Energy & Resource Protection

Arctic mine expansion vetoed for now

Northern Affairs Minister announced November 16 that Baffinland Iron Mines’ plan to double production at its operation in Nunavut won't be going ahead for the foreseeable future. He said that he and other cabinet members, mindful of the “economic significance” and having consulted Inuit organizations, agreed with an environmental impact review panel’s recommendation that the expansion “should not proceed at this time.” [node:read-more:link]

New global population milestone

The United Nations says the world’s population has topped eight billion only 11 years after surpassing the seven-billion mark, renewing concerns about the world’s capacity to meet demands. However, in publishing its estimate November 15, the UN said that decelerating growth could mean it will be 15 years before the population reaches nine billion. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s northern presence ineffectual

A report today from the Office of the Auditor General says that Canada lacks a complete picture of who is entering or traversing Arctic waters, partly due to the fact that a naval surveillance station can only operate four weeks a year. Overall, it says, the country cannot stay on top of threats to national security, illegal fishing or pollution posed by marine traffic which has tripled in recent years as sea ice diminishes. [node:read-more:link]

Hydro-Québec researcher charged with espionage

Yuesheng Wang, 35, a Montreal-area employee of Hydro-Québec arrested today by RCMP, faces four charges arising from the alleged sale of trade secrets to China “to the detriment of Canada's economic interests.” A battery researcher in the utility’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage, Wang is accused of, among other things, using a computer without authorization and with fraud and breach of trust. RCMP were acting on a complaint by the utility’s security division. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian minerals eyed by U.S. military

The U.S. Defense Department has solicited applications for Canadian mining projects through the Defense Production Act. It's part of an accelerating push to wean U.S. industry off dependence on China for minerals which have technological and strategic importance. [node:read-more:link]

Natural gas: cleaner but not “clean”?

Canada’s natural gas industry is under a Competition Bureau microscope after the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment accused the industry’s lobby group of misleading claims about its carbon emissions. The CGA’s latest advertising campaign promotes gas as a form of low emission energy but the CAPE argues that natural gas is not as “clean” as the industry claims and that extraction and production “pose a serious health risk.” [node:read-more:link]

Alberta to build world’s largest hydrogen plant

A $1.6-billion hydrogen plant is going ahead in Edmonton after the federal and Alberta governments agreed to contribute more than $460 million toward its construction. The Air Products Canada plant, described as the largest of its kind in the world, is designed to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually when fully operational. [node:read-more:link]

Freeland defends tax decisions

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is standing firm on the federal government’s decision not to impose a windfall tax on petroleum companies in her fall economic update despite calls by the NDP and other G7 countries’ moves in that direction. She said November 6 that it is not being considered for now and that a windfall tax on financial institutions was “based on a very specific set of events.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada shutting off Chinese mineral activities

A national security review has prompted the federal government to order three Chinese companies to sell their interests in Canadian companies’ critical minerals development. The decision was announced today by Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne. Critical minerals and metals such as lithium, cadmium, nickel and cobalt are essential components of an array of electrical and electronics and while China is a dominant player in the industry, dependence on imported raw materials in many cases has prompted investments in other countries’ resource industries. [node:read-more:link]

Mediterranean resources dispute settled?

Israel and Lebanon, which have remained technically in a state of war since Israel’s founding in 1948, have signed an historic agreement setting their Mediterranean offshore boundaries in the hope of resolving a dispute over rights to a natural gas field. Hezbollah had threatened to attack Israel if the dispute was not resolved and while Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has lauded the agreement ahead of an election, his main rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls the agreement illegal [node:read-more:link]

Addressing climate change and energy security

The Ontario Power Generation utility is being loaned $970 million by the federal government to support development of grid-scale small modular nuclear reactors as a key element of its fight against global warming. “We are doing this because nuclear energy – as a non-emitting source of energy – is critical to the achievement of Canada's and the world's climate goals,” Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said. “Nuclear power is one source that can help in reaching our climate targets while addressing growing future demand.” [node:read-more:link]

Europe suddenly has gas oversupply

European markets fearing natural gas shortages this winter because of curtailed Russian supplies now have a different conundrum to deal with: a huge oversupply. Dozens of liquefied natural gas carriers are anchored offshore, unable to offload because gassification facilities are limited and demand has been reduced by the unseasonably warm autumn in many markets. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine loses nearly third of electricity

The destruction by Russian forces of some 30 per cent of Ukraine’s power stations in little more than a week has led to “massive” blackouts, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said October 18. He also said there is “no space left for negotiations” with Russia. [node:read-more:link]

Nord Stream pipelines hit by explosions

Danish officials say “powerful explosions” in late September were responsible for “extensive damage” to the twin Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. Four leaks were confirmed in international waters but within the Danish and Swedish offshore economic zones. Sweden had already said its investigators had found evidence “serious sabotage.” [node:read-more:link]

Turkey asked to handle more Russian gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to consider through-putting more Russian natural gas for subsequent export, effectively making the NATO member a supply hub that would preserve Russia's energy leverage over Europe. At their meeting today in Kazakhstan, Putin said the hub would be “a platform not only for supplies, but also for determining the price, because this is a very important issue.” [node:read-more:link]


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