Cut by 2030

President Joe Biden confirmed a much-anticipated 50 to 52% emission reduction target for the United States yesterday morning, kicking off a two-day Leaders’ Summit on Climate intended to reassert American leadership on global climate action and prompt other high-emitting countries to embrace faster, deeper carbon cuts this decade.

Cities Can Reconfigure and Adapt to Cut Emissions 90%, Prepare for Climate Impacts

Cities are uniquely vulnerable to climate change, but likely will be early adapters against that threat.

Federal Budget Puts $17.6 Billion into Green Recovery, Tips 36% Emissions Cut by 2030

The federal government is getting decidedly mixed reviews for a 2021 budget that announces but doesn’t quite spell out C$17.6 billion in green recovery spending over the next five years, while tipping a 2030 emissions reduction goal of 36% that may be superseded within days by a more ambitious government target.

Feds Promise Consultation as Carbon Capture Tax Credit Draws Fire

Big industrial emitters are emerging as major winners from the climate-related elements of this week’s federal budget, even though the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments are already fretting that the billions in new funding won’t flow quite the way they’d hoped.

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Carbon Capture Tax Credit Could Drive Up Emissions, Analyst Warns

A troubled demonstration project in Saskatchewan may be an example of the challenges the Trudeau government will face if it relies on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, as this week’s federal budget proposes, an analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has told The Energy Mix.

Ottawa Offers $40,000 Interest-Free Loans for Deep Energy Retrofits

The federal government is hoping a budget provision for C$40,000 interest-free loans will be sufficient incentive to encourage 200,000 Canadian households to undertake deep retrofits on their homes.

Analysts Search for Details as UK Pledges 78% Carbon Cut by 2035

The United Kingdom has announced plan to legislate a 78% greenhouse gas emissions target for 2035, putting the country in what one news report calls a “world-leading position”.

‘Checking the Boxes’ in Federal Climate Plan Won’t Deliver on Canada’s Paris Targets, Researchers Warn

Two veteran public interest researchers have come up with a troubling equation they say is at the heart of the federal government’s climate strategy: Carbon Pricing + Hydrogen + Carbon Capture + Nuclear = Paris 2030 and beyond.

Federal Budget-Watchers Expect ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Canadian Climate Action

From transit to home energy retrofits, from natural climate solutions to green innovation funding, the federal budget tabled today by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will put an end to months of lobbying, advocacy, and speculation from climate policy advocates looking for a solid federal commitment to climate action.

Trudeau Expected to Announce 40% Emission Reduction Target as Analysts See End to ‘Canada’s Silly War’ on Carbon Pricing

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expected to increase Canada’s 2030 carbon reduction target to more than 40%, and the Conservative Party embracing carbon pricing (however fractiously) as a central plank of their own emerging climate strategy, analysts and major media are pointing to a narrowing of the political polarization that has helped block decisive action on climate change.

Florida Takes Climate Adaptation Funds Out of Affordable Housing Budget

Two recent bills passed in Florida are sending hundreds of millions of dollars toward improving climate resiliency in the state—at the expense of established funding for affordable housing.

Grassy Mountain Coal Mine

Alberta Coal Consultation Covers ‘Everything but What We Want to Talk About’, Local Landowner Says

A committee that is supposed to consult Albertans on coal development in the Rocky Mountains won’t be allowed to hear what people want to say about water and land use.

Saskatchewan Sends ‘Wrong Signal’ with $150 EV Tax

Two federal ministers have written Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to protest his plan to bring in a tax on electric vehicles.

Analysis: Unmeasured Methane Could Undercut Canada’s Blue Hydrogen Drive

The inability to accurately measure and regulate methane emissions from natural gas operations is emerging as a gaping, potentially fatal flaw in a Canadian climate strategy that appears to lean increasingly on a continuing presence for the oil and gas industry, with large volumes of hydrogen to be produced from natural gas.

‘No Vaccine for Climate Change’, Departing Toronto Energy Director Warns, in Critique of City’s Climate Performance

Toronto’s retiring director of environment and energy issued a broadside on his way out the door last week, warning councillors that there’s “no vaccine for climate change”, and an urgent need for the city to pick up the pace on its climate plan.

Here’s What it Would Take to Decolonize ‘British Columbia’

This summer will mark 150 years since British Columbia joined Canada. While some will celebrate a landmark anniversary, Dogwood’s Kai Nagata and Christina Smethurst say decolonizing the province begins with acknowledging the true history of how it came to be.

Etobicoke Firm’s New Solar Roof Panels Mimic Traditional Shingles

Etobicoke, Ontario-based Mitrex Integrated Solar Technology has introduced a line of roofing panels that mimic traditional asphalt and slate shingles and incorporate a patented building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology.

Virginia’s ‘Solar Barn Raisings’ Help Power Community Spirit

A solar non-profit’s work with Habitat for Humanity to bring “solar barn raising” to Virginia communities is putting paid to the myth that solar is only for the rich.

Wilkinson Touts ‘Really Good News’ as Canada Reports Higher CO2 Emissions for 2019

Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions rose fractionally in 2019, the first year the country’s national carbon pricing system took effect, but Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says it’s “really good news” the numbers weren’t considerably worse.

Cut U.S. Emissions 50% by 2030, Over 300 Corporate Leaders Urge Biden

With U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate leaders’ summit just over a week away, more than 300 major corporations are urging the White House to commit to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, nearly double the goal of 26 to 28% previously set by the Obama administration.

IEA Urges ‘Massive’ Energy Efficiency Gains to Hit Net-Zero Targets

Countries will need “massive improvements” in energy efficiency to achieve their net-zero targets under the Paris Agreement, International Energy Agency policy analyst Alyssa Fischer argues in a recent commentary.

Wildfire

U.S. Prepares for Another ‘Devastating’ Fire Season

From California to Wisconsin, U.S. policy-makers are putting dollars into pre-emptive action and more “boots on the ground” as a lower-than-normal snowpack portends a fierce fire season.

Non-Profit Law Centre Defends Quebec Campaigners from Pieridae ‘Gag Order’ Attempt

The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid of an environmental group targeted by an Alberta oil company threatening legal action.

‘Chaotic’ UK Retrofit Program a Cautionary Tale for Trudeau, Biden

A failed attempt at a building energy retrofit program in the United Kingdom could offer lessons for governments in Canada and the United States as they prepare to launch their own plans.

Drastic Ridership Drop During Pandemic Prompts TTC to Speed Up Subway Maintenance

Toronto transit users can expect to return to a much-improved subway network once the COVID-19 pandemic begins to subside, after the Toronto Transit Commission took the opportunity to speed up its maintenance and upgrades to tracks, stations, and vehicles.

Pre-Budget Talk Centres on National Child Care Plan as Trudeau Mocks Conservatives’ Climate Policy

Fresh from a Liberal Party policy convention over the weekend, the Trudeau government is just days away from an April 19 budget that is widely expected to emphasize a national child care plan alongside a menu of green economic recovery measures.

Decolonize Climate Policy, Address Structural Inequalities, Indigenous Climate Action Urges Ottawa

Canada needs to rethink its climate policies to stop excluding Indigenous people from decision-making, respect Indigenous rights to self-determination and free, prior and informed consent, deliver solutions that reflect the realities of both rural and urban Indigenous communities, and address “structural inequalities that are continually being reproduced through colonial relation, processes, and structures in so-called Canada,” Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) concludes in a report issued late last month.

Site C Man Camp Makes Good Use of Waste Food on Project Meant to Inundate Prime Farmland

A B.C. man camp operator’s well-intentioned plan to keep waste food out of the nearest landfill is colliding with the permanent food security impact of the hydro dam the camp was built to serve, raising tough questions about how socially responsible a contractor can be when the bigger-picture impact of the project is far beyond their control.

Architects Criticize ‘Huge’ Embodied Carbon in New Green Buildings

A group of architects in the United Kingdom is pointing to new building construction as the biggest unchallenged obstacle to a carbon-free future and calling out green building designers for the carbon footprint of their supply chains.

Albertans Demand Federal Impact Assessment for Controversial Coal Mine Plan

A fourth request has been made to the federal government to get involved in the environmental review of a coal mine proposed for Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Pandemic Disrupts Alberta Fossils’ Maintenance Plans with Nine Sites Reporting Outbreaks

Canadian tar sands/oil sands operators are having trouble lining up the skilled work force they need for a busy period of essential scheduled maintenance, with nine facilities fighting COVID-19 outbreaks as the country lurches through a third wave of the pandemic.

Campaigners Urge NDP-Green ‘Climate Emergency Alliance’ in Next Federal Election [Sign-on]

A “climate emergency alliance” between the New Democratic and Green parties could make as many as 80 more House of Commons seats available to MPs who support faster, deeper carbon cuts, 350 Canada contends in a new campaign aimed at the two federal parties.

