Energy & Resource Protection

Western autonomy gaining ground?

Claiming that federal environmental policies would cost Saskatchewan $111 billion over 12 years, Premier Scott Moe has released a policy paper he says is designed to promote the province’s “constitutional authority and autonomy” over natural resources. Echoing Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, he said “it's time to defend and assert Saskatchewan's economic autonomy by ‘drawing the line’, taking a number of steps including the introduction of provincial legislation to clarify and protect Saskatchewan's constitutional rights.” [node:read-more:link]

DFO accused of species bias

The Department of Fisheries & Oceans has been accused by the Commissioner of the Environment & Sustainable Development of bias against listing commercially valuable fish as species at risk and needing protection. In an audit published October 4, Jerry DeMarco also said DFO has not completed its review of half the 230 aquatic species recommended for an at-risk designation since the Species at Risk Act took effect in 2004. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian nuclear plant control disputed

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his officials today to take control of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant even as the UN warns that power supply to the site remains “extremely fragile.” His deputy foreign minister said the plant, Europe’s largest, “is now on the territory of the Russian Federation” but the head of Ukraine’s state energy company countered that “we will continue to work under Ukrainian law, within the Ukrainian energy system.” [node:read-more:link]

Another Nord Stream leak confirmed

Amidst speculation about sabotage, Sweden said today that its coast guard had found a new leak in the Russian natural gas pipelines which supply the European Union. Denmark and Sweden had reported other leaks this week. NATO says they were “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage” but Russia calls the suggestion that it had caused the leaks “predictable and stupid,” saying they had occurred in “zones controlled by American intelligence.” [node:read-more:link]

Russian natural gas leaking into Baltic Sea

Leaks in the submarine portion of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea between Russia to Europe are being investigated amidst accusations of sabotage. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck says the leaks “were not caused by natural occurrences or evens of material fatigue,” a position echoed by Danish, Polish and Ukrainian officials. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced petroleum recovery approved by U.K.

Fracking, the environmentally-contentious technique for enhancing oil and natural gas recovery still employed in parts of Alberta and northeastern B.C., is set to resume in Britain after a three-year moratorium. The government announced the decision September 22 despite a British Geological Survey’s position that understanding fracking’s impact remains limited but Business & Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said strengthening energy security amidst growing global uncertainty is “an absolute priority” for the government. [node:read-more:link]

Looming ecodisaster in Red Sea

Canada has sent $2.5 million to the UN in response to an appeal months ago for help in salvaging a decaying oil storage and offloading tanker in the Red Sea off Yemen, but the UN is still waiting for other countries to fulfill pledges made months ago. The tanker, which has seen little to no maintenance since 2015, contains some 223,000 cubic metres of crude. Warning that time is running to prevent a major environmental disaster, the UN estimated that a clean-up would cost at least US$20 billion. [node:read-more:link]

India urged to reduce Russian ties

U.S. State Department officials have disclosed that the U.S. is in “deep converstion” with India in a bid to reduce its reliance on Russian arms and energy. “India is heavily, heavily dependent on Russia, and that's something that they did to themselves over some 40 years,” an official said September 20. “We want to help them have options to diversify.” [node:read-more:link]

Nuclear plant power restored amid conflict

After being shut down last week because electricity was not available from the national power grid, Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear station, the largest in Europe, has begun receiving power again after power lines damaged by artillery shelling in the area were repaired. All six reactors remain shut down, but the plant needs external power to cool them and avert a meltdown in a situation the UN says remains precarious. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa subsidizing home heating

Federal Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has announced that up to $250 million will be provided over four years to help defray homeowners’ heating bills, including $120 million in the Atlantic provinces where some 30 per cent of homes use oil-heating. The funds also will support a move toward “greener” heating options. [node:read-more:link]

Germany controlling Russian-owned refineries

Germany’s economic ministry confirmed today that it is taking over domestic subsidiaries of Russian-controlled petroleum refineries to ensure energy security before an oil embargo takes effect next year. The Rosneft facilities account for some 12 per cent of German refining capacity which imports several hundred million euros' worth of oil from Russia every month. [node:read-more:link]

Canada has major EV opportunity

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in B.C. and the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in Ontario say in a new report that Canada has a brief window of opportunity to benefit from the global transition to electric vehicles. “Canada has all the right ingredients to be a battery powerhouse,” says one of the report’s authors. “But it's vital that Canada acts swiftly and decisively, or it risks squandering thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.” [node:read-more:link]

No climate change backsliding: UN

The European Union, in an escalating standoff with Russia over natural gas supplies, is being urged by the UN not to potentially undermine climate change mitigation by burning other fossil fuels this winter. “In the face of soaring energy prices which threaten to impact the most vulnerable as winter approaches, some EU member states are turning to investments in fossil fuels infrastructure and supplies,” UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Commissioner Nada al-Nashif of Jordan said September 12. “There is no room for backtracking in the face of the ongoing climate crisis.” [node:read-more:link]

Zaporizhzhia plant shut down

The last operating reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Europe’s largest and one of the biggest in the world, was shut down September 11 to reduce the threat of a radiation disaster amid the ongoing campaign against Russia. Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces near the plant has fueled fears of widespread contamination akin to that after the 1986 reactor explosion. [node:read-more:link]

Iran's nuclear status still unclear

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it cannot support Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, saying there has been “no progress” in resolving questions about the history of material at undeclared sites. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi says he is “increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues . . . and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them.” [node:read-more:link]


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