Fossils Go For Broke

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LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

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.

Coastal GasLink Faces Delay as LNG Canada Disputes Cost Overruns, Missed Deadlines

The completion of the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline could be delayed if TC Energy can’t resolve an ongoing dispute with LNG Canada over project costs, the Calgary-based company said Thursday.

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.

UK High Court to Hear Challenge to North Sea Oil Plan

The United Kingdom’s High Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the country’s oil and gas exploration program for the North Sea, after campaigners with Paid to Pollute, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth UK said the plan conflicted with the Boris Johnson government’s legal duty to hit net-zero emissions by 2050.

Data Reveals Continuing, Needless Methane Flaring by Fossil Operators

Continuing, needless flaring of natural gas still persists across the fossil fuel industry, raising questions of greenwashing for companies claiming carbon neutrality.

Weak Regulation Drives Down Wages in U.S. Renewables Sector

Wages for U.S. renewable energy workers stack up poorly against their coal and gas counterparts, casting doubts on President Joe Biden’s vision for a green sector that rebuilds the middle class.

Heat Wave Stresses Pacific Northwest Utility Grids, Shows Value of Demand Response

Changing weather patterns are altering energy use trends in the Pacific Northwest, revealing shortcomings in regional demand management strategies and setting the stage for innovation.

Managing EV Demand Helps Optimize Renewable Power Production

The rapid adoption of smart software to optimize energy use at electric vehicle charging sites across the globe is creating new potential applications for distributed energy. 

‘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.

Regulations Fail as Radioactive Oilfield Waste Piles Up in U.S. Landfills

Thirty-four years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first detailed the numerous harms emanating from radioactive oilfield waste, a new report concludes that regulation and accountability are even more urgently needed.

G20 Fails on Coal Phaseout, Delays Decisions on Climate Finance, Fossil Subsidies

Environment and energy ministers from the world’s 20 wealthiest countries have failed to agree on a 2025 coal phaseout, made no progress on international climate finance, and refused to set a deadline to end fossil fuel subsidies, just 100 days before high-stakes negotiations get under way at this year’s UN climate conference, COP 26, in Glasgow.

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.

Big Oil’s Climate Lies are ‘Criminal’, Unforgivable: Op-Ed

An expert in climate and weather phenomena says “criminal” is the best word for the lies fossil fuel companies have used to mislead the public as they propelled global emissions.

Citizen Complaint Challenges ‘Sustainable’ Certification for Old Growth Logging

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is facing a citizen complaint before the federal Competition Bureau for certifying old-growth logging as “sustainable”, something it has being doing since 1996 through its Sustainable Forestry Management standards process.

Indigenous-Led Renewables Can Support Reconciliation, Climate Action

Green partnerships could hold the key to improving the Canadian government’s deeply damaged relationship with Indigenous peoples—while bolstering its lacklustre record in fighting the climate crisis.

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.

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Carbon Capture a ‘Dangerous Distraction’, 500 Organizations Warn Canada, U.S.

Technological carbon capture is a “dangerous distraction” that will only delay the transition off fossil fuels, “despite occupying centre stage in the ‘net-zero’ climate plans trumpeted by the United States, Canada, and other countries”, more than 500 organizations are warning this week, in an open letter to political leaders published simultaneously in the Washington Post and the Hill Times.

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.

EXCLUSIVE: Experts Press Trudeau to Link Regulator’s Energy Planning to 1.5°C Targets

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to bring the Canada Energy Regulator (CER)’s energy futures modelling in line with the Paris climate agreement, The Energy Mix has learned, just as an international agency warns that the world’s 1.5°C climate stabilization target is slipping out of reach.

Record Emissions Through 2023 Could Put 1.5°C Beyond Reach, IEA Warns

Governments’ failure to “build back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic will likely drive global greenhouse gas emissions to record levels over the next two years, putting a 1.5°C target for climate stabilization all but out of reach, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is warning this week.

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.

Fossils’ Messaging Embraces Climate as Investors Shift to Renewables

Top financiers are shifting their dollars from fossil fuels to renewable energy, while turning up the heat on oil and gas companies to address emissions and climate risks in their meetings with investors, according to two separate analyses published this week.

Ottawa Gets Applause, Pushback for Just Transition Consultation Plan

The federal government is getting mixed reviews after announcing an engagement process on a just, equitable transition for fossil fuel workers and communities, nearly two years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a federal Just Transition Act during the last round of electioneering in 2019.

Global Green Deal Alliance Connects Politicians to ‘Build Back Better’

A new international alliance of politicians is urging all world leaders to join them in working to craft a “global green deal” ahead of this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26, convening in Glasgow in November.

Bitcoin ‘Miners’ Look to Nuclear to Cut Carbon Emissions

The financial mavens behind Bitcoin have come up with a nifty, new plan to greenwash their electricity-hogging currency. They’re talking about powering it with nuclear energy.

Greenland Bans Future Oil Exploration, Seeks End to Uranium Mining

Greenland is pushing ahead with plans to outlaw uranium mining and new offshore oil and gas exploration, three months after the left-leaning Inuit Ataqatigiit party formed a new government.

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.

UK Using ‘Serious Loophole, By Design’ to Approve New Offshore Oilfield

The Boris Johnson government in the UK is using what one campaigner calls a “serious loophole, by design” to approve a new oilfield off the Shetland Islands that will extract 150 to 170 million barrels of oil by 2050, just months before the country hosts this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 26.

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.

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.

Democrats Include Clean Electricity Standard, Border Carbon Tax in $3.5-Trillion Budget Plan

A clean electricity standard, a border tax on imports from polluting countries, renewable energy and electric vehicle tax breaks, a new “methane reduction fee”, funding for a civilian climate corps, and a raft of health care and family service elements are central elements of a US$3.5-trillion budget that U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled Wednesday.

EU Introduces ‘Sweeping’ New Laws to Hit 55% by 2030

The European Union executive has introduced a dozen new laws aimed at curbing carbon pollution, raising renewable energy targets, plant three billion trees, and cut the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions 55% by the end of a “make-or-break decade” for climate and biodiversity.

Wind turbines

Majority of Canadians Want Investment in Renewables Before Oil

Wind, solar, and hydrogen energy are gaining ground in the minds of Canadians, with more than half of respondents telling the Angus Reid polling agency they want to see renewables prioritized over fossil fuels.

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.

‘Nothing to See Here, Folks’, as Canada Sends Updated Carbon Target to UN

The federal government is facing reactions ranging from disappointment to mockery after filing its updated carbon reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), with the United Nations climate secretariat this week.

Massive Alaska Pipeline at Risk as Permafrost Thaws

Melting permafrost is causing the structural supports for the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline—one of the world’s largest—to buckle, raising concerns for the delicate and remote ecosystem through which it passes.

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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.

U.S. Coal Plant Shutdowns Speed Up as Renewables, Batteries ‘Disrupt the System’

The United States coal industry is shutting down power plants so fast that the trend looks like the opposite of the “S-curve” often used to track the growth of new technology innovations like solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, or iPhones, according to a report released yesterday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

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.

Fossil Subsidy Reform, Fuel Tax Could Cut 10.5 Billion Tonnes of Emissions by 2030

Reforming fossil fuel consumption subsidies, introducing a modest fuel tax, and directing some of the savings to energy efficiency and renewable energy would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10½ billion tonnes—the equivalent of 2,000 coal plants—by 2030, the International Institute for Sustainable Development reports in an analysis released last week.

Fossils Tout ‘Uncompetitive’ Hydrogen Cars to Delay Decarbonization, Liebreich Says

Fossil fuel companies are happy to hype “uncompetitive” uses of hydrogen in cars and home heating if it means delaying the shift to electric vehicles and heat pumps that are practical and affordable, Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich said in a recent interview.

Fossils Want $50-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy to Decarbonize Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Two of Canada’s biggest fossil companies say they’ll by looking for about C$50 billion in taxpayer subsidies to bring their net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

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.

University of Calgary Suspends Admissions for Oil and Gas Engineering Program

The University of Calgary has decided to suspend new admissions to its bachelor’s program in oil and gas engineering.

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.