New Start-Up Aims to Build U.S. Energy Equity One Neighbourhood at a Time

To be poor and a person of colour in the United States all too often means living with energy poverty and its associated health effects. A Brooklyn-based business founded by the son of Guyanese immigrants is working to change that reality, one building at a time.

Pre-Budget Opinion Snapshot Shows Jobs, Climate Action Among Canadians’ Top Priorities

A new public opinion snapshot shows job creation, climate action, and income inequalities among Canadians’ top priorities ahead of this month’s federal budget.

Supreme Court Carbon Ruling Could Trigger ‘Start-Up Explosion’ but Loopholes Undermine Federal Floor Price

A U.S. technology newsletter is touting Canada’s newly-confirmed carbon tax as a likely catalyst for a “start-up explosion” in several branches of cleantech, even as the Globe and Mail reports on the loopholes some provinces have opened up in the federal scheme—with the Trudeau government’s blessing.

Biden Jobs, Infrastructure Plan Aims to ‘Turbocharge the Transition’ Off Fossil Fuels

U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Pittsburgh last Wednesday to unveil a US$2-billion jobs and infrastructure plan that includes a 10-year, $650-billion commitment to a U.S. clean energy transition, with big allocations for building energy retrofits, electric vehicle infrastructure, grid modernization, public transit, and union jobs cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells and mines.

Danish Architects’ Prefab Façades Could Cut Building Energy Use in Half

An architectural design collaboration in Denmark is hard at work on a prefab, modular façade that can be quickly installed on an existing building to boost its energy efficiency.

Alberta Job Posting for ESG Czar More Talk than Action, Observers Say

The posting for a new high-level Alberta government job supposed to help the province align with environmental concerns from financial markets seems more about talk than action, observers say.

Ottawa City Committee Flags Concerns, Declines to Oppose Upriver Nuclear Waste Site

An Ottawa city council committee has stopped short of opposing plans for two new nuclear waste disposal sites less than 200 kilometres upriver, but will ask privately-owned Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to refrain from accepting waste from outside Ontario and take steps to protect the Ottawa River, on which the community depends for its drinking water.

Furey, O’Regan Reject Chrétien Pitch for Labrador Nuclear Waste Dump

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey says he rejected an idea last summer from former prime minister Jean Chrétien to store international nuclear waste in Labrador.

Climate-Denying Kansas Senator Plans Straitjacket for $14-Billion State Wind Industry

At hearings last week chaired by a climate change denier and green energy critic, the utilities committee of the Kansas Senate considered a measure to limit expansion of a wind energy sector that already supplies 41% of the state’s electricity, the second-highest share in the United States.

Wildfires, Toxic Gases Lead to Mass Bird Deaths in West-Central U.S.

The 2020 wildfire season caused a mass die-off of birds in the western and central United States, according to crowdsourced science and weather location data summarized in a new study in the journal GeoHealth.

Biden to Announce Massive Jobs and Infrastructure Plan as Allies Push for Climate Spending

U.S. President Joe Biden will be in Pittsburgh today to announce a massive new jobs and infrastructure plan worth as much as US$4 trillion over the next eight to 10 years, potentially paid for with tax hikes of up to $3 trillion on corporations and the country’s highest income earners.

Ad Agencies Begin Pulling Away from Fossil Fuel Clients

A major advertising agency has declared it will no longer make its services available to oil and gas companies, in a move that one executive compared to an earlier generation of ad managers’ refusal to back the tobacco industry.

Pieridae Pitches for $925M Federal Subsidy for Goldboro LNG, Threatens Legal Action to Silence Critics

A fossil company angling for a C$925-million federal “grant, repayable contribution, or loan guarantee” for the controversial Goldboro liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Nova Scotia is threatening legal action against five signatories to an open letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Iain Rankin, and other elected officials to reject the plan.

Federal Carbon Offset Plan Could Drive Up Emissions, Analysts Warn

The Canadian government’s new carbon offset system could ultimately drive up greenhouse gas emissions while creating the illusion of progress on the climate crisis, three of the country’s leading climate analysts warn in an opinion piece for the CBC.

Minnesota Appeals Court Considers Declining Demand for Line 3 Pipeline

The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard arguments last week over Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project in northern Minnesota, which opponents are calling unnecessary due to an eventual decline in the demand for oil.

New Study Reveals Mega-Tornadoes More Common than Previously Believed

Meteorologists have long used infrastructure damage to calculate tornado wind speeds, but that metric underestimates the real number of truly terrifying storms by as much as a quarter, a new study suggests.

Bigfoot Director Thanks Alberta’s ‘Ludicrous’ Fossil War Room for Big Publicity Boost

The director of a children’s movie about Bigfoot wants to thank the Alberta government’s energy centre for starting a “ludicrous” fight over the film.

Kenney Admits He Had No ‘Plan B’ as Provinces, Federal Conservatives Weigh Supreme Court Carbon Tax Ruling

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government didn’t prepare a fallback plan on implementing a consumer carbon tax because they were hoping to win in the country’s top court.

Hapless ‘War Room’ Sets Out to Defend Alberta Fossils’ ESG Credentials

The Alberta public relations shop last known for picking a fight with Netflix over an animated children’s movie has been handed responsibility for promoting the province’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials to would-be investors in its beleaguered fossil industry.

Youth Declare ‘Historic Legal Victory’ as Ontario Court Sends Climate Case to Full Hearing

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is now 0 for 2 in its bid to stop a youth-led climate lawsuit from going to a full court hearing.

Water Contamination Nets Record Fine for Teck Mine as Conservationist Questions Long-Term Impacts

Teck Coal is facing the largest fine ever imposed under the federal Fisheries Act after pleading guilty to contaminating waterways in southeastern British Columbia.

New Legislation Requires Massachusetts to Reach Net-Zero by 2050

Two months after he vetoed a landmark climate bill, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has signed something very similar, with a 2050 net-zero target and raft of measures that include more offshore wind, new building codes, and benchmarks for electric vehicle adoption.

Groups Urge Tougher Fossil Targets as B.C. Sets Carbon Goals for Communities, Industries

British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for major sectors of the provincial economy, but is being urged to toughen up its standards for oil and gas operations, The Canadian Press reports.

Kenney Under Fire After Documents Show Roadbuilding for Coal Exploration Exceeds Legal Limits

Road-building approvals for coal exploration already exceed legal limits in some parts of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and foothills, suggest documents from the province’s energy regulator.

‘Love Letter to the Planet’: Supreme Court Upholds Federal Carbon Price Regime in 6-3 Decision

The Supreme Court of Canada has brought an end to years of provincial legal challenges to a key cornerstone of federal climate policy, deciding by a 6-3 vote that the Trudeau government’s carbon pricing regime is constitutional.

GNL Québec Project Risks Far Outweigh Benefits, Government Review Panel Concludes

Quebec’s environmental review board says the risks associated with GNL Québec’s proposed Saguenay gas terminal project far outweigh its benefits.

Alberta Eased More Environmental Rules During COVID than Any Other Canadian Government

Alberta relaxed more environmental rules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic than any other government in Canada, says a study from the University of Calgary.

Growth of Canada’s Renewable Energy Capacity to Slow Through 2023

Renewable electricity capacity in Canada will grow over the next few years at less than half the rate it’s seen in recent years, according to federal projections.

Alberta Loses 35,000 Oil and Gas Jobs Since 2013

Alberta’s oil patch shed more than 35,000 jobs between December 2013 and February 2020. Now, analysts are urging anyone still banking on a strong return of fossil employment to think again.

EXCLUSIVE: New Carbon Capture Tax Credit Would Drive Higher Emissions, Could Mislead Investors

A new federal incentive, modelled on a U.S. tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage, would be tailor-made to drive higher greenhouse gas emissions and could produce unexpected surprises for private investors if it’s included in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s April 19 budget, a veteran U.S. energy consultant and attorney has told The Energy Mix.

Liberals Attack Conservatives, iPolitics Calls Out Liberals After CPC Denies Reality of Climate Change

Federal Liberals swiftly adopted a new attack strategy Monday to paint the Official Opposition as climate change deniers, after a weekend convention that saw the Conservative party grassroots reject a motion to declare climate change is real.

Canada’s Opposition to Line 5 Closure Flies in the Face of Science, Courts Disaster, Ex-IJC Chair Warns

In announcing its “non-negotiable” opposition to the closure of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, the Canadian government has seemingly kicked to the curb a longstanding cross-border commitment to protect the Great Lakes from harm, says an experienced U.S. advisor.

