Energy & Resource Protection

Environmental legal fight escalating

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that the federal government overstepped its constitutional authority with its Impact Assessment Act which would subject energy development to increased scrutiny. However, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is confident that a further appeal will uphold the constitutionality of the legislation passed by Parliament in June 2019. [node:read-more:link]

EVs driving power grid demands

The Canadian Climate Institute says an increase in electric vehicles sales, among other factors behind generally higher power demands, requires upgrades to the country’s electricity grids to meet rapidly growing demand for power. Otherwise, it warns in a May 4 report, the consequences could range from brownouts to failure to meet the government’s emissions-reduction targets. [node:read-more:link]

Russian oil boycott urged

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament today that the 27-nation bloc should ban oil imports from Russia and target its largest bank and major broadcasters in a new sanctions package. “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets,” she said, conceding that getting unanimity would “not be easy.” [node:read-more:link]

EU divided on Russian energy

The European Union is in step with many other countries in sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine but is split internally when it comes to dependence on Russian energy supplies. EU ministers met May 2 in Brussels to discuss the situation but remain divided as they pursue alternatives. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese economy near breaking point?

Chinese President Xi Jinping told senior officials April 26 that he wants “all-out efforts” on a massive infrastructure program he hopes will reboot his country’s economy which has been hit hard by coronavirus lockdowns. Among other things, he urged more projects in transportation, energy and water conservancy, as well as new supercomputing, cloud computing and artificial intelligence capabilities. [node:read-more:link]

Russia targetting LNG facilities?

An alarmingly sophisticated and effective system for attacking industrial facilities, including the energy sector, has been disclosed by U.S. officials. While they have not said which country was the source, private analysts say it is likely Russian in origin and that the priority targets are likely liquefied natural gas plants. [node:read-more:link]

The global impacts of Russia's invasion

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a short-term spike in prices, prompting governments to rethink their energy plans, which could have profound impacts on issues ranging from a burgeoning food crisis to global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Potential solutions all come with potential repercussions that could play out over the coming years or even decades. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese petroleum giant looks to exit Canada

China’s international petroleum giant CNOOC, having entered the Canadian energy sector less than a decade through a takeover of Nexen, is reported to be planning to withdraw not only from Canada but also Britain and the U.S. There evidently are concerns in Beijing that the company’s assets could be targeted by Western sanctions because of China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Offshore oil project approved

A Newfoundland offshore oil project with the potential to produce at least 300 million barrels of crude over its operating life, starting later this decade, has been approved by Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbault. The former activist said April 6 that while “it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make”, the Bay Nord venture is subject to strict conditions and a net-zero emissions target by 2050. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. taps strategic oil reserves

Under pressure to curb soaring energy prices, the U.S. announced today that it would release up to 180 million barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, at a rate of one million barrels daily, to counteract the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global prices. It will be the largest release since the SPR was created in the early 1970s as an emergency stockpile. [node:read-more:link]

Another East Coast fisheries shutdown

In an attempt to prevent the collapse of East Coast herring and mackerel stocks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic, Fisheries & Oceans Minister Joyce Murray has announced a ban on commercial fisheries. The decision, which does not apply to indigenous fishers, was immediately denounced by commercial fishing companies’ unions. [node:read-more:link]

Germany prepares for gas rationing

Amid growing concerns about a possible suspension of Russian natural gas deliveries, Germany began gearing up today for possible rationing due to a dispute over Moscow’s insistence that it be paid in rubles. It activated an “early warning” phase” of emergency legislation, setting up a “crisis room” in the energy ministry. [node:read-more:link]

Business lobby pushes ties with U.S.

The head of the Business Council of Canada says that pitching Canada as a “solutions provider” to the U.S. will lead to a North American economy better equipped to respond to current and future global unrest. Summarizing a delegation’s visit to Washington last week in which the group recommended more imports of Canadian petroleum, BCC President Goldy Hyder said, “let's figure out solutions together and in the interests of people, not just in North America but around the world and particularly in Ukraine.” [node:read-more:link]

Aggressive emissions cuts proposed

Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault today released a federal government' plan to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next eight years. It relies heavily on large reductions by the petroleum, transportation and power-generation sectors as the government hopes for at least a 40 per cent reduction in GHGs from 2005 levels by 2030. The plan also includes some $9.1 billion in new investments to incent zero-emission vehicles and tax relief to encourage carbon capture, utilization and storage technology. [node:read-more:link]

Four provinces plan small nuclear reactors

The Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick governments have confirmed plans to develop small nuclear reactors, modular designs they say will provide safe clean power to local users while helping to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The first would be built in Ontario with four to follow in Saskatchewan between 2034 and 2042. [node:read-more:link]


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