Offsets Allow Polluters to Focus More on ‘Net’ than ‘Zero’, McCarthy Warns

While the corporate embrace of net-zero targets might seem cause for celebration, the allure of the relatively easy to achieve “net” may be distracting—or providing an escape hatch—from the hard work of actually zeroing emissions, analyst Shawn McCarthy warns in a recent opinion piece for Corporate Knights.

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.

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.

Attribution Science Could Bring More Wins in Climate Lawsuits

Better use of the latest climate attribution science in lawsuits against companies and governments that pollute could bring far more wins in the courts, says a new study in Nature Climate Change.

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.

Chinese Bank Walks Away from $3-Billion Zimbabwe Coal Project

China’s biggest bank is stepping away from a plan to invest US$3 billion in the 2,800-megawatt Sengwa coal project in northern Zimbabwe, according to an email the bank sent to climate campaign groups in mid-June.

Exxon Lobbyist Caught on Video, Admits ‘Aggressive’ Attack on Biden Climate Plan

Senior executives from colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron may soon receive subpoenas from a powerful U.S. congressional subcommittee after the investigative reporting team at Unearthed, a branch of Greenpeace UK, revealed Exxon’s continuing efforts to undermine the Biden administration’s climate plans and “aggressively” combat climate science.

Ocean Catches Fire after Gas Leak from Underwater Pipeline

Environmentalists criticized Mexico’s state-owned oil company Saturday after a gas leak at an underwater pipeline unleashed a subaquatic fireball that appeared to boil the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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.

‘Total Mitigation’ Strategy Will Save 37 Billion Tonnes of Carbon, Create 122 Million Jobs: IRENA

The shift to a decarbonized energy system will create 122 million jobs in 2050, 43 million of them in renewable energy alone, but require US$131 trillion in investment over the next three decades, the International Renewable Energy Agency concludes in its World Energy Transitions Outlook issued late last week.

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TC Energy Launches $15-Billion Trade Complaint over Keystone Cancellation

Calgary-based pipeliner TC Energy has launched a US$15-billion trade complaint against the United States after President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

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.

LNG Boom Falling Flat as Climate Concerns Rise, ‘Go-Go Atmosphere’ Evaporates

The bottom is falling out of a heavily-hyped boom in liquefied natural gas (LNG) development, as cost overruns, project delays, climate concerns, and security worries for one major megaproject drive down investor confidence that seemed unbeatable as recently as two years ago, according to a new analysis by Global Energy Monitor.

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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.

Analysts Present 10 ‘Key Elements’ of a Well-Designed Net-Zero Target

With governments, businesses, and institutions producing an avalanche of net-zero carbon commitments, and some observers writing off the whole exercise as a “big con”, Climate Action Tracker is out with a set of 10 “key elements” for distinguishing effective national targets from the less legitimate variety.

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.

Dire Climate Thresholds ‘Closer Than Once Thought’, Leaked IPCC Report Warns

Dangerous climate thresholds that will fundamentally reshape life on Earth “are closer than once thought” and will create unavoidable, dire consequences in the short term, even if humanity gets greenhouse gases under control, according to a leaked draft of an upcoming United Nations science report obtained earlier this week by Agence France-Presse.

Senate Approval Looks Likely after MPs Adopt Climate Accountability Bill

Environmental groups were celebrating, a climate champion in the Canadian Senate was optimistic, and one of the country’s highest-profile fossil senators appeared to be onboard after the country’s new climate accountability legislation, Bill C-12, cleared the House of Commons earlier this week and looked likely to receive Senate approval before Parliament shuts down for the summer.

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.

‘Blue’ Hydrogen Emissions Are Higher than Coal, Leading U.S. Researcher Warns

Despite the cascade of hype around hydrogen, the varieties derived from fossil fuel have a higher carbon footprint than coal, while emitting far more climate-busting methane than producing the same amount of energy from natural gas, a leading U.S. fracking researcher warns in an opinion piece for The Hill.

‘Outdated Perception’ Blocks Adoption of Renewables as Cheapest Power Source: IRENA

Almost two-thirds of the new renewable energy capacity installed last year can generate power less expensively than the cheapest fossil fuel option, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

UK’s ‘Obscene’ Offshore Oil Plans Put COP 26 Credibility at Risk

Just four months before it plays host to COP 26, the United Kingdom is risking the remaining tatters of its threadbare climate credibility by considering the approval of an 800-million-barrel oil field extension off the Shetland Islands.

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Regulator Restarts Pipeline Construction after Trans Mountain Files Tree-Cutting Plan

A federal regulator has lifted a stop-work order on tree cutting and grass mowing along the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project route.

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.

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.

Saudi Minister Dismisses IEA Report as ‘La La Land’, Warns Investors Not to Bet Against Oil

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has been on a tear this month, warning Wall Street investors not to bet on oil stocks to lose their value, dismissing last month’s net-zero analysis from the International Energy Agency as “La La Land”, and curiously claiming the desert kingdom is no longer an oil-producing country.

Enbridge Line 3

Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking Accompany Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline Project

Two contract workers involved with Enbridge’s US$2.9-billion Line 3 replacement project in northwestern Minnesota have been charged with human trafficking, and reports of sexual violence and harassment associated with the project have been flooding in to local crisis centres.

Global Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Show Desperate Need for Policy

Nearly three-quarters of the planet will be facing a significant increase in wildfires by 2100, leading to severe public health impacts, a new report by the Global Climate Health Alliance concludes.

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.

Trump-Appointed U.S. Judge Strikes Down Biden Pause on Oil and Gas Leasing

A U.S. federal judge’s decision last week striking down the Biden administration’s pause on new oil and gas leases is a case of a Donald Trump judicial appointment colliding with the new administration’s plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

No Change in Fossil Fuel Use Despite ‘Tremendous’ Global Growth of Renewables, Report Finds

The world is recording tremendous growth of renewable energy in the electricity sector, but its share of total final energy consumption (TFEC) continues to increase only moderately and still isn’t making a dent in global fossil fuel consumption, according to the Renewables 2021 Global Status Report (REN21).

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.

Haphazard Regulation Allows Lax Safety Culture, Drives Insurers Away from Trans Mountain, Critic Says

Haphazard oversight by the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) may have enabled a lax safety culture at Crown-owned Trans Mountain Corporation that is now making insurers nervous about backing the company’s existing 68-year-old pipeline and its efforts to complete a C$12.6-billion expansion project, a retired insurance executive says.

AGI New York

Giant UK Investment Manager Drops AIG Over Fossil Fuel Insurance, Climate Risk

The United Kingdom’s biggest asset manager, Legal & General Investment Management, is dropping its shares in U.S. insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and three other companies, after concluding they aren’t moving far enough, fast enough to address the climate risks in their activities.

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Analysis: Possible Sale of Shell Oilfield Points to Next Hurdle in Decarbonizing Energy

In what the Reuters news agency is calling a “blockbuster” moment, Royal Dutch Shell is considering selling off the biggest oilfield in the United States, a 260,000-acre expanse in Texas’ Permian Basin, for as much as US$10 billion.

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.

French Power Company Raises Safety Alert about Chinese Nuclear Plant

One week after the French company that co-owns the Taishan nuclear power plant in China issued a letter warning about an “imminent radiological threat,” Chinese authorities have declared that all is well.

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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.

Alberta Finance Minister Defends Taxpayers’ $1.3-Billion Loss on Keystone Gamble

Alberta’s finance minister says the province’s C$1.3-billion investment of taxpayers’ money in the now-defunct Keystone XL oil pipeline project was a prudent gamble given the potential payoff in profits and jobs.

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Canada Boosts Finance Commitment as G7 Falls Short on Climate, Vaccines

G7 leaders have tied up a weekend summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom that produced a still-vague collective promise on international climate finance, pledges to stop funding international coal projects next year and to “strive” to shift vehicles off fossil fuels, a still-nascent sustainable infrastructure investment plan for developing countries, and a disappointing effort on global vaccine equity.

Fossils’ ‘Net-Zero’ Alliance Has No Phaseout Plan, Relies on Shaky Carbon Capture Technology

Canada’s five big tar sands/oil sands companies are raising eyebrows with their plan to form an Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero alliance aimed at cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 without reducing their actual oil production.