Top Architecture Award Picks Refurbishment Over High-Carbon Reconstruction

For the first time in its 46-year history, the most prestigious award in architecture has gone to a firm that has devoted three decades of work to retrofit and refurbishment, rather than new construction.

U.S. Outreach Project Mobilizes ‘Army of Environmental Super Voters’

An “army of environmental super voters” has been emerging in the United States since 2015, thanks to a non-partisan group that is now turning its attention to municipal elections taking place over the next year.

New Report Counts 600+ Cities in 72 Countries with 100% Renewable Energy Plans

The latest global status report on renewable power in cities shows that 2020 was a good year for the development of targets and policies at the municipal level, with more than 610 municipalities in 72 countries setting 100% renewable energy targets by year’s end.

Conservative Policy Delegates Vote Down Resolution that ‘Climate Change is Real’

The federal Conservatives will go into the next federal election with a policy book that does not directly acknowledge that “climate change is real” or declare the party “willing to act”, after delegates to the CPC virtual policy convention in Halifax voted down a set of environment-oriented policies by a 54-46 margin.

Opinion: Freeland Must Pick a Lane with Next Month’s Federal Budget. And the Right Answer is Obvious.

When she tables a much-anticipated federal budget later this year, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland mustn’t pass up the opportunity to revisit and rethink a bedrock assumption of Canadian economic strategy: that the country’s prosperity stands or falls on the fortunes of its oil and gas industry. It’s time for the federal government to stop trying to do two things at once, and instead pick a lane.

Nuclear Fuel ‘Recycling’ in New Brunswick Could Drive Weapons Proliferation, Analysts Warn

Two veteran safe energy campaigners are raising the alarm after the federal government announced a C$50.5-million subsidy to a New Brunswick company that wants to build a new 300-megawatt small modular nuclear reactor at the site of the current Point Lepreau nuclear station by the early 2030s.

‘Choosy’ Colossal Fossil Chevron Pulls Funding from Kitimat LNG Project

The decision by Chevron Canada Ltd. to stop funding its proposed Kitimat LNG project on B.C.’s north coast isn’t surprising given its failed attempt to sell its stake over the past 15 months, an analyst says.

U.S. Lawmakers to Vote on Groundbreaking Environmental Justice Bill

A landmark bill currently in front of the U.S. Congress could change the game for environmental justice in the country. Two key provisions: an annual US$75 million in funding to improve public health in disadvantaged communities, and taxing the fossil sector in order to support fossil-dependent workers and communities in the transition to green jobs.

Canada-Germany Agreement Spotlights Tensions Over Renewable, Fossil-Based Hydrogen

Canada and Germany have signed an agreement to team up on green energy innovation and trade, with an eye to hydrogen as the market for the low-carbon fuel heats up.

Consultations Will Let Albertans Say ‘No’ to Rocky Mountain Coal Mining, Minister Promises

Alberta’s energy minister has promised people will be able to say “no” to coal mining in the Rocky Mountains during upcoming consultations.

Canada’s Pandemic Bike Lanes Boost Accessibility, Should Be Made Permanent, Advocates Say

A recent study in shows that new bike lanes set up during the pandemic made the city more accessible for all, prompting cycling advocates to urge policy-makers to make the lanes permanent.

Line 5 Court Fight Would Take ‘Many, Many Years’, Pipeliner Tells Commons Committee

Courts in the United States would take “many, many years” to resolve the battle between Canada and Michigan over Line 5, the pipeline’s operator told MPs Tuesday as he pleaded for a negotiated solution to the dispute.

Use Energy Efficiency to Counter Energy Poverty, Analyst Urges

Energy efficiency is an essential part of the solution for the 20% of Canadian households now living in energy poverty—but the country’s major news outlets have yet to factor that reality into their coverage, Efficiency Canada argues in a recent blog post.

Initial Economic Gains Mustn’t Deter Freeland’s Green Recovery Budget, Analysts Warn

The federal government could be at risk of squandering its best opportunity at a just, green transition if a rosy February jobs report, the prospect of higher borrowing costs, and the belief that consumers are itching to spend their pandemic year savings pull it away from the job creation and economic recovery investments it promised in the Speech from the Throne last fall.

IRENA Urges $131-Trillion Investment through 2050 to Hit 1.5°C Target

Countries will have to speed up renewable energy development eight-fold, invest US$131 trillion by 2050, and massively ramp up hydrogen production to meet a 1.5°C target under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) concludes this week, in the latest edition of its annual World Energy Transitions Outlook.

Lion Electric to Build $185-Million Battery Plant in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec

Electric school bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric is building a new C$185-million battery pack assembly plant near its headquarters in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, after the federal and provincial governments each invested $50 million in the new venture this week—possibly forestalling a decision to locate the factory in the United States.

Ottawa Earmarks $400 Million Over Five Years for Active Transportation

Canada is about to get its first-ever pool of money dedicated specifically to “active transportation,” Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced last week.

‘Low-Carbon’ Diesel, Hydrogen Plant Expects $100M in B.C. Government Credits

Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. says it expects to receive C$100 million in provincial government low-carbon fuel credits if it proceeds with a plan to build renewable diesel and renewable hydrogen facilities at its Prince George Refinery in British Columbia.

Reopening Tesla Plant Last May Resulted in 450 Extra COVID Cases, Health Records Show

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s insistence on reopening his Fremont, California auto plant last May in the midst of a global health emergency resulted in an estimated 450 extra COVID-19 cases in California’s Alameda County, according to public health data obtained by the legal transparency website PlainSite.

Tax-Funded Alberta ‘War Room’ Battles Netflix Over Kids’ Adventure Film

The Alberta government’s energy “war room” is going to battle with a Netflix children’s movie saying it inaccurately portrays the oil industry.

solar power

Canadian Wind, Solar Boost Market Share Tenfold in a Decade—to 6%

The market share of power generation from wind turbines and solar panels in Canada’s electricity mix has jumped tenfold in the past decade—from a starting point that was less than a percentage point in 2010.

More Systemic Racism than Storm Damage in Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis

The winter storm that famously brought Texas to its knees last month also delivered misery to places like Jackson, Mississippi. Weeks later, more than 70% of Jackson’s mostly Black residents still don’t have safe water, an infrastructure failure that owes directly to systemic racism, past and present.

Federal Carbon Tax Revenue Funds Energy Retrofits for 172 Ontario Schools

The federal government will spend more than C$40 million of carbon tax revenue to make Ontario schools more energy efficient, the Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced last Wednesday.

Fort Nelson First Nation Nabs Federal Funding for 15-MW Geothermal Project

Ottawa has committed more than C$40 million to fund the development of geothermal power from a diminishing natural gas field in northern British Columbia.

EXCLUSIVE: Blaming Campaigners for Rising Premiums Masks Trans Mountain’s Shoddy Safety Record, Ex-Insurance Exec Says

The federal Crown corporation responsible for the Trans Mountain pipeline is diverting attention from its own shoddy safety culture by blaming campaigners for its rising insurance premiums, while trying to conceal information on its operations that properly belongs in the public domain, two insurance industry veterans have told The Energy Mix.

Time to Invest Now as Governments Devote Just 18% of COVID Spending to Green Recovery

The world’s 50 biggest economies devoted just 2.5% of their budgets in 2020 and only 18% of their pandemic spending to green recovery measures, according to a new analysis released this week by the University of Oxford and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Toronto City Council Calls for Ontario Gas Phaseout

Toronto has become the 21st Ontario city, and by definition the largest, urging the Ontario government to phase out fossil gas-fired power generation as soon as possible, after councillors and Mayor John Tory adopted a resolution supporting a provincial ban by a 21-2 margin.

Local Councillors Raise Coal Mining Concern in Alberta Environment Minister’s Home Riding

A municipal council in Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon’s constituency is the latest in a growing number of communities expressing concern about the province’s plan to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains.

Lethal Heat Waves More Likely, More Extreme in Poor Neighbourhoods, Study Shows

As the summer thermometer soars, and the cities of the southwestern United States are caught up in extremes of heat, the poorest people who live in the least prosperous districts may find their streets as much as 3°C hotter than those of the wealthiest 10%.

Alberta Calls for $30-Billion Carbon Capture Subsidy in Upcoming Federal Budget

The Alberta government is pitching for a 10-year, C$30-billion federal budget commitment to subsidize large-scale carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) projects, even as the federal and provincial governments form a joint working group to develop CCS strategy for the fossil sector.

Panicky Messaging on Line 5 Closure Threat Masks Real Issues with Pipeline, Oil by Rail

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is framing Michigan’s intention to shutter Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline as a dire threat to energy security on both sides of the border. Calmer analysis suggests otherwise.

