Energy & Resource Protection

Zaporizhzhia safety deal near?

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano said today that while a deal deal to protect Europe's largest nuclear power plant from a catastrophic accident due to fighting in Ukraine could be “close”, he warned that intensified combat in the area has increased risks to the facility. “It is a zone of extreme volatility so the negotiations are, of course, affected,” he said. “I would not characterize the process for the last few months as one that has not led to any progress.” [node:read-more:link]

Aquaculture ban challenged in court

Two B.C. First Nations and a Norwegian-owned salmon farming company are challenging the legality of a federal government refusal to renew their aquaculture open-net licences off north Vancouver Island. The government’s decision was predicated on concerns that farmed fish pose a parasitic threat to wild salmon. Neighbouring Washington state banned open-net farms in state waters last year. [node:read-more:link]

Earthquake linked to oil sector

The largest recorded earthquake in Alberta’s history is being attributed to geologic disposal of oilsands wastewater, according to newly-published research. Canadian seismologist Ryan Schultz says the 5.6-magnitude quake near the northwestern town of Peace River last November occurred near a well used to inject more than a million cubic metres of wastewater at a depth of some two kilometres. [node:read-more:link]

Water: no cause for celebration

The UN marked World Water Day by warning that supplies are increasingly at risk around the world because of increased urban demand. On average, it said today, “10 per cent of the global population lives in countries with high or critical water stress” as the world is “blindly travelling a dangerous path” toward unsustainability. [node:read-more:link]

New LNG terminal for B.C.

A $3.2-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal near the northern coastal city of Kitimat has received environmental approval from the B.C. government. The floating Cedar LNG project is majority-owned by the local Haisla Nation in partnership with the Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP watchdog probing protests

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission which handles public grievances against the RCMP has opened an inquiry into the force’s Community-Industry Response Group which was set up in 2017 to deal with protests against resource extraction in B.C. Terms of reference posted today include whether the CIRG’s operations are consistent with legislation and the findings of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. [node:read-more:link]

Canada empowering Ukraine

repair the country’s battered power grid which continues to be targetted by Russian forces. They are being delivered through a European Union response group that helps to coordinate disaster relief. [node:read-more:link]

Supreme Court judge takes leave

Supreme Court of Canada Justice Russell Brown, generally considered a strong voice for provincial rights, has taken a leave of absence from the nine-member bench. It comes only a few weeks before the court is scheduled to review environmental legislation which enables the federal government to regulate a wide range of industrial projects despite strong objections by Alberta. The court declined to explain the decision by the 57-year-old jurist who was appointed in 2015. [node:read-more:link]

Mexican lithium controls tightened

Having nationalized his country’s significant lithium deposits last year, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has signed a decree giving his energy ministry control of the globally critical resource. While nearly a dozen Canadian and other foreign companies have active mining concessions, Lopez Obrador wants them “reviewed” and the head of the state lithium company says the government will have a majority stake in any future joint ventures. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP facing Charter suit

Amber Bracken, an Edmonton freelance photographer arrested in B.C. while covering protests against a pipeline project for a national on-line environmental publication in 2021, is suing the RCMP for wrongful detention and violation of her Charter rights. Her Victoria-based client, The Narwal, has joined the lawsuit. [node:read-more:link]

Big bucks at Big Oil

The latest annual financial statements by the world’s major petroleum companies show that 2022 was their most profitable year on record. Their combined profit is estimated to have been equivalent to US$200 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Philippines energy deal ruled illegal

The Supreme Court of the Philippines says the country’s 2005 energy exploration agreement with Chinese and Vietnamese companies, which expired in 2008, was illegal in that its constitution prohibits foreign exploitation of natural resources. The January 9 ruling could complicate efforts by China to restart talks with the Philippines about areas of the South China Sea. [node:read-more:link]

Nuclear reactor tubes deteriorating?

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission documents released in response to an Access to Information Act request show that an Ontario power utility has been able operate pressure tubes in its reactors beyond licensed limits. They show that last summer, two tubes from reactors containing uranium fuel and heavy water moderator-coolant at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station had deteriorated more quickly than expected, gradually increasing their propensity to fracture. [node:read-more:link]

Keystone pipeline running again

TC Energy said December 29 that it had restarted its Keystone pipeline’s extension and that it is now operational to all U.S. delivery points. The line which handles 622,000 barrels of Alberta crude daily had been shut down for three weeks after 14,000 barrels was spilled in Kansas but the Calgary-based company now says “additional risk-mitigation measures, including reduced operating pressures” are in place. [node:read-more:link]


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