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.

Canada Closes the Door on New Thermal Coal Mines

The federal government will no longer approve new thermal coal mines or mine expansions, after Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson released a policy statement pinpointing coal as a source of greenhouse gas emissions and other “unacceptable environmental impacts”.

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.

Fast Renewables Growth Triggers Scramble for Qualified Workers

As the shift off carbon accelerates, clean energy companies are scrambling to find the people power they need to keep the lights on.

Vietnam Solar Capacity Grows 100-Fold Since 2019

Solar uptake in Vietnam has reached eye-blinking speed, with a 100-fold increase in generation just since 2019.

‘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.

Surging Wind, Solar Deliver 93% of New U.S. Grid Capacity

Wind and solar accounted for nearly all of the new electrical generating capacity installed in the United States between January and April this year.

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.

Winding Down Fossils is Essential, Doable to Keep Average Warming to 1.5°C

Countries must adopt an “orderly wind down” of oil, gas, and coal production to avoid greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 that are 66% higher than what it would take to keep the world on a 1.5°C climate pathway, according to a fossil fuel exit strategy released this week by the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) initiative.

Youth Group Launches Poland’s First Climate Lawsuit to Tackle Individual Rights

In a first for Poland, young climate activists—together with one grandfather—are suing their notoriously coal-friendly government for imperilling their futures by failing to act on the climate crisis.

Europe Finalizes Just Transition Fund While Canada Dithers

The European Union has approved a €17.5-billion Just Transition Fund (JTF) to support communities most affected by the shift off fossil fuels, while Canadians wait for word on federal just transition legislation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised two years ago, but has not said very much about since.

Helicopter ‘Sand-Blasts’ Line 3 Opponents, 200 Arrested at Peaceful Protest

A peaceful protest against the expansion of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota on Monday was met with the same helicopter-as-weapon tactic that authorities deployed against citizens protesting George Floyd’s murder last summer.

New York

Oxfam, Swiss Re Predict Deep Economic Pain without Faster, Deeper Carbon Cuts

Canada’s economy could shrink 6.9% per year by 2050, the world’s most industrialized economies could drop 8.5%, and developing countries will fare far worse if governments don’t deliver on the faster, deeper carbon cuts they promised in the Paris Agreement, Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute warn in an analysis released on the eve of this week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, UK.

$16 Billion Per Year from Rich Countries Drives ‘Global Dash for Gas’

A new “dash for gas” directed nearly US$16 billion per year into gas projects in low- and middle-income countries between 2017 and 2019, setting wealthy countries up to break their climate promises while devoting nearly four times more international public finance to a fossil fuel than they did to wind and solar, according to new research by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Cyberattacks Could Shut Down U.S. Power Grid, Granholm Warns

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday called for more public-private cooperation on cyber defenses and said U.S. adversaries already are capable of using cyber intrusions to shut down the U.S. power grid.

Federal Briefing Note Asks Whether Canada Needs More Pipelines

Federal officials were asking themselves how many pipelines Canada really needs in the days after U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled Keystone XL.

Straights of Mackinac

Michigan Scorches ‘Meritless’ Claims it Can’t Shut Down Line 5

The dispute over the cross-border Line 5 pipeline is entirely for Michigan to deal with, the state’s attorney general argues in a legal brief released Wednesday that flatly rejects Canada’s depiction of a foreign policy matter that Ottawa and the White House must resolve.

HSBC to Phase Out Fossil Financing after 99% Shareholder Landslide

HSBC shareholders have voted nearly unanimously to end coal financing by 2040, and to align all the bank’s lending with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

Renewables in South Australia Grid Leap from 0 to 60% in Just 14 Years

The breakaway success of the South Australian electricity grid, which literally took renewable energy from zero to 60% of total demand in just 14 years, points the way for other jurisdictions to rapidly decarbonize their power supplies, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis writes in an analysis published last week.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Loses Another Insurer

Another insurance company is abandoning the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline.

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.

Biden Administration Suspends Arctic Refuge Oil and Gas Leases

The Biden administration has suspended oil and gas drilling leases in the ecologically fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland ordering a new review of a Trump-era decision she says was approved with “insufficient analysis” of its environmental impacts.

Canada, G7 Fall Short on Green Strings for COVID Recovery Funds

Canada spent significantly more of its COVID-19 recovery dollars on renewable energy than on fossil fuels, but has attached few green strings to that funding and is still failing on a crucial commitment to international climate finance, according to new analyses published ahead of next week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, England.

Canada Faces Scrutiny as New Fossil Forum Raises Greenwashing Fears

Canada and four other big fossil exporters are under the microscope after announcing formation of the Net Zero Producers’ Forum (NZPF), a bid to either “develop pragmatic net-zero emission strategies” for fossil-dependent economies or slow down the push for faster, deeper carbon cuts—depending on how you read the fine print.

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.

coal mine

New ‘Coal Rush’ Throws Climate Targets into Doubt

Mining companies in a handful of countries are planning a new, global “coal rush” of 2.2 billion tonnes per year of new production capacity, a move that throws a 1.5°C climate stabilization target into doubt and risks US$91 billion in stranded assets, Global Energy Monitor (GEM) warns in a new report this week.

Environmental Sciences

University of Waterloo to Dump Fossil Investments, Take ‘Proactive’ Approach to Climate Risk

The University of Waterloo moved yesterday to drop all its fossil fuel exploration and extraction investments by 2025 and decarbonize its C$2.7-billion pension and endowment fund 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2040, capping a six-year campaign by Fossil Free UW and allied groups to push the school to divest.

Canada’s 3.3% Emissions Increase through 2019 Shows Need for ‘Stark Change in Direction’

A new report by veteran earth scientist David Hughes is reinforcing the argument for a “stark change in direction” in Canadian climate and energy policy.

Limited Insurance Access Impedes New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Limited access to insurance is emerging as a big obstacle for Canadian tar sands/oil sands companies aiming to get new projects off the ground, just a year or two after campaigners began setting their sights on getting insurers to abandon fossil fuels, CBC reports.

UK, Norway Foresee More Oil and Gas Development Despite IEA Roadmap

Two of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers apparently have no plans to scale back exploration, in spite of last month’s landmark net-zero roadmap from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that calls on countries to do exactly that.

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.

Rise of Climate Lawsuits Treats Big Oil Like Big Tobacco

Taking a page from the fight against Big Tobacco, climate defenders are increasingly turning to the courts rather than policy-makers in the push toward decarbonization.

‘Cataclysm’ for Industry, ‘Good Day for Life on Earth’ as Fossils Lose Legal, Shareholder Battles

After a flurry of court and shareholder action that The Guardian declared a “cataclysmic day” for oil and gas companies and the Heated climate newsletter headlined as “a good day for life on Earth”, analysts are wrapping their minds around how much has changed for the fossil industry—and what’s next in the global push for faster, deeper carbon cuts.

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

Canada’s Top Five Pension Funds See Tar Sands/Oil Sands Investments Rise by $2.9 Billion

Canada’s biggest pension managers saw their investments in the country’s top four tar sands/oil sands producers grow by $2.9 billion in the first three months of this year, a 147% increase from last year, the Reuters news agency revealed last week in a new analysis.

Invest in Transition, Not Declining Alberta Fossil Sector, IISD Urges Governments

The expected uptake of electric vehicles and stricter measures worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are the top reasons why a climate-focused research group is calling on governments not to invest any more money in Alberta’s oil sector.

coal power plant

G7 Environment Ministers Pledge to Stop Financing International Coal Projects

Environment ministers from the world’s seven biggest advanced economies have agreed to phase out international financing for coal projects by the end of this year, do the same for all fossil fuels over a longer time span, and deliver tough enough national climate targets to help keep average global warming to 1.5°C.

Trans Mountain Starts Work on Burnaby Mountain Tunnel

As federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation begins to tunnel under Burnaby Mountain, and climate and Indigenous activists protest, a coalition of media outlets and press freedom groups is petitioning the B.C. Supreme Court to order the RCMP to stop using injunctions as an excuse to block reporters from protest sites.