Quebec LNG Megaproject Will Drive Up Power Rates with $310M Revenue Hit, Analysis Finds

The controversial GNL-Québec liquefied natural gas megaproject will drive up electricity rates across the province by producing a roughly C$310-million revenue shortfall for utility Hydro-Québec, the province’s Union des consommateurs warned in an open letter late last month.

Bankrupt Texas Oil Companies Abandon Toxic Wells, Cash Out CEOs

Texas oil and gas companies are pulling up stakes, pleading bankruptcy, and leaving the public on the hook for abandoned wells they insist they cannot afford to plug themselves. But the pay packages delivered to CEOs just prior to the declarations of bankruptcy seem to show that different decisions could have been made.

800-MW Vineyard Wind Project Off Massachusetts Coast Moves Closer to Approval

The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm is inching closer to U.S. government approval, years after an earlier project off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts was brought down by an unusual alliance between the Kennedy and Koch families.

Economic, Racial Bias Skews Cascadia’s Push to Decarbonize

The fight for climate justice continues to struggle for air as Cascadia races ahead to decarbonize. But brighter days may lie ahead.

David Schindler, Alberta Scientist Who ‘Talked Truth to Power’, Dies at Age 80

His research in the lab and the field was published in some of the world’s top journals, but that was never enough for David Schindler, who died Thursday at the age of 80.

Groups Urge Toronto Council to Solve Its ‘Embarrassing Gas Problem’ [Sign-On]

The City of Toronto will have a chance Wednesday to deal with what one leading advocate calls its “embarrassing gas problem” when councillors vote on a motion to support a phaseout of power plants running largely on fracked gas.

Alberta Regulator Clamps Down after Deadbeat Fossil Falls $67 Million Short on Cleanup Funds

The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending licences for thousands of wells and pipelines after an oil and gas producer failed to bring its operations into regulatory compliance.

$565-Billion House Bill Aims to Cut U.S. Emissions 50% by 2030, Decarbonize Grid by 2035

The United States would cut its greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and count on a clean electricity standard to achieve a 100% clean energy grid by 2035 under legislation reintroduced this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ottawa Sends $2.7 Billion to Transit Agencies for Zero-Emission Buses

Canadian transit agencies are in line to receive C$2.7 billion in new federal funding over five years to begin converting their diesel fleets to electric buses.

Appalachia’s Coal Fate Could Hold Lessons for New Mexico

Analysts are warning that New Mexico’s dependence on oil and gas could lead to the same legacy of poverty and pollution as Appalachia inherited after the decline of coal. That has some observers pointing to the option of a better ending—by using the state’s confirmed potential as a solar and wind powerhouse.

Developers Clash with U.S. Cities on Vote for Greener Building Codes

Two years ago, sustainability-minded city planners across the United States discovered they could vote to change the national energy codes that many states adopt to set efficiency standards for larger buildings. Voting in droves, they voted deep green. Now, developers are determined to overturn the results.

New Technologies Could Cut Millions of Tonnes of Carbon, Save U.S. Utilities Billions of Dollars

Utilities in the United States could cut millions of tonnes of carbon pollution, save billions of dollars, and double their capacity for new wind and solar capacity if federal government incentives can be set up to support a suite of “grid-enhancing technologies”, the Boston-based Brattle Group concludes in a report released last month.

coal power plant

BREAKING: Powering Past Coal Alliance Urges Faster Phaseout While Co-Founders Allow New Coal Mines

The global Powering Past Coal Alliance is taking sharp criticism from both sides of the Atlantic this week, with delegates gathering for a three-day online summit while the PPCA’s two founders and co-chairs, Canada and the United Kingdom, allow new coal mines to go into operation.

Windsor, Ontario Courts Investor for $2-Billion Battery Manufacturing Plant

The auto manufacturing town of Windsor, Ontario is angling for a C$2-billion investment in an electric vehicle manufacturing plant, Canada’s first, that would create 2,000 local jobs and be “truly transformative” to the local economy.

Seven in 10 Canadian Car Shoppers Plan to Go Electric

Nearly 70% of Canadians looking to buy a new vehicle within the next five years plan on dumping the internal combustion engine and going with an EV, according to a new KPMG survey.

Fracked U.S. Gas the Main Culprit as Toronto GHG Emissions Rise 7% in 2018

Greenhouse gas emissions rose 7% in Toronto and 5.2% across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in 2018, with natural gas the major cause, a new report warns this week.

Canadian Environmental Justice Bill Set for Commons Debate [Petition]

A private member’s bill seeking to address environmental racism in Canada, in part by empowering BIPOC communities to act in their own defence, is due to be debated in the House of Commons later this month—the first step in moving the legislation forward to committee.

Heritage Group Places Entire City of Providence, RI, on ‘Endangered Property’ List

The iconic 1928 “Superman” building is just one of many heritage treasures to be found in the 385-year-old Rhode Island city of Providence. Now, a local preservation society has moved to place the entire city on its annual “most endangered properties” list, citing sea level rise and storm surge risk.

New Window Design Directs Sunshine, Indoor Light to Solar Cells

An engineering team at Rice University in Houston has come up with a new design for window glass that redirects incoming sunlight, or even indoor illumination, to solar cells that can turn it into electricity.

Western Australia Plans 1,000 New Microgrids Combining Solar+Storage+Hydrogen

The Labor government in Western Australia expects to save hundreds of millions of dollars with a A$259-million, five-year green manufacturing plan that will see 1,000 new microgrids, combining solar, batteries, and hydrogen electrolyzers, installed across the state.

B.C. Pushes Forward with Site C Hydro Megaproject Despite $16-Billion Price Tag

Premier John Horgan has given the green light for work on British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam to proceed, citing termination costs of more than C$10 billion and expert opinion that the geotechnical problems that have haunted the project can be fixed. Members of the West Moberly First Nations say they’ll see the province in court.

‘Future Belongs to Renewables’ as Norwegian Wealth Fund Blacklists Four Alberta Fossils

Norway’s US$1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund is following through on its threat to drop investments in Canadian tar sands/oil sands production, with four Alberta fossils showing up among the 15 companies the fund blacklisted last year, the Globe and Mail reports.

TAF Urges $27-Billion Federal Investment for ‘Well-Functioning Deep Retrofit Market’

The federal government should build on the work of the 2020 Task Force for a Resilient Recovery by investing at least C$27 billion in resilient, energy-efficient buildings and directing the dollars to help build an effective deep retrofit industry, The Atmospheric Fund recommends in its 2021 pre-budget submission.

Maryland Capital and Its County Launch New Climate Suits Against Big Fossil

Annapolis, Maryland, has launched a lawsuit against 26 fossil companies—including heavyweights ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell—in a bid to hold the industry liable for its decision to pursue fossil fuel development despite full knowledge of the environmental consequences.

Canadian Fossil Subsidies Tripled in 2020, Report Shows

A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada’s oilpatch.

Nova Scotia Unveils EV, Energy Retrofit Fund, but Climate Analysts Look for More

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin has announced C$19 million in rebates to help people buy electric vehicles and to assist low-income families in making their homes more energy efficient.

Communities in B.C.’s West Kootenays Sign on to New 100% Renewables Playbook

Building non-partisan community support for climate action that will endure through municipal election cycles is an absolute imperative to solving the climate crisis. That is the core message being delivered in the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s 2020 Climate Playbook and Toolkit.

Rising Rents, Hurricane Damage Drive Homelessness Crisis in Louisiana

Only six months after seeing their homes destroyed by back-to-back hurricanes, many renters in the industrial heartland of southwest Louisiana have found themselves literally on the street due to unconscionable eviction laws, a woefully insufficient federal aid response, a pre-existing housing crisis, and pandemic-related job losses.

Coastal GasLink Costs Rise as B.C. Flags Environmental Impacts Along Pipeline Route

The CEO of TC Energy Corp. is warning that the cost of its Coastal GasLink pipeline to bring natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to Canada’s first LNG export terminal is rising and completion will likely be delayed due to a construction halt to control spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote Russian Region Aims for Net-Zero Emissions by 2025

Possibly signalling a (slow) shift in Vladimir Putin’s unambitious climate agenda, the far east Russian island region of Sakhalin has declared its intent to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025.

Canada Needs a ZEV Target This Year to Meet Climate Targets, Analyst Warns

It’s essential for Canada to deliver on a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate this year if it wants to stay true to its commitments under the Paris Agreement, Équiterre mobility analyst Andréanne Brazeau writes in a recent post for Policy Options.

Toronto Cuts Climate Funding, Delays Long-Term Emissions Plan as Pandemic Strains Finances

Toronto city council decided last week to delay planning activities and reduce funding for its TranformTO climate plan, ignoring warnings that the climate crisis and the community’s own environmental targets will make it tough to make up the lost time.

