Energy

Energy regulator reviews easing Arctic drilling rules
Publish Date: 22-JUL-2014 10:16 AM
Canada’s national energy regulator is reviewing whether to ease longstanding safety rules surrounding deep water oil exploration in the Arctic. The National Energy Board announced the mid-summer review, potentially drifting from a long-standing Arctic policy still in effect in the United States that requires companies to drill emergency relief wells to contain spewing oil in case of a blowout. 
 
Records de chaleur planétaires (French only)
Publish Date: 22-JUL-2014 10:13 AM
De nouvelles données américaines confirment la hausse continue des températures et l’ampleur de la crise climatique. La dépendance de l’humanité aux énergies fossiles se reflète de plus en plus sur le thermomètre planétaire. De nouvelles données scientifiques publiées lundi révèlent en effet que les derniers mois ont battu des records historiques à la hausse, tant sur les continents qu’à la surface des océans. Un signal de plus de l’aggravation de la crise climatique. 
 
Québec mise sur l’éolien malgré le marché défavorable (French only)
Publish Date: 18-JUL-2014 11:48 AM
Même si l’achat d’énergie éolienne se fait à perte pour le Québec et dans un contexte d’importants surplus d’électricité, les libéraux entendent bien poursuivre le développement de la filière. Ils comptent d’ailleurs mandater un groupe de travail formé des « principaux acteurs de l’industrie » pour les conseiller sur la suite des choses. 
 
What do these PMs know that economists don’t?
Publish Date: 18-JUL-2014 11:41 AM
During Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent visit to Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented on climate change: “No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that.” Mr. Abbott, having abolished Australia’s carbon tax, added: “I’ve always been against a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment.” These two prime ministers were saying that a theory we economists have studied all our working lives, based on knowledge that has been accumulated for a century, is all wrong. 
 
Politicians on attack after scientists call for more research into fracking
Publish Date: 16-JUL-2014 02:50 PM
Deputy premier Rich Coleman challenged Thursday the conclusions of a scientific panel into the environmental effect of shale gas development using fracking. The group of Canadian and U.S. scientists, appointed in 2011 by former federal environment minister Peter Kent to examine the sector's potential and risks across Canada, urge a cautionary, go-slow approach until more research is done on a relatively new sector. 
 
L’Australie abolit une taxe carbone (French)
Publish Date: 16-JUL-2014 02:44 PM
L'Australie a aboli jeudi une taxe carbone vivement critiquée par les groupes miniers notamment, instaurée il y a deux ans par le gouvernement travailliste pour réduire les émissions carbone et lutter contre le changement climatique. 
 
NEB to delay decision on Trans Mountain pipeline
Publish Date: 15-JUL-2014 02:40 PM
The National Energy Board will delay its final recommendation on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project by almost seven months because of proposed route changes by the company. 
 
First Nations critical of oilsands biodiversity
Publish Date: 07-JUL-2014 08:55 AM
A report showing plant and animal life in the oilsands region is flourishing at more than 80 per cent compared to undisturbed areas is raising eyebrows among those conducting a First Nations community monitoring program downstream. Bruce Maclean, research coordinator for the Mikisew Cree First Nation and head of Fort Chipewyan’s community-based water monitoring efforts, said the report does not accurately reflect what’s happening on the ground in First Nations communities downstream of the oilsands. 
 
Keystone XL: un discours de John Baird a semé la panique à Ottawa (French)
Publish Date: 27-JUN-2014 08:20 AM
Un récent discours livré à Washington lors duquel le ministre canadien des Affaires étrangères John Baird a demandé des développements rapides dans le dossier de l'oléoduc Keystone XL semble avoir provoqué beaucoup d'anxiété à Ottawa.  
 
Canada needs to take a long-term approach to oil and its alternatives
Publish Date: 13-JUN-2014 03:37 PM
While Canadian politicians lobby other countries to take our oil and gas through pipelines, rail and northern shipping routes, science museums across the country are showcasing a cleaner energy future. Canada is clearly an oil producing country. With more than $150 billion invested in oil sands development and billions more in fracking natural gas, we are rapidly becoming the Saudi Arabia of North America. The Athabasca oil sands project alone is the third-largest reserve in the world, with production expected to reach 6.4 million barrels a day by 2030. According to the Alberta government's own documents, the province can expect $350 billion in royalties and $122 billion in tax revenue over the next 25 years. This massive short-term gain from selling off our natural resources is what our government is counting on to keep the economy strong. But what about the long-term?  
 