Australian Court Affirms “Duty of Care” to Protect Youth from Climate Crisis

In a global first, Australia’s federal court has ruled that the country’s government is legally obliged to protect young people against future harms from the climate crisis.

In Divided U.S., Biden Juggles Climate Pledges and Fossil Support

The Biden administration’s recent decision to defend a massive oil and gas drilling operation proposed for Alaska is simply part and parcel of governing a deeply divided country, say policy analysts.

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.

budget day 2021

Opinion: ‘Climate Ambition Poker’ Masks Canada’s Fossil-First Energy Plan

In the space of a few days in April, Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement jumped from 30% to 36% to between 40 and 45%. Going into this latest round of climate ambition poker, the federal government, we were told, had already put everything it could on the table and was tapped out. But along came the White House climate summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau upped the ante by another 50%.

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.

7 in 10 U.S. Fossil Jobs Lost in Pandemic May Not Return This Year

More than seven out of 10 jobs lost to the U.S. fossil industry during the COVID-19 pandemic may not return by the end of this year, according to the 2020 Oil and Gas Industry Outlook published by management consulting giant Deloitte.

Australia Pushes Forward with Gas Plant Despite Surging Renewables, Batteries

A rush in commercial acquisition of battery storage in Australia may be negating the need for a planned A$600-million gas-fired power plant in New South Wales before the facility is even built.

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.

sunrise windmill

IT’S THE END OF OIL: Blockbuster IEA Report Urges No New Fossil Development

No new investment in oil, gas, or coal development, a massive increase in renewable energy adoption, speedy global phaseouts for new natural gas boilers and internal combustion vehicles, and a sharp focus on short-term action are key elements of a blockbuster Net Zero by 2050 report released Tuesday morning by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Critics Pounce after Kerry Says 2050 Carbon Cuts Depend on ‘Technologies We Don’t Yet Have’

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is receiving severe pushback for his comment in a weekend interview that half of the greenhouse gas emission reductions that must be achieved by mid-century depend on technologies that don’t yet exist.

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Don’t Look to CCS, Hydrogen for Quick Carbon Cuts, Le Quéré Warns Canada

It would be a big mistake for Canada to count on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) or hydrogen to meet its 2030 climate targets when those technologies will make “zero contribution” to emission reductions over the next decade, renowned Canadian climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré told a webinar audience Monday morning.

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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.”

plastic trash bags

‘Lower Carbon’ Plastic Bag Raises Big Questions, Could Undercut Fossil Demand

Efforts by the world’s largest producer of plastic trash bags to create a lower-carbon product have analysts asking questions about the roles government, consumers, and fossil producers will play in the war on plastic waste.

Survey Results Show Climate Knowledge Gap, Give Ottawa Poor Marks for Net-Zero Action

Canadians are only minimally familiar with climate issues, but give the federal government low marks for its plans to reach net-zero emissions and balance environmental and economic concerns, according to recent opinion research conducted for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) by Environics Research.

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B.C. Water Watcher Raises Alarm after Oil Tanker Crosses Risky Gulf Islands Pass

A shipping pilot’s recent decision to guide an oil tanker through British Columbia’s navigationally tricky Active Pass has highlighted a legal gap that may be putting the Salish Sea at risk—along with human lives.

Global Petition Presses Ireland to Introduce Fracking Ban at UN General Assembly [Sign-On]

A grassroot group from Ireland is looking for international support to persuade the Irish government to call for a global ban on oil and gas fracking at the United Nations General Assembly in mid-September, just six weeks before this year’s UN climate conference, COP 26, convenes in Glasgow.

https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-considerations/compatible-licenses

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.

Underfunded Climate Adaptation Projects Aren’t Delivering What Communities Need

In 2019, an international climate fund approved a 10-year, US$9.3-million project to support communities in the drylands of Mozambique that are affected by frequent droughts. This money seems a lot, but it really is not much for a country also affected by other climate-related events such as cyclones. Indeed, the World Bank estimates Mozambique needs at least $400 million a year to protect itself from climate change.

Wind turbines

Transition Off Fossils Could Be Cheaper, Faster than Net-Zero Models Assume

The transition off fossil fuels could be a lot less expensive than standard net-zero models assume, as long as countries speed up deployment rather than waiting for (even) cheaper low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies, concludes a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Spain Sets Modest 2030 Emissions Target, Earns Praise for Banning New Fossil Permits

The Spanish parliament has adopted a new climate law that calls for just a 23% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2030, but immediately bans new permits for coal, oil, and gas operations, sets a 2040 deadline to phase out fossil fuel vehicle sales, and commits the country to generate 74% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

New Study Outlines ExxonMobil’s Tactical Shift from Climate ‘Denial’ to ‘Ambiguity’

The same Harvard historians who revealed a long campaign by ExxonMobil to suppress the connection between fossil fuels and climate change have released a new study that meticulously documents the colossal fossil’s latest self-preserving strategy: “a discourse of delay.”

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.

Carbon Border Adjustment Gains Ground as Countries Weigh Emission Cuts, Global Trade

The reference to a carbon border adjustment in the latest federal budget was one sign that countries with relatively strong carbon prices are keen to avoid becoming the new “Rust Belt”, CBC business columnist Don Pittis writes in a recent analysis.

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!

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

Asian Development Bank Ends Financing for Coal Mines, Power Plants

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to stop financing coal mines and power plants and curtail its funding for oil and gas production, according to a draft of an updated energy policy released last week.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

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.

Suncor Energy Plant_Max and Dee Bernt:Flickr

Naming Fossils as Climate Champions is Like Tobacco Execs Regulating Cigarette Ads: Berman

A British Columbia legal research initiative and the UK government might just as well have named tobacco lobbyists to oversee health messaging, after two fossil executives were among 26 “exceptional individuals” identified as Canadian climate champions ahead of this year’s United Nations climate conference, one of the country’s top climate advocates said Monday.

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.

New Solar, Wind Now Cheaper than 80% of U.S. Coal Plants

Renewable energy prices have fallen so far in the United States that it’s usually now cheaper for operators to replace existing coal capacity with new solar and wind investments, rather than continuing to run the coal plants, according to new analysis released last week.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChineseCoalPower.jpg

China Can Peak Coal Consumption, Power Sector Emissions by 2025, Researcher Says

An energy researcher from Peking University is pointing to a pathway for China to peak its coal consumption, coal-fired generation capacity, and power sector carbon emissions by 2025, in line with President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the White House Leaders’ Summit on Climate April 22.

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.

UN Urges 45% Methane Cut This Decade to Reduce Warming, Protect Health

Countries can and must reduce methane emissions 45% this decade to avoid nearly 0.3°C of additional global warming by 2045, keep a relatively climate-safe future within reach, and prevent 260,000 premature deaths per year, according to a landmark Global Methane Assessment released last week by the Climate and Clear Coalition and the UN Environment Programme.

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.

U.S. LNG’s Green Profile Depends on ‘Costly, Untested’ CCS

A new analysis cites carbon capture and storage as a “costly and largely untested technology” that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developers are counting on to “burnish their green credentials and boost their competitiveness”.

Massive Carbon Footprint May Give Governments a Path to Curb Growth of Cryptocurrencies

While proponents of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin steadfastly claim their operations will be carbon-neutral by 2030, their net impact so far is to keep a fracked gas plant in New York State in operation.

In Conversation: Ottawa is Continuing Its ‘One Eye Shut’ Climate Policy, Carter and Dordi Say

Angela Carter is a political science professor and Truzaar Dordi is a PhD candidate in climate finance at the University of Waterloo. In this interview, they explain their research showing that the fossil fuels Canada expect to extract until 2050 would soak up a full 16% of the world’s remaining carbon budget, and talk about what climate policy would look like if Ottawa weren’t formulating it with one eye shut.

Exxon Outvotes Other Shareholders to Beat Back Net-Zero Resolution for Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil Ltd. investors have voted 86% to defeat a shareholder resolution that it adopt a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Export Development Canada Could Face Legal Challenge for Fossil Industry Financial Support

Export Development Canada (EDC) may face court action in the not-too-distant future, after a legal opinion commissioned by Oil Change International and several other organizations concluded that national export credit agencies have an international legal obligation to scale back their financing for fossil fuel-related activities.