City Forests Hold Promise for Significant CO2 Offsets, Study Concludes

Urban reforestation in cities in the Global South could be a cost-effective path to offsetting some part of global city emissions, according to a new study. And the researchers are calling their findings a conservative estimate, calculated with due concern for land use conflicts and other fundamental constraints.

Off-Gassing Upholstery, Highway Emissions Make Cars Toxic Inside and Out

The average commute time in California is 30 minutes, and growing. And according to a new study, the half-hour spent in vehicles that off-gas benzene and formaldehyde—and driving on highways befogged with toxic tailpipe emissions—is increasing some very specific health risks.

Coalition Pushes for 50% Carbon Cut by 2030 as U.S. Rejoins Paris Agreement

The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement Friday, with climate envoy John Kerry warning that high-stakes negotiations at COP 26 in Glasgow this fall represent the “last, best hope” to avert catastrophic climate change.

Alberta Towns Declare Crisis as Deadbeat Fossils’ Unpaid Tax Bills Triple to $245 Million

The exponential growth of unpaid property taxes from Alberta’s struggling oilpatch is threatening small communities and they need new ways to enforce the rules, says the group that represents them.

B.C. Pension Fund Plans $5 Billion for Sustainability Bonds as ESG Investments Surge

The investment fund responsible for British Columbia’s public sector pensions is committing to buy C$5 billion in new sustainability bonds and reduce the carbon dioxide exposure of its existing investments 30% from 2019 levels by 2025, at a moment when the broader field of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is taking financiers by surprise with its “astronomical” rise.

Federal Committee Undercuts Net-Zero Pledge by Making Airtightness Testing Voluntary

The federal committee responsible for building code development is undercutting Canada’s commitment to a net-zero future by making airtightness testing a voluntary measure, Efficiency Canada warns in a new blog post.

$16,752 Power Bill was a Feature, Not a Bug, in Texas’ Market-Driven Electricity System

With one Texas ratepayer looking at a US$16,752 power bill, and another down to her last $200 after her electricity reseller cleaned out her bank account, the architect of the state’s deregulated electricity market says it’s functioning exactly as it’s supposed to.

Texas Blackouts Highlight Disaster Risk for U.S., Canadian Utilities

With many Texans still scrambling to recover from a week of freezing cold weather, power blackouts, and water shortages, early analysis in the United States and Canada is pointing to the episode as a wake-up call for grid operators—and electricity users—across the continent.

Going All In on EV Adoption Won’t Solve America’s Car Addiction: Op-Ed

While the Biden administration’s recent pledge to replace the U.S. government’s fleet of some 650,000 vehicles with EVs is being welcomed, observers warn that simply replacing one car type with another won’t solve a deeper issue at the heart of America’s transportation fabric.

BREAKING: Texas Was ‘Seconds and Minutes’ from Months-Long Blackouts, Grid Operator Admits

At least 47 people were dead, hundreds of thousands of homes were still without power, half of the state was under a boil water order, racialized communities were bearing the brunt, and the electricity system operator admitted it had only narrowly averted months-long blackouts as Texas began taking stock of a rolling disaster brought on by climate-driven severe weather and ideologically-driven grid deregulation.

Missouri Solar Installer Reports ‘Overwhelming’ Interest as Customers Face Rolling Blackouts

Though politicians in Texas might insist on wrongly blaming renewable energy for the devastated condition of the state’s power grid, people in northwestern Missouri know what to do. A solar company in St. Joseph, about 55 miles north of Kansas City, says its phones have been ringing off the hook as customers respond to rolling blackouts in the region and across much of the United States

California Senate Bill Would Halt New Fracking, Set 2027 ban

Citing the “existential threat” of the climate crisis, two California senators have introduced a bill that would sharply curtail fracking in the state—and eventually ban it outright. And despite the predictable backlash from fossil interests, the bill makes explicit a commitment to a just transition.

Alberta Business Council Calls for Provincial Sales Tax, Reinstated Carbon Tax

A business council with representation from virtually all the major fossil companies in Alberta is calling on the Jason Kenney government to introduce a provincial sales tax and reinstate a consumer carbon tax.

Ottawa Underestimates Carbon Tax Rebates after Revenue Exceeds Predictions

The federal government owes Canadian families in three provinces more than C$200 million after underestimating how much it would raise from the carbon tax during the first year of the program.

New U.S. Scenarios Show State-by-State Benefits of Net-Zero Shift

A modelling study published earlier this month by three U.S. organizations breaks down the state-by-state benefits the country can expect from the drive to a net-zero economy by 2050.

Teachers, Youth Fight Fossil Influence in U.S. Schools

The heavy influence of Big Oil in U.S. teaching materials and a lack of support for educating students about climate change has left many American children ignorant about the climate crisis and its solutions. But some teachers and youth are fighting back against the lies and condescension.

Brutal Cold Snap Triggers Rolling Blackouts, Drives Up Power Costs as Texas Gas Plants Fail

A brutal blast of cold, winter weather this week killed at least 14 people in four U.S. states, dropped snow and ice on an area from Texas to New England, took 34,000 megawatts of power offline in Texas, drove wholesale electricity rates up by more than 10,000%—and prompted a brief, inevitable burst of complaints directed at the state’s wind farms, before it became clear that most of the missing electricity was from the state’s gas plants.

Line 3 Pipeline Runs $1.1 Billion Over Budget as Eleventh-Hour Opposition Mounts

Construction of the U.S. portion of the Line 3 pipeline will cost $1.1 billion more than expected due to regulatory and court delays in Minnesota, but the CEO of owner Enbridge Inc. says the project is on track to start delivering “lots of free cash flow” by late this year.

New Deforestation Map Reveals Shocking Loss of B.C.’s Old Growth Stands

Despite its “Super, Natural” branding, British Columbia is by no means a haven for old-growth forests, according to a new mapping project that points to a massive toll from logging and industrial activity.

Pickering-Area Citizens Launch Blockade, ‘Shoe Strike’ to Protect Sensitive Local Wetland

Community groups and angry citizens from Pickering, Ontario are going up against what one news report calls “a billionaire and a business-friendly government” to try to stop the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland, a provincially significant local green space, wildlife habitat, and buffer against climate impacts, from being bulldozed for a massive warehouse and entertainment complex.

Citizen ‘Climate Brigades’ in Ecuador Build Resilience, Cohesion

The citizen brigades of Guayaquil, Ecuador, were established to help the city’s poor find safety during extreme weather events. But the results have gone far further—with positive reverberations both political and personal.

Amtrak One? With a Rail Enthusiast in the White House, Transit Advocate Eyes a Renaissance

Through a three-decade career in the U.S. Senate, President Joe Biden famously made the commute from Delaware to Washington, DC by rail, and his plans to arrive at his inauguration in a train car were only derailed by threats of Trump-instigated violence.
Now, a former customer advocate for New Jersey Transit says the new occupant of Air Force One should imagine a transition to Amtrak One.

Net-Zero Home Rides Out Edmonton Cold Snap with No Furnace Required

A net-zero home in Edmonton, Alberta stayed toasty warm this week when the polar vortex brought bitterly cold temperatures to town, enabling Darryl Zubot and his family to stay comfortable and safe—without having to turn on the furnace.

Valentine’s Day Campaign, New Research Highlight B.C. Subsidies to Top Fracking Companies

“Roses are red/Money is green/Thanks for the cheque/Glad we’re on the same team.”
That’s the tone of a series of valentines released late last week by Dogwood BC, this one addressed from fossil producer Encana (now Ovintiv) to Premier John Horgan, just days after a four-page analysis by the Wilderness Committee listed the subsidies going to the province’s top 10 fracking companies.

Appalachia Counties Lose Jobs, Population Despite Massive Fracking Boom

The 22 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that have been at the centre of an extraordinary, decade-long fracking boom have seen very little job creation or economic gain as a result, concludes a new study released last week by the Pennsylvania-based Ohio River Valley Institute.

Indigenous Clean Energy Seeks Federal Endowment to Build ‘Decolonized Energy Future’

With nearly 200 renewable energy projects in progress, each of them generating more than a megawatt of electricity at full capacity, Indigenous Clean Energy is calling on the federal government to invest C$500 million in a “decolonized energy future” for Indigenous communities.

Alberta’s Reinstated Coal Policy Leaves Gaping Opportunities for Mining

Its recent mea culpa notwithstanding, the Jason Kenney government in Alberta has by no means closed the barn door on the idea of metallurgical coal mining in the beloved, and ecologically sensitive, eastern slopes of the Rockies.

Fact Checker Scorches Kenney’s Keystone Claims as Premier’s Political Woes Deepen

The Edmonton-based Parkland Institute is out with a detailed fact check of Premier Jason Kenney’s recent pronouncements on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Maclean’s magazine speculates on whether this is the job Kenney was looking for when he sought the Alberta premiership.