U.S. urges Canada to act on climate change
Publish Date: 03-JUN-2014 08:11 AM
As President Barack Obama unveiled the first major regulations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States, his ambassador in Ottawa urged Canada to do the same and take action to combat climate change. It is a reminder to Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the political challenge he now faces: His chief climate-change policy has been to match U.S. action, but now the Americans are getting more aggressive, and publicly suggesting Canada act too. U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, in his first speech since taking office in April, noted the U.S. move unveiled Monday to cut emissions from coal plants by 30 per cent by 2030. And then he called for more action, including on Canada’s fastest-growing source of emissions, oil production. 
 
300 scientists slam “flawed” review of Enbridge pipeline
Publish Date: 03-JUN-2014 08:08 AM
Some 300 scientists are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reject a report that recommended approval of a major oil pipeline to the west coast of British Columbia, describing it as a “flawed analysis” that downplayed key environmental impacts. Following lengthy hearings, a review panel last December recommended approving the project – a 1,177 pipeline network, proposed by energy company Enbridge, that would send 525,000 barrels per day of bitumen, the heavy oil from Alberta’s oilsands, to Kitimat, B.C. The panel recommended 209 conditions be attached to the project approval. But the scientists, led by Kai Chan, an associate professor and principal investigator at the University of British Columbia’s Connecting Human and Natural Systems Lab, sent Harper a letter on Monday concluding that the review’s final report wasn’t balanced and had five major flaws that made it “indefensible.” 
 
Energy Wars: First Nations group says process to expand oilsands 'like an environmental horror story’
Publish Date: 02-JUN-2014 08:06 AM
They call themselves “the people of the land of the willow” and have survived for thousands of years hunting, fishing and trapping along the Athabasca River in northern Alberta. But today the 1,200 members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) are caught up in one of the largest industrial developments on the face of the planet — the expansion of the sprawling, land-devouring oilsands operations intended to produce 5.2 million barrels of oil a day by 2030. The oilsands boom is seen by petroleum companies and the Harper government as essential to Canada’s future economic strength. But to the ACFN, it means something entirely different: Troubling cancer rates, contamination of vital waterways and damage to their homeland, livelihood and culture. 
 
Ban Ki-Moon appelle les autres pays à s’engager (French)
Publish Date: 31-MAY-2014 01:02 PM
Le secrétaire général des Nations unies, Ban Ki-moon, a imploré vendredi le Canada d’augmenter son financement de l’aide internationale pour atteindre une ambitieuse cible mondiale, lors de son passage au sommet sur la santé maternelle, néonatale et infantile à Toronto. 
 
Ottawa’s new pipeline rules may address B.C.’s demands
Publish Date: 14-MAY-2014 11:11 AM
A day after announcing new safety measures for tankers, the federal government has introduced tougher regulations for pipelines, taking a “big step” toward meeting British Columbia’s requirements for approving projects to the West Coast. Under the changes, the National Energy Board will be given increased regulatory control over the 73,000 kilometres of pipeline that transport more than $100-billion worth of oil, gas and petroleum products across Canada each year. The new regulations, announced Wednesday by Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, require the NEB to increase the number of oil and gas pipeline inspections by 50 per cent annually and to double the number of yearly safety audits. 
 
National Energy Board’s slow responses, weak penalties raise questions about public safety
Publish Date: 11-MAY-2014 10:29 AM
Canada’s national energy regulator is spending months, and in some cases years, tied up in discussions and paperwork with Canadian pipeline companies that break federal rules, according to its own records. The National Energy Board has the power to prosecute or impose fines, but in several recent cases involving spills, ruptures or inadequate infrastructure, the records — including investigation reports, audits and correspondence — show that the board generally responded to incidents with warnings or orders to restrict pipeline pressure and fix defects. 
 
Group calls on NEB to revise Kinder Morgan hearing proceedings
Publish Date: 06-MAY-2014 09:24 AM
National Energy Board restrictions on who can participate in the Kinder Morgan pipeline review are being challenged by a group of people who say they have been robbed of their right to free speech. In a notice of motion, the