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.

Victoria LNG Project Gets Swept Away in Australian Renewable Energy Surge

As Australian energy provider AGL officially pulls the plug on its proposed Victoria coast LNG import terminal, a new report predicts a surge in renewables could leave natural gas delivering as little as 1% of the country’s power mix by 2030.

Dakota Access Pipeline Won’t Shut Down During Environmental Review

The Dakota Access Pipeline will be allowed to operate without a key federal permit while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a new environmental review, the Biden administration announced earlier this week.

10 Years After Fukushima, Japan Finally Begins Push for Renewables

A decade after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, an entrenched reluctance to embrace renewable energy—fostered in part by utilities anxious to maintain their dominance—may be giving way, slowly, to a new dawn for green energy in Japan.

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.

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.

Taxes Just One Tool to Cut Carbon, but Won’t Harm the Economy, New Research Shows

After too many esoteric, technical debates over far too many years, Bloomberg Green columnist Gernot Wagner says the evidence is (finally) in on carbon taxes: they do play a role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and they don’t harm job creation or slow economic growth.

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.

Studies Call for Urgent Methane Reductions as U.S. Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Regulation

Rapid action to curb methane could cut emissions of the climate-busting greenhouse gas in half by 2030 and slow global warming by 30%, new research concludes this week, just days ahead of a United Nations report that will call for urgent methane reductions to keep the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement within reach.

Climate Scientists Explain Why Net-Zero is a ‘Dangerous Trap’: Part 1

In a searing historical account of the various technological fixes on the road to net-zero emissions, veteran climate scientists James Dyke, Robert Watson, and Wolfgang Knorr conclude the whole effort has been a “dangerous trap”. In Part 1 of this two-part series, they explain how early climate modelling replaced critical thinking, and carbon capture schemes gained traction against real carbon reductions.

‘These Insurers Can’t Hide’, Campaigner Says, After Regulator Allows Trans Mountain to Keep Identities Secret

The Canada Energy Regulator has decided to grant a request by the operator of the Trans Mountain pipeline to protect the identity of its insurers in its regulatory filings.

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.

Unifor Calls for 60% Emissions Cut by 2030 with Just Transition for Oil and Gas Workers

Canada’s biggest private sector union, Unifor, is throwing its support behind calls for a 60% cut in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as long as the more ambitious target comes with a realistic just transition plan for the oil and gas industry workers it represents.

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.

Biden Could Mandate 80% Emissions-Free Grid by 2030

The Biden administration is considering a national clean energy standard to get 80% of the country’s electricity from emissions-free sources by 2030, as a stepping stone to its goal of delivering a net-zero grid by 2035, according to an exclusive report this week from the Reuters news agency.

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.

Fossil Decline Creates ‘Existential Business Risk’ for Exxon, Hedge Fund Analysts Warn

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil is up against “existential business risk” due to its “refusal to accept that fossil fuel demand may decline,” according to an investor presentation by San Francisco-based hedge fund Engine No. 1 that was first reported by the Financial Times.

Campaigners Scorch BlackRock for Backing Fossil-Heavy Leadership at Wells Fargo Bank

Investment giant BlackRock failed the first test of its promise to hold companies responsible for addressing the climate crisis through their business plans when it voted to support the current chair of the Wells Fargo Bank, one of the world’s biggest investors in new fossil fuel infrastructure, campaigners at #BlackRocksBigProblem said yesterday.

Don’t Fall for Fossil Industry Spin, NAACP Warns U.S. Communities of Colour

The NAACP is warning its regional chapters not to fall for fossil industry manipulation by outlining the key tactics through which Big Oil advances its own interests in U.S. communities of colour.

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.

Canada Joins U.S., Qatar, Saudi Arabia in Net-Zero Producers’ Forum

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan says Canada will join the United States in establishing a platform for oil and gas producing countries to figure out how the sector can support implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Analysts Explain What Makes Trudeau’s 40% Emission Cut a Heavy Lift

In the days since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged a 40% reduction in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, analysts and news outlets have been weighing in on what it will take for the country to hit a target that many climate advocates consider far too modest, but its proponents see as a very heavy lift.

U.S. Senate Moves to Rescind Trump Rollback of Obama-Era Methane Regulation

Senate Democrats are pushing to overturn a Trump-era rollback of U.S. regulations on climate-busting methane emissions, and at least one Republican senator is signing on to help them get it done.

Berkshire Hathaway Opposes Climate Risk Reporting Demands from Shareholders

Defiant in the face of political and shareholder pressure, investment Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is refusing to begin annual reporting on its climate risk.

UK Law Group Calls Out ‘Great Deception’ in Fossils’ Climate Ad Campaigns

A UK environmental law NGO is saying the world’s fossil companies are perpetrating a “great deception” by marketing earnest climate action even as they continue to invest enthusiastically in a carbon-heavy status quo.

Nova Scotia Company Shares XPrize Award for Technology to Capture Carbon in Concrete

Burnside, Nova Scotia-based CarbonCure Technologies is taking home about C$9.4 million as one of two winners of the NRG COSIA XPrize, after developing a technology to capture carbon dioxide in concrete and make an essential building material stronger while reducing its carbon footprint.

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.

Some Countries Commit, Others Deflect as White House Pushes for Faster Carbon Cuts

The Biden-Harris Leaders’ Summit on Climate was scheduled to open with statements from leaders of more than two dozen countries, in what the White House signposted as “an opportunity for leaders to highlight the climate-related challenges their countries face and the efforts they are undertaking”.

International Climate Finance Promise Puts U.S. ‘Back in the Game’ but Campaigners Demand More

The Biden-Harris administration’s agenda for yesterday’s Leaders Summit on Climate included a new international climate finance plan that puts billions of new dollars on the table, but not enough to shore up the United States’ credibility as a source of global leadership on climate action.

Over 100 Nobel Winners Call for Global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

One hundred and one Nobel laureates—including peace activists, economists, medical experts, chemists, and physicists—have released an open letter urging world leaders to sign a treaty for fossil fuel non-proliferation.

Wind turbines

Daily Conversation Among Houston Energy Traders Turns to Renewables

In energy-centric Houston, the scuttlebutt around most office coolers is not the fading fortunes of fossil fuels, but the rising star of renewables—with the exception of how that star might intersect with carbon capture ventures.

Small Temperature Shifts Can Drive ‘Chaotic’ Changes to South Asian Monsoon

As the world warms, monsoon changes are set to cause havoc across a huge and densely populated swathe of the planet, with the great South Asian summer monsoon becoming both stronger and less reliable.

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.

Over 50 Million People ‘Doubly Hit’ by Pandemic, Climate Disasters: WMO

The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic had no effect on the “relentless” increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, but made the impacts of the climate crisis worse for tens of millions of people around the world, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) concludes in a report released this week.

IEA Projects Alarming 5% Growth in CO2 Emissions This Year

Renewable energy is the success story of the COVID-19 era, but the global economic recovery may see energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rise by nearly 5% this year, their second-largest annual increase ever, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in a report this week.

EU Defers Decision on Green Label for Nuclear, Natural Gas

The European Union was expected to defer a decision on whether its new green finance rules, due to be published today, would list nuclear and gas-fired power plants as sustainable investments, according to leaked documents obtained last week by Euractiv.

Cheap Renewables, Net-Zero Promises Could Produce $100 Billion in Stranded Gas Assets

With renewable energy costs dropping dramatically, and mounting pressure from investors to abandon natural gas, utilities and gas producers are facing a quick, stark choice between shifting their business focus or being caught with a stranded asset risk that could exceed US$100 billion, according to recent analysis.

crude oil

Oil Price Could Fall to $10 Per Barrel by 2050

Plummeting demand could drive the price of a barrel of oil down as low as US$10 by 2050—far less than fossils need to cover their production costs—according to one of a series of scenarios produced by analysts at Wood Mackenzie to tease out the implications of meeting the carbon reduction targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Produces Many Questions, Few Results

While corporate sustainability reporting has become commonplace in boardrooms around the world, the practice is not living up to its billing as a path to a kinder capitalism, says an expert on organizational behaviour.