Alberta, B.C. Receive New Funding Under Federal Oil Well Cleanup Program

The Alberta, British Columbia, and federal governments have unveiled a new round of funding to help clean up inactive oil and gas sites in the province, including C$400 million in Alberta and $120 million for B.C.

EXCLUSIVE: Study Shows Governments’ Oil and Gas Revenue Crashing as Decarbonization Takes Hold

Canadian governments stand to lose more than half of their revenue from oil and gas activities through 2040, and nearly nine-tenths of the taxes and royalties the industry says they will collect, as the global economy decarbonizes and shifts away from fossil fuel production, the UK-based Carbon Tracker Initiative concludes in an analysis released this week.

Fund Low-Income Building Retrofits in Upcoming Budget, Efficiency Canada Urges Ottawa [Sign-Ons]

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2021 budget must include funding for building energy retrofits for low-income households that can’t afford the up-front cost of a home renovation, Efficiency Canada argues in a sign-on published this week.

Big City Mayors Cheer as Trudeau Offers Permanent Federal Transit Funding

The federal Liberal government is promising cash-strapped cities billions of dollars in permanent funding for their public transit systems—though most of the money won’t start flowing until later in the decade.

Trudeau Touts Hydropower Exports as U.S. Looks to Canadian Dams for Electricity Storage

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to promote hydropower exports to the United States, as one response to President Joe Biden’s commitment to decarbonize his country’s sprawling electricity grid by 2035. But analysts say Canada’s network of hydro dams might be useful as a place to store renewable power, rather than generating it.

Ecojustice Goes to Court Against Alberta’s ‘Foreign-Funded Influence’ Panel

A judge in Calgary was to hear arguments this week over whether Alberta’s public inquiry into the purported foreign funding of environmental charities is a valid defence of the province’s ailing oil industry or an attempt to silence dissent.

Study Shows U.S. Decarbonizing by 2050 for $1 Per Person Per Day

The United States—per head of population perhaps the world’s most prodigal emitter of greenhouse gases—can reverse that and have a carbon-free future within three decades, at a cost of no more than $1 per person per day, according to a new study in the journal AGU Advances.

Canada Can Thrive on Road to Net-Zero if Governments Make Good Decisions Now

Canada has multiple opportunities to thrive along the road to a net-zero economy by 2050 as long as governments make the right decisions now, concludes a study released this week by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC).

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

Line 5 Pipeline Battle Produces Overheated Claims on Job vs. Environment

As officials in Michigan look to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, business interests in Ontario and Quebec are warning of dire economic effects. But others—like Green Party Leader Annamie Paul—say there are opportunities, too, and that presenting the pipeline as a choice between jobs and the environment is a false, and dangerous, dichotomy.

Coal mining

Loopholes Still Allow Mountaintop Mining, Law Prof Warns, after Alberta Reinstates 1976 Coal Policy

Doubts are being raised about the Alberta government’s decision to restore a policy that protects the Rocky Mountains from coal mining.

NS Firm Launches Latest Effort to Harness Bay of Fundy Tides

A large floating platform with six underwater turbines was launched Monday near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, marking the latest high-tech bid to generate electricity by harnessing the bay’s powerful tides.

‘Hydropower Era May Be Over’ as Wind Farms Draw New Investment in Quebec, B.C.

Wind energy investment received twin boosts in Quebec and British Columbia last week, with one of the announcements prompting the Globe and Mail to comment that “the era of building big new hydropower dams in Quebec might be over”.

‘Intense Public Protest’ Prompts Alberta to Restore Some Coal Industry Regulation

The Alberta government says it plans to restore some aspects of a policy it revoked last spring that protected a wide swath of the province’s foothills and mountains from coal mines.
The move has provoked intense public protest.

Tech Sector Helps Diversify Alberta Job Market, But Gains May Not Last

Technology companies are delivering a ray of hope to an Alberta economy facing the combined impact of a global health crisis and shaky demand for oil. But the sector’s success could be precarious as the province competes with other jurisdictions for investment and jobs.

U.S. Cities Vastly Underreport Their Emissions, Study Concludes

A new study in the journal Nature Communications warns that most American cities are likely underreporting their greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%, an alarming statistic given that the world’s cities already produce the lion’s share of CO2 emissions—and many are expected to triple in size by 2030.

White House Abandons Trump-Era Attacks on Vehicle Efficiency, Methane Standards

The Biden administration is abandoning a controversial Trump-era attempt to challenge California’s legislated authority to set its own tailpipe and methane emission standards under the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Alberta Fossil Defence Tactics Ripped Right from Fossil Petro-State Playbook, Analysis Shows

Alberta’s government may brandish democracy when it promotes its oil to the world, but its transparent efforts to silence voices of opposition to fossil fuels come direct from the playbook of some of the world’s most oppressive petro-states, says a new report from Toronto-based Environmental Defence.

‘Fire Yourself’ on Intergovernmental Affairs, UCP Co-Founder Urges Kenney

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is getting some unsolicited advice from the co-founder of the United Conservative Party: fire yourself as intergovernmental affairs minister.

Wyoming Citizens Divided on Economic Shift from Fossil to Renewables

As the low-carbon transition takes hold, fossil-producing Wyoming is at a crossroads. The windy state is grasping at the potential to invest big in renewable power—but old habits die hard, and uncertainty about wind’s ability to deliver has many citizens fearing change.

‘Ending Zero-Sum Green Energy Politics’ Depends on Local Solutions, Win-Win Thinking

A detailed, local pitch for jobs and economic activity will be central to the Biden administration’s push to transform the way the United States produces energy and addresses the climate crisis, writes Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, in a recent opinion piece on the pathway to “ending zero-sum green energy politics”.

Canada and U.S. Drastically Underestimate Methane Emissions as Atmospheric Levels Rise

Federal environmental agencies are underestimating methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells by 20% in the United States and 150% in Canada, according to a McGill University study published late last month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, one of several in recent weeks that have pointed to a mounting crisis in releases of the climate-busting gas.

Refocus Infrastructure Spending to Cut Carbon, Create Jobs, Blue Green Canada Urges

Canada is missing a big opportunity to create jobs, cut pollution, and advance a net-zero emissions agenda by failing to prioritize projects that use low-carbon building materials and cleaner construction processes, Blue Green Canada argues in a report issued this week.

Executive Orders Good, Action Better, U.S. Environmental Justice Campaigners Say

Environmental justice campaigners in the United States have been feeling hopeful as President Joe Biden signs a string of executive orders to begin setting his climate program in motion. But more trust-building is needed, say observers—particularly after a long history of politicians talking big but delivering little.

B.C. Logging Practices Drive Up Climate Risk, Sierra Club Warns

After failing to assess elevated risks of drought, wildfire, and flooding resulting from its standard logging practices, British Columbia urgently needs to address impacts of forest clearcutting that were left out of its 2019 Strategic Climate Risk Assessment, according to a report released Monday by Sierra Club BC.

Finnish City of Oulu Shows How Winter Cycling Can Rule

Though the blame for Canada’s dearth of winter cyclists is typically placed on weather, it is the lack of dedicated—and snow-cleared—bike routes that keeps people tethered to their cars and public transit, according to a video that profiles the 200,000-strong city of Oulu, Finland as Exhibit A for how to make winter cycling work.

Fossils ‘Stunned’, ‘Aghast’ After Biden Pauses New Oil and Gas Leases

North American fossils are declaring themselves “stunned” and “aghast” at the wave of climate action emanating from the White House last week, with U.S. President Joe Biden ordering a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land and climate advisor Gina McCarthy promising “the most aggressive” greenhouse gas reductions the country can achieve.

Missing Federal Permit, Cancelled Insurance Bond Mean Mounting Legal Woes for Dakota Access Pipeline

Legal and regulatory problems are beginning to pile up for the troubled Dakota Access Pipeline, with a judge asking how the pipeline operator “expects to proceed” without a key federal permit and an insurance company cancelling an important financial guarantee in Iowa.

Alberta Grants Third Deadline Extension to Struggling ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Panel

The Alberta government has given an inquiry into the funding of oil and gas industry critics a third deadline extension to complete its report.

Jason Kenney vs. the Plimsoll Line

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proved to be “all hat but no horse” when it came to roping and tying down the ill-fated Keystone XL pipeline. Now, after risking billions in taxpayer funds on that folly, it appears he may soon be riding out of town on a one-trick pony. A metaphorical analysis by veteran journalist Paul McKay.

Collapsed Section of Pacific Coast Highway Points to Climate Perils Facing Coastal California

A section of the Pacific Coast Highway near Big Sur, California has collapsed into the ocean due to heavy rains and erosion.

State-Led U.S. Climate Alliance Still Sees Headwinds Post-Trump

A White House led by a climate denier who was actively working to undermine global efforts to meet the targets in Paris Agreement made work hard for the 25 U.S. states that pledged to make good on their country’s promises under the 2015 deal. But even with Trump gone, progress is still being hamstrung by a tendency to equate action with electric power.

Trudeau Tree-Planting Plan to Run $2.78B Over Budget, PBO Warns

The parliamentary budget office says a pledge by the Trudeau Liberals to plant two billion trees could cost almost double what the government says.

Coldest Town in Finland Unveils Satirical Bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

The self-described coldest town in Finland is making a pitch to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, with a mock promotional campaign that highlights the impacts of climate change in a place with an annual average temperature of -0.22°C/31.6°F.

Sweeping Biden Executive Orders Halt Fossil Leases, Boost Renewables, Stress Environmental Justice and Scientific Integrity

With a set of three sweeping executive orders Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden launched an abrupt shift from four years of climate denial and inaction. The orders included measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, increase its reliance on renewable energy, accelerate government renewables procurement and research, restore scientific integrity, and begin addressing the searing inequities and environmental justice issues that had been allowed to fester under his predecessor’s watch.

Alarmingly Warm Water Temperatures Put Gulf of St. Lawrence in ‘Uncharted Territory’

Deep waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are hitting record highs that fall far beyond normal variations, part of a decade-long trend emerging from research released earlier this week by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

New York Approves New Transmission Line, Calculates 39,000 MW of Renewables Demand by 2040

New York’s utility regulator has approved a new 93-mile, US$854-million transmission line that is just one part of a wider effort to decarbonize the state’s electricity grid by 2040.

Biden to Pause Oil and Gas Leasing, Emphasize Environmental Justice in ‘Climate Day’ Executive Orders Expected Today

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to pause new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters and unveil an ambitious plan to put environmental justice at the centre of his climate program in a series of executive orders to be signed later today.

Vulcan County, Alberta Sets Sights on 500-MW Wind Farm

The rural county in Alberta that brought Canada its biggest solar farm to date is at it again, with word this week that it is seeking regulatory approval for a 500-megawatt wind farm.

Hydro-Québec Lands 88-MW Green Hydrogen Deal with Thyssenkrupp

Provincial utility Hydro-Québec has signed a deal with a division of Essen, Germany-based industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp to build one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, an 88-megawatt facility in Varennes that will produce 11,100 tonnes of the product per year.

Alberta Coal Expansion Plan Raises Flags Over Past Toxic Contamination, Missed Monitoring

EDMONTON — Critics are asking why Alberta Environment has been sitting on years’ worth of data about pollution from coal mines while the government considers a dramatic expansion of the industry.

TC Energy May Survive Keystone Cancellation Unscathed. Alberta Not So Much.

In the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, analysts say proponent TC Energy should be able to walk away from the intensely controversial megaproject relatively unscathed. But the same can’t be said for the Jason Kenney government in Alberta, whose eleventh-hour subsidy kept the pipeline alive long enough for Biden to shut it down.

Time to Move On from Keystone, Ambassador Says, as Biden, Trudeau Talk Climate Cooperation

With U.S. President Joe Biden making climate action a top priority for his new administration, and an analyst warning that the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation will stifle Alberta’s fossil industry for years, Canada’s U.S. ambassador is saying that it’s time to move on and focus on other opportunities in the bilateral relationship.

Rethink ‘Pugilistic’ Approach to Pipelines, Environment, Political Scientists Advise Kenney

EDMONTON — Political analysts say Premier Jason Kenney must rethink his traditional “fight back” approach and start building bridges to reconcile environmental concerns with oil and gas development.

Sask Premier Tries to Bully Regina Councillors Over Fossil Ad Restrictions

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is warning Regina city council there could be financial consequences if it restricts energy companies from sponsoring or advertising with the city.

White House Says More Climate Action Coming in ‘Omnibus’ Order Next Week

U.S. President Joe Biden is planning another week of rapid action on the climate emergency, Reuters reports, citing a White House memo that promises a “series of regulatory actions to combat climate change domestically and elevates climate change as a national security priority”.

‘Humiliated’ Kenney Demands Trade Sanctions, Could Sell Pipeline for Scrap as TC Shuts Down Keystone Construction

A “humiliated” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney demanded trade sanctions against the United States, TC Energy cut 1,000 construction jobs, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal falsely claimed 10,000 to 11,000 jobs lost, and the Keystone XL pipeline was at risk of being sold off for scrap after President Joe Biden signed a Day One executive order cancelling the presidential permit for the intensely controversial fossil megaproject.

Flurry of Biden Executive Orders Returns U.S. to Paris Agreement, Begins Reversing Trump Deregulatory Agenda

News reports Wednesday heralded the dawn of a new era in U.S. climate, energy, and environmental justice policy, as President Joe Biden marked his first day in office by signing a wave of executive orders to begin rolling back four years of deregulation under Donald Trump.

Power Corp. Division Says $1-Billion Renewables Fund Will Be ‘First of Several’

A division of storied Quebec industrial conglomerate Power Corporation is launching a C$1-billion investment fund focused on solar and wind projects.

Wind power turbine

Alberta, B.C. Polls Show Strong Support for Net-Zero, Low Buy-In for LNG

More than two-thirds of Albertans support a 2050 target for net-zero emissions, and six in 10 British Columbians back clean energy over liquefied natural gas (LNG) development, according to separate research released last week by the Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada.

Canadian Carbon Price Proponent Pushes Back on False Narratives

Those peddling the notion that Canada’s federal government is holding back some portion of the federal carbon tax from its citizens are pushing a false narrative, writes Toronto-based Clean Prosperity, in an analysis that lays out the plain truth: nine out of every ten dollars is returned via taxpayer rebates, with the remainder going to support local emissions reduction projects.

B.C. Regulator Imposes Independent Auditor After Coastal GasLink Imperils Prime Fish Habitats

Northeastern British Columbia pipeliner Coastal GasLink has been ordered to abide by provincial laws and start preventing polluted sediments from flowing from its work sites into prime fish habitats. And it won’t be trusted to take these protective measures on its own.

After Early Momentum, Cascadia Region Loses Focus on Climate Action

Political infighting, misinformation campaigns, and serial communication failures have dashed any hopes that the Cascadia region would take the lead in the climate fight and significantly reduce its emissions by the end of last year. Now, angry young people are asking the courts to force their leaders to do a better job, and fast.

Residents’ Court Claim Links Landslide to Site C Construction

VANCOUVER — Residents of a tiny community in northeastern British Columbia are suing the local and provincial governments over two slow-moving landslides they claim caused their property values to plummet.

Fossils Create Less than 1% of Canadian Jobs, Making 20-Year Phaseout ‘Very Feasible’, Study Concludes

The Canadian economy has added 42 new jobs for each one it has lost in fossil fuels since 2014, and a 20-year industry phaseout would only reduce fossil employment by about 8,500 positions per year—as many as the country usually creates every 10 days—concludes economist Jim Stanford in an analysis published this week by Environmental Defence.

Biden Brings a Policy ‘Sea Change’, Podesta Tells GreenPAC Webinar

An aggressive program of executive actions and green investments, a White House staffed with “climate champions”, and a concerted effort to rebuild the U.S. government’s scientific capacity and morale will all begin to take shape today with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, former White House counsellor John Podesta said Tuesday afternoon, during a webinar hosted by Toronto-based GreenPAC.

TC Energy Touts ‘Zero-Emissions’ Plan, Kenney Threatens Court Action as Keystone Cancellation Looms

Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy touted a “zero-emissions” approach to its fossil fuel transportation business, the federal and Alberta government vowed to continue the fight, and Premier Jason Kenney admitted his province stands to lose a billion-dollar gamble as the reality sank in that U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline after he’s sworn in later today.

Alberta Cancels 11 Coal Leases, Allows Development on 420,000 Hectares after Petitions Gather 100,000 Signatures [Sign-Ons]

EDMONTON — Alberta has decided to cancel recently issued coal leases in the Rocky Mountains, as public opposition grows to the United Conservative government’s plan to expand coal mining in the area.

Civil Rights Advocates Decry New Ohio Anti-Protest Legislation

As Ohio quietly moves to bring down a larger hammer on those who trespass on oil and gas infrastructure, activists and civil liberties defenders fear the crackdown against the Capitol Hill insurrection two weeks ago will be used to justify further suppression of fair protest.

Smoke Exposure Could Mean Higher Microbial Infection Risk for Wildland Firefighters

Wildfire smoke contains microbes, a fact that’s often ignored, but one that may have important health repercussions, Wildfire Today reports.

‘Smart Cities’ Hype Enters the Global South, after North American Projects Fall Short

While oft-criticized in North America for promising much and delivering little, the “smart city” concept is gaining a foothold in the Global South—a troubling development for those who worry about the incursions of Big Data, or see the projects as little more than oversized gated communities.

GM Canada Announces $1-Billion Electric Van Investment in Ingersoll, Ontario

Results of a ratification vote were to be released today after GM Canada and Unifor reached a tentative deal that will see the giant automaker invest C$1 billion to build electric vans at its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Alberta Inquiry Touts ‘Junk Climate Denial’, Conspiracy Theories in Fossil Industry’s Defence

Alberta’s C$3.5-million inquiry into supposed foreign-funded interference with the province’s fossil industry is advancing “junk climate denial science, bizarre conspiracy theories, and oil industry propaganda,” according to critics who’ve reviewed a series of commissioned studies now available on the inquiry’s website, CBC and the Globe and Mail report.

New Exposé Reveals $171 Million in No-Bid Contracts on Site C Hydro Megaproject

Disgraced engineering giant SNC Lavalin and a former BC Hydro chief engineer were among the big winners when the provincial utility awarded C$171 million in sole-source, “no-bid” contracts for its controversial Site C hydropower megaproject, according to an exposé published by The Narwhal last week.

New Ministerial Mandate Letters Lay Out Federal Agenda on Climate, Green Recovery

While the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is still necessarily taking up most of the oxygen on Parliament Hill, climate action and a green recovery figure fairly prominently in a new batch of ministerial mandate letters released last Thursday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

McCarthy: 2021 Could Be ‘Pivotal Year’ for Climate Action

With climate action and ambition accelerating toward the end of last year, in Canada and internationally, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution under way, 2021 could be a pivotal year in the fight to get the climate crisis under control, writes Shawn McCarthy, senior counsel at the Sussex Strategy Group, in a post last week for Policy Options.

Southern Alberta Monolith Carries Message Against Rocky Mountain Coal Mining

A towering stainless steel monolith set up along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta comes with a message.

Newfoundland Offers Suncor $175 Million to Restart Terra Nova Offshore Oilfield

Newfoundland and Labrador is offering C$175 million to the owners of the dormant Terra Nova offshore oilfield, but only if oil starts pumping again.

New Offshore Drilling Permits Could Put Canada’s Climate Targets Out of Reach, Endangered Right Whales at Risk

The federal government is putting its own climate targets out of reach, triggering higher carbon dioxide and methane emissions, putting endangered North Atlantic right whales at further risk, and undercutting the new impact assessment process it adopted less than two years ago, according to environmental groups reacting to the approval of three new fossil exploration projects off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador earlier this week.

Alberta Sends Warning Letters, Imposes No Fines in ‘Really Serious Case’ of Falsified Documents

A “huge” case of falsified records, in which 59 reclamation certificates for abandoned gas wells were rescinded by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), has resulted in warning letters and media coverage but no financial penalties for the two companies involved, after a complex investigation ran into the two-year limit imposed by provincial legislation.

Six Nations, NRStor Win Financing for Canada’s Biggest Battery Project

The Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and their corporate partner NRStor Inc. have tapped into support from the Canada Investment Bank to get the country’s biggest battery storage project off the ground.

Higher ‘Value of Carbon’ Guidance Could Boost Aggressive Climate Policy

New “value of carbon” guidance from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation could spur stronger climate action in all sectors, while encouraging land use reform and carbon sequestration. At US$125 per metric tonne, the new estimate blasts past the New York Public Service Commission’s 2020 rate of $43.

Canada’s Net-Zero Framework May Be Too Little, Too Late for the North

Empty rhetoric, ignorance, vested interests, and systemic racism—all persisting even as the climate crisis melts away the life-sustaining Arctic ice—may well mean that any achievement in Canada’s 2050 net-zero target will come too late for those who call the North home.

crude oil

Cities Help Build Momentum for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

A plan for a global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, first introduced last year in a paper co-authored by Canadian climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman, may soon get a boost from three major cities in the United States and Spain.

Surge of New Oil Drilling Permits Could Help U.S. Fossils Withstand Biden Climate Plan

In the closing months of the Trump administration, fossil companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years and undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to curb new drilling because of climate change, according to public records and industry analysts.

B.C. Health Officer Permits Workers to Return to Controversial Dam Project

With a conditional green light from British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Site C dam construction crews are embarking on a staged return to work, even as cabinet officials prepare to review a major study that could shut the project down for good.

Peaceful Pipeline Protesters Arrested Along Line 3, Just Days After Capitol Hill Violence

Just days after white supremacist terrorists converged on Washington, DC and sacked the U.S. Capitol, 300 water protectors and Anishinaabe jingle dress dancers gathered peacefully at an Enbridge work site in Minnesota to protest construction of the company’s Line 3 pipeline.

New Edmonton Liaison Unit Helps Smooth Retrofit Red Tape

Jurisdictions seeking to safely expedite permits for complex deep retrofits of multi-unit residential buildings would do well to follow the City of Edmonton’s example and establish client liaison units, says a new report.

Parade of Alberta Coal Developments Threatens Recreation Areas, Biodiversity

EDMONTON — At least five popular recreation areas in southern Alberta are surrounded by coal exploration plans and one of them has been partly given over to an exploration lease, raising questions about their future with lovers of the outdoors.

Haley: $170/Tonne Carbon Price Still Needs Green Industrial Policy to Set Direction

While Canada’s pledge to achieve a carbon price of C$170 by 2030 gives the country “a credible shot” at hitting its 2030 climate targets, the invisible hand of the marketplace won’t deliver a just transition to a lower-carbon economy without a green industrial policy to chart the course, Broadbent Institute policy fellow Brendan Haley argues in a recent blog post.

Epic Failure for Trump as Fossils Show Little Interest in Alaska Refuge Oil Leases

Donald Trump sustained an epic defeat last week when a widely-criticized, eleventh-hour bid to sell oil and gas exploration leases in the ecologically fragile Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) produced only a fraction of the revenue or industry interest his administration was hoping for.

B.C. Risks ‘Massive Losses’ without Better Planning for Storm Surges, Sea Level Rise

VANCOUVER — Parts of British Columbia could see massive losses if the province doesn’t start planning for flooding as ocean waters rise and storms surge due to climate change, says a researcher at the University of B.C. in Vancouver.

Democrats’ Senate Majority Means Green Policy Shift, Wider Rollback of Trump Deregulation

With Democrats poised to form a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, following landmark run-off election wins this week by Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, the first two months of the Biden-Harris administration may be marked by a concerted push to roll back some of the worst deregulatory excesses of the Donald Trump years.

Suncor Writes Off $425 Million in White Rose Oilfield Off Newfoundland

CALGARY — The new operator of the White Rose offshore oilfield says no final decision has been made about its future despite a move by partner Suncor Energy Inc. to take a C$425-million impairment charge, or downgrade, on the value of its stake, The Canadian Press reports.

Contaminants Hit North Saskatchewan River After Pipeline Spills 400,000 Litres of ‘Salty Produced Water’

CALGARY — Contaminated water that leaked from an oilfield pipeline on Christmas Day has entered the North Saskatchewan River but has had no detectable impact on it, a spokesperson for Calgary-based fossil ARC Resources Ltd. said late last month.

Nebraska Judges Halt Land Expropriations, Citing Biden Pledge to Cancel Keystone XL

Two Nebraska judges have halted land expropriations along the Keystone XL construction route, citing the likelihood that President-elect Joe Biden’s will cancel the pipeline after he takes office later this month.

$38-Million Subsidy Could Drive 10 More Years of Oil Drilling Off Newfoundland

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Newfoundland and Labrador is giving C$38 million to the Hibernia offshore oil project in a bid to protect 148 jobs over 18 months.

Twin Cities Program Offers Solar Subsidies in Return for Affordable Housing

A Minnesota regional planning agency is turning to the power of the sun to help improve a desperately tight housing market for low-income renters in the Twin Cities.

Ottawa Releases Flurry of New Announcements on Tree Planting, Hydrogen, Clean Fuels, SMRs

The Trudeau government is continuing its flurry of year-end policy moves on climate change and energy, with announcements earlier this week on hydrogen strategy and tree planting and more news expected today on a narrowed Clean Fuel Standard and small modular nuclear reactors.

‘Damn It Feels Good to Win’: Historic Diversity, Serious Climate Expertise as Biden Cabinet Takes Shape

As U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet and senior White House appointments take shape, a picture is emerging of an administration that will be keenly focused on climate action and environmental justice—not only in the key portfolios traditionally responsible for environment and natural resources, but in important related areas from treasury to health, from transportation to trade.