‘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.

U.S., China Agree to Tackle Climate Crisis with ‘Seriousness, Urgency’

In a joint statement late Saturday, the United States and China committed to work together on the climate crisis “with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” carving out space for joint efforts despite a series of major irritants in their bilateral relationship.

Biden Urged to Target Methane Reductions for Quick Win on Climate

With U.S. President Joe Biden’s high-stakes climate leadership summit coming up this Thursday, his administration is under pressure to single out methane for significant reductions, even if it means targeting the oil and gas operations that are a primary source of the climate-busting substance.

Enbridge Social Responsibility Pitch Rings Hollow with Indigenous Communities

Enbridge’s newly-minted enthusiasm for asserting a warm and fuzzy intersection between its activities and the spiritual and cultural practices of Indigenous Peoples is merely acting to highlight the company’s poor commitment to consent.

UK Seabed Has More Economic Value Than Oil Beneath It, Study Finds

Official estimates from the United Kingdom are showing that the carbon sequestration capacity of the country’s seabed is more valuable than the oil and gas reserves that lie beneath it.

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.

‘Tell the Truth’ on Canadian Fossils’ Outsized Emissions, Researcher Urges Ottawa

Greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil and gas industry will make up an outsized share of the remaining carbon the world’s atmosphere can take, a new analysis suggests.

Conservative MPs Feel ‘Blindsided’ as O’Toole Embraces $50/Tonne Carbon Levy

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was facing intense criticism from within his own caucus Thursday evening, just hours after releasing a glossy, 15-page brochure he’d touted as his party’s new climate plan, with backbenchers telling media they’d had no advance warning that he planned to turn his back on long-standing policy and embrace a half-hearted carbon price.

‘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.

U.S Global Intelligence Report Presents Stark Climate Vision for 2040

The latest Global Trends report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council offers harrowing projections alongside glimmers of hope in its visioning of how the post-pandemic world may—or may not—respond to the climate crisis by 2040.

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.

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.

New York State Pension Fund Divests from Seven Tar Sands/Oil Sands Producers

New York State’s US$247.7-billion pension fund is dropping the more than $7 million it’s invested in seven Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers, citing the “significant environmental, legal, and economic risks” the companies face.

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.

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.

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.

Fossils Could Replace Two of 10 Workers with Robots in a Decade, Save $7B Per Year in Wages

At least two out of 10 fossil workers around the world involved in drilling, operational support, or maintenance could be replaced by robots over the next decade as the industry sets out to save more than US$7 billion per year in the United States alone, according to the latest analysis by Rystad Energy.

U.S. Army Corps Declines to Close Dakota Access Pipeline Despite Missing Permit

Indigenous leaders and progressive Democrats are urging the Biden administration to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ignoring a weighty, Indigenous-led petition, declined to do so.

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.

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.

Global CO2 Levels Hit ‘Very Scary’ 3.6 Million-Year High

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are higher than they’ve been in the last 3.6 million years, and methane concentrations surged in 2020, all despite restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary data released this week by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Prepare to Lose 450,000 Fossil Jobs in Transition Off Carbon, TD Warns

As many as 450,000 of the 600,000 people now employed directly or indirectly by the Canadian fossil industry could be looking for new jobs as the transition off oil and gas unfolds, TD Economics concludes in a report released earlier this week.

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Canadian Fossils Predict Long Future for Oil and Gas, Look to Carbon Capture to Cut Emissions

Canada’s biggest fossils aren’t considering a sudden pivot to renewable energy, but pipeline companies have no major expansion plans in the offing, judging by their remarks at a virtual symposium this week hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and Scotiabank.

62% of Big Five Bank Directors Have Ties to ‘Climate-Conflicted’ Industries, New Database Shows

Nearly two-thirds of the directors of Canada’s five biggest banks have past or present ties to high-carbon industries, making “climate-conflicted” bank directors a far more common phenomenon in Canada than in the United States, Europe, or the United Kingdom, according to a database compiled by DeSmog UK.

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.

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.

Canada Set to Lose $11.9 Billion on Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Canada is in line to lose C$11.9 billion on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as rising project costs collide with falling demand for oil, according to a new analysis by Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management.

Renewable Stocks Deliver 422% Return in 10 Years, Outperform Fossils Seven-Fold

Investors’ overall returns on their renewable energy stocks have outperformed fossil fuels three-fold over the last five years and seven-fold over the last 10, coming in at 422.7% for the decade compared to just 59% for fossil shares, according to an analysis released last month by the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment (CCFI) at Imperial College Business School and the International Energy Agency.

Leaked Fossil Documents Reveal 50 Years of Suppressed Air Pollution Science

Leaked memos make it clear that Big Oil has known about the links between air pollution and fossil fuel combustion for at least 50 years—and, in a familiar pattern, has for decades been doing everything it can to bury the threat to its bottom line.

‘Like Big Tobacco at a Medical Conference’: Campaigners Urge UK to Ban Fossils from COP 26

Campaigners are renewing their pressure on the United Kingdom government to keep polluters out of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, when it convenes (if it convenes) in Glasgow in November.

Central Banks See Climate Impacts Driving Permanent Shifts in Monetary Policy

An era of climate-driven extreme weather will force governments to keep interest rates low and usher in a new era of monetary policy, the world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, warned last week.

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.

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.

U.S. Regulator Presses ConocoPhillips to Consider Shareholder Motion on Scope 3 Emissions

An investor action group in the Netherlands is declaring a “breakthrough” after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) backed shareholders’ bid to have colossal fossil ConocoPhillips consider their motions related to the carbon pollution its operations produce.

Capping Warming at 1.5°C Could Cut Expected Deadly Heat Stress by Half

Limiting global warming to 1.5°Cwill reduce the exposure of hundreds of millions of South Asian people to lethal heat events by half, in turn preventing economy-destabilizing drops in labour productivity, says a new study by an international climate science institute.

Australia Swings, Misses on Claim of ‘World-Leading’ Climate Targets

The Biden administration is expected to announce new and tougher 2030 climate targets when the U.S. plays host to a global climate leadership summit a few weeks from now. Australia’s government, on the other hand, will be doubling down on climate negligence, spinning distortions about past efforts to justify its ongoing lack of ambition.

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.

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.

Economic Future Looks Dim for Appalachian Fracking, Plastics Production

Those banking on reviving Appalachia with shale gas and plastics would do well to think again, says a new report. A resource glut and competition from renewables are liable to make the former unprofitable, while market forces are seriously reducing the odds of the latter’s success.

U.S. Aims to Cut Solar Costs 60% in a Decade

The United States government is setting out to cut the cost of solar-generated electricity by 60% over the next decade, five years ahead of schedule.

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.

RBC in the Spotlight as Global Banks Hand $3.8 Trillion to Fossils Since Paris Agreement

The Royal Bank of Canada is being singled out for the “dubious honour of punching above its weight” after a new international study identified 60 of the world’s biggest banks that have invested US$3.8 trillion in fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Texas Campaigners Celebrate Cancellation of Rio Grande LNG Terminal

Citing changes in the global market, liquified natural gas developer Annova LNG has cancelled the mammoth export terminal it planned to build in the Rio Grande Valley near Brownsville, Texas. Indigenous and environmental activists are hailing the move as proof of the power of grassroots organizing.

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.

U.S. Fracking Counties Face Economic Crunch as Coal Country Looks to Diversify

As the energy transition picks up across the United States, fossil-dependent states like Pennsylvania are struggling with the devastating financial and environmental price of betting the farm on oil, gas, and coal. But a policy brief published late last year offers some hints on how to build back better.

Invest in Bioeconomy to Tap $200-Billion-Per-Year Opportunity, Industry Advocate Urges Ottawa

Canada is missing out on a C$200-billion-per-year opportunity to build an industrial bioeconomy using feedstocks from forestry, agriculture, and municipal solid waste, Passmore Group CEO Jeff Passmore writes in a post this week for Biofuels Digest.

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.

CP Rail Merger with U.S. Rival ‘Supports New Source of Bitumen’

A partner in a project designed to allow more tar sands/oil sands bitumen to be shipped by rail from Canada to Texas says the US$25-billion merger of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and U.S. rival Kansas City Southern announced Sunday promises to provide new benefits.

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.

Goldgrub: ESG Investing Requires (and Will Receive) Legal Standards

A wave of interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments is leading to louder calls for government-mandated ESG standards, as it becomes increasingly clear that promises of better behaviour from the world’s largest corporations aren’t translating into the environmental and social benefits they’re supposed to be delivering.

Shiny, New Innovations Won’t Move Fast Enough to Deliver Deep Carbon Reductions

Even the most promising new emissions reduction innovation would only have a limited impact on the climate crisis if it were introduced today, given the time it would take to scale up, according to a global climate policy simulator profiled yesterday in the Bloomberg Green newsletter.

Harvard Students Discover State Law that Could Boost Case for Divestment

Harvard students pushing the institution to divest from fossil fuels may have found a winning strategy with the new legal argument that investing in Big Oil violates Massachusetts state law. All they need is now for their state’s attorney general to take up their cause.

Imperial Oil Tells Shareholders to Vote Down ‘Premature’ Net-Zero Emissions Target

Imperial Oil Ltd. is advising investors attending its annual meeting in May to vote against a shareholder resolution that it adopt a corporate wide target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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.

Wealthy Countries Hit Peak Oil Use, but Global Demand Headed for Record High Unless Governments Take Action

Wealthy countries will never return to their pre-pandemic levels of oil consumption, but rebounding economic activity in the developing world could drive daily demand to new highs within two years without much stronger government leadership toward clean energy, the International Energy Agency warned in its Oil 2021 assessment released last Tuesday.

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.

Unchecked Climate Change Could Mean $270B Per Year in Higher Interest Costs for Countries, Businesses

More than 60 countries could see their credit ratings downgraded by 2030, while countries and businesses could be in line for as much as US$270 billion per year in higher interest costs by 2100, without tough policies to get climate change under control, according to a study released last week by three United Kingdom universities.

Don’t Let Nuclear Boosterism, ‘Hydrogen Hype’ Distract from Practical Renewable Alternatives, Analyst Urges

Nuclear boosterism and “hydrogen hype” mustn’t distract countries from the renewable energy technologies that can actually deliver on a 2050 target for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, @Forum4theFuture founder Jonathan Porritt argues in an opinion piece last week for The Guardian.

‘Conventional Energy Bubble’ Could Cost Utilities $1 Trillion as Cheap Renewables Undercut Fossil Plants

Power utilities are on track to lose US$1 trillion over the next 15 years after analysts, agencies, and bankers grossly overestimated the revenue they’re likely to generate through 2040 and beyond, RethinkX founder Tony Seba and research fellow Adam Dorr warn in an opinion piece this week for Utility Dive.

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.

China Leads, Canada Places Seventh in Methane Output from Future Coal Mines

With 12 new coal mines now at a pre-construction phase, Canada has vaulted into seventh place among the countries with the highest output of climate-busting methane from new mining projects, according to a new analysis released this morning by Global Energy Monitor (GEM).

Wasted Decade Delivers Airline CO2 Scheme That’s ‘Bad for Climate’

A “ridiculously weak” international carbon offset rule, already seen as giving airlines a three- to six-year free pass to pollute, is set to undermine Europe’s attempts to get its greenhouse gas emissions under control, according to a September 2020 consulting analysis produced for the European Commission and obtained by Brussels-based Transport & Environment under access to information laws.

U.S. Revives $40-Billion Loan Program Office with Jigar Shah at the Helm

The Biden administration is reactivating a US$40-billion loan office left on hold in the years since the Obama presidency, with pioneering cleantech entrepreneur and investor Jigar Shah at the helm and a mandate to capture a share of a $23-trillion global market for low-carbon technologies—along with a simultaneous appetite for research on fossil and nuclear technologies.

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.

UK Climate Scientist Traces Three Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

The planet had already warmed by around 1.2℃ since pre-industrial times when the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This began a sudden and unprecedented drop in human activity, as much of the world went into lockdown and factories stopped operating, cars kept their engines off, and planes were grounded.

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.

Tsleil-Waututh Study Proves Damage from Marine Traffic in B.C.’s Burrard Inlet

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation on Canada’s southern west coast has been warning for years that heavy marine traffic in the Burrard Inlet is producing too much wave action and eroding the shoreline. Now, a new study has confirmed this to be the case—and the situation is set to worsen as the Trans Mountain Pipeline brings in even more ships.

Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Call for End to Canada’s Foot-Dragging on Climate

The government of Canada has been quick to hit back against fast-moving emergencies like wildfires—and against actions by Indigenous land defenders—but the country has been bitterly slow to respond to the gradual juggernaut of the climate crisis. Now, two Wet’suwet’en chiefs are calling for an end to those politically-motivated delays.

‘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.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChineseCoalPower.jpg

China’s International Investments Undermine ‘Green is Gold’ Domestic Mandate

China’s efforts to assert the green credentials of its Belt and Road Initiative are being undermined by its long-standing habit of ignoring public opinion, especially when it comes to human and ecosystem health. And recent successful pushback from community groups in Africa suggests it’s time for a rethink.

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.

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

U.S. Congress Aims to End Tax Exemption for Tar Sands/Oil Sands, Set Price on Methane

Congressional Democrats in the United States are considering reversing a long-standing excise tax exemption for tar sands/oil sands crude entering the country, a move that could cost the Alberta industry US$665 million over the next decade.

Analysts See ‘Marathon’ Ahead as China’s Five-Year Plan ‘Defers Heavy Lifting on Decarbonization’

China’s much-anticipated economic blueprint for the next five years stands pat on carbon reduction targets, leans heavily on “clean” coal and nuclear generation, and could lead to what one news outlet calls “a strong rise in greenhouse gas emissions” if the country doesn’t take further, faster action toward its promise to peak emissions before 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060.

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.

‘Default Effect’ Drives Massive Growth in Green Power Adoption

When green power is the fallback option for electricity consumers, the large majority of them will accept it rather than going to the trouble of switching to other sources, experience in Switzerland shows.

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.

A Decade After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Cleanup ‘Has Barely Begun’ [Sign-on]

A decade ago, on March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake created a 14-metre-high tsunami wave which destroyed the reactors of a Japanese nuclear power station at the town of Fukushima. Ten years on, the cleanup has barely begun.

Caribbean Refinery Poses an Early Test for U.S. Climate Justice Commitments

U.S. President Joe Biden’s promise to advance the cause of environmental justice is being put to the test by a U.S. Virgin Islands oil refinery that insists it is exempt from implementing monitoring protocols.

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.

Relying on BECCS Could Leave 4.5 Billion at Risk of Water Shortages

Banking heavily on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to keep average global warming under 1.5°C could put more than 50% of the world’s population into high water stress by the end of the century, with South America and southern Africa in line to suffer the worst.

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.

Experts Brace for Disaster as Canada, U.S. Increase Oil-by-Rail Shipments

The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States—a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences.

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.

Sketchy Carbon Accounting Turns Net-Zero Targets into ‘Weapons-Grade Greenwash’, Scientist Warns

Carbon accounting tricks won’t be enough to solve the climate crisis, and “disaster looms if big finance is allowed to game the carbon offsetting markets to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions,” global change scientist Simon Lewis argued last week in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

FedEx Pledges All-Electric Ground Fleet by 2040, Donates $100M to Natural Carbon Capture Centre

Federal Express is investing US$2 billion to convert its entire fleet of parcel pickup and delivery trucks to electric vehicles by 2040, and says a combination of EVs, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration will bring its global network closer to carbon-neutral operations.

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.

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.

Ottawa Releases Rules for National Carbon Offset System

The Trudeau government has released draft regulations that will set the rules for companies intent on buying and selling credits for projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

U.S. Senate Committee Vote Brings Haaland Closer to Confirmation as First Indigenous Secretary of Interior

A committee vote by a U.S. Senate Republican and the political clout of First Peoples in Alaska have brought Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) one step closer to confirmation as the United States’ first Secretary of Interior of Indigenous origin.

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.

‘Milestone’ 4-0 Vote Permanently Halts Fracking in Delaware River Basin

In the face of vociferous opposition from natural gas interests, an interstate commission has voted to put a permanent stop to fracking in the Delaware River Basin.

Social Cost of Carbon ‘Puts a Number on Climate Damage’

On Day One of his administration, U.S. President Joe Biden directed his team to reassess the social cost of carbon. This seemingly obscure concept puts a number on how much damage a tonne of carbon dioxide emitted today will do in the future, to show how much a given climate policy would benefit the economy in the long run. Biden’s team explicitly called for considerations of environmental justice and intergenerational equity, referring to the perils of climate change to future generations.

Canadian, European Officials Urge World Bank to End Fossil Investments

Senior officials from Canada and Europe are urging the World Bank to end its investments in coal- and oil-related projects and gradually phase out gas, three separate sources told the Reuters news agency late last month.

Opinion: Plastic Pollution, Climate Are ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’

Plastic pollution and climate change are two prominent environmental issues of our time. Plastic was once thought to be a miracle invention that made life simpler for families.
But just as our exploitation of fossil fuels led to climate change, the unsustainable use of plastic materials has led to a global environmental catastrophe. To this day, plastic pollution has infiltrated every part of our planet, from remote mountain lakes to the ocean to the very air we breathe.

$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.

Analysts Hope for Earlier Emissions Peak as China Focuses Five-Year Plan on Climate Action

With China widely expected to release its latest five-year economic plan today, analysts were cautiously hoping for a major milestone on the road to a decarbonized future, while watching for indications of whether the country would begin cutting its emissions soon enough and deeply enough to bring it fully in line with the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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.

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.

Forget ‘Safe’ and Focus on Impact to Make Carbon Credits Work: WWF

Despite more than a decade of policy discussion, questions still remain over how to differentiate “good” carbon forest credits from those that just squeak by the grade. A new primer from World Wildlife Fund attempts to lay out the challenges and offer a path forward.

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.

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.

Siemens Exec Pitches Hydrogen for Air Travel, with a Side of Captured Carbon

A very enthusiastic Siemens Energy executive is pitching a synthetic fuel that combines captured carbon dioxide with hydrogen from solar-powered electrolysis as an alternative to the kerosene-based fuel that currently powers the aviation industry.

RBC Adds $500 Billion to Sustainable Funds, Faces Mounting Pressure for Fossil Investments

The Royal Bank of Canada plans to add C$500 billion to its sustainable investment funds by 2025 after hitting an initial target of $100 billion last year, even as it comes under increasing fire as a leading supporter of new fossil fuel projects.

‘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.

Five Colossal Fossils Lose $76 Billion in 2020 as Energy Transition Speeds Up

Five top colossal fossils—ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and Total—lost a combined US$76 billion last year, almost all of it due to an accelerating transition off fossil fuels, analysts at Rystad Energy reported last month.

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.

Trans Mountain Tries to Hide Insurers’ Identities as Industry Pushes for Climate Disclosure

The Crown corporation building the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has asked a federal regulator to conceal the names of its insurance companies to prevent them from being targeted by climate campaigners, just days before the insurance industry’s “leading international think tank” released a new task force report on climate risk assessment.

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

Exxon Dumps Tar Sands/Oil Sands Holdings, Slashes Estimate of Recoverable Reserves

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil has dropped virtually all its tar sands/oil sands holdings from its list of recoverable assets, and its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil followed suit by cutting a billion barrels of bitumen from its inventory, in what Bloomberg News calls a “sweeping revision of worldwide reserves to depths never before seen in the company’s modern history”.

Four Canadian Banks Make ‘Dirty Thirty’ List of Global Coal Financiers

Four of Canada’s Big Five chartered banks have made the Dirty Thirty list of the world’s largest coal financiers, making the country the fourth-largest lender to the global coal industry between 2018 and 2020, according to releases this week by European NGO Urgewald and Toronto-based Shift Action for Pension Wealth & Planet Health.

Nine Big Emitters Would Pay Their Share Under ‘Hypothetical Climate Liability Regime’

The world’s big oil and mining companies emit vast amounts of climate-changing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By extension, the actions of these corporate giants stand accused of contributing to floods and droughts and other climate-related disasters around the globe, extremely costly in both human and financial terms.

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.

LNG Tanker Completes First Winter Passage of Russia’s Melting Northern Sea Route

Since the New Year, an LNG tanker has twice navigated the Northern Sea Route—a feat that until recently would have been impossible in mid-winter. While some see the opening of the passage as a worrying sign for the climate, others are salivating at the thought of a new frontier for commerce.

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.

‘There’s a Lot to Rebuild’, Trudeau Tells Biden, as Canada, U.S. Map Climate Partnership

Accelerating climate ambition and building back better are two of the six components of a new U.S.-Canada partnership roadmap that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden released yesterday, during the first official summit between the two leaders and their senior cabinet officials.

U.S. Wind, Solar Post Record Growth in 2020 Despite Pandemic Restrictions, Job Losses

United States solar and wind developers had a record year in 2020 despite punishing restrictions and job losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately rising to 20% of the country’s electricity production, according to new data released last week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

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.

Time to Come Clean on Rising Carbon Emissions, Bloomberg Columnist Urges Musk

It’s time for Tesla founder Elon Musk to come clean about the rising carbon footprint of his signature product, as the company’s rapid growth around the world takes it into countries and regions where electric vehicles are powered by the world’s most polluting fuels, commodities columnist David Fickling writes for Bloomberg Opinion.

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.

$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.

Lots of Hype, Little Help in Corporate Embrace of Carbon Capture

As some of the world’s heaviest corporate emitters double down on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) as their go-to path to net-zero, activists and experts are warning that such efforts often amount to little more than greenwashing and distraction.

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.

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.

Giant Whales, and Their Giant Poop, Serve as Natural Carbon Sinks

The Earth’s great whales are magnificent, intelligent, and peaceful. But new research shows that they also help keep the planet cool—in life, and in death. Such knowledge has put a new urgency to the call to “save the whales,” as doing so may also help cool the climate.

Bitcoin Draws as Much Electricity as Argentina as Consumption Quadruples in Four Years

With the computing power that drives the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin now consuming nearly as much energy as Argentina, analysts are warning the renegade technology’s carbon footprint will only get worse as it becomes more popular.

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.

Peg Social Cost of Carbon at $100 Per Tonne, Economists Urge Biden

Two eminent economists are urging the Biden administration to peg the social cost of carbon at a minimum US$100 per tonne or risk underestimating what Bloomberg Green calls the “looming damage from warming temperatures”.

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.

Explainer: IISD Lays Out Pros and Cons of Subsidizing Hydrogen Development

As countries chart paths to net-zero economies by 2050, hydrogen has enjoyed a new wave of attention. But a key question facing governments is whether the benefits of subsidizing hydrogen development outweigh the risks, the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Richard Bridle and Estan Beedell note in a detailed explainer.

Shareholders Squirm, Climate Analysts Pounce as Shell Releases ‘Grotesque’, ‘Delusional’ Climate Plan

Colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell is taking criticism from all sides for its latest attempt at a decarbonization strategy, with fossil-friendly investors driving its share price down 2% after last week’s announcement while climate campaigners declare the plan “grotesque” and “delusional”.

Wilkinson, McCarthy Hold First Talks on Cross-Border Climate Action

With a new administration in Washington, DC setting climate action as one of its four defining priorities, Canadian Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has opened conversations with his U.S. counterpart on “an array of potential new agreements” for cross-border cooperation, the Globe and Mail reports.

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.

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.

Twitter ‘Greentrolling’ Throws a Wrench in Big Oil’s Media Machine

Long masters of the art of controlling the message in traditional media, Big Oil is finding social media—and its fact-checking, falsehood-revealing denizens—far less easy to manage.

Kolbert’s Geoengineering Review Contrasts Bright Ideas with More Controversial Schemes

An enthusiastic—if imperfect—command of our technological powers has made humanity the dominant force on Earth, and we human beings are unlikely to stop monkeying around with nature. But some of our ideas may prove better than others, says author Elizabeth Kolbert.

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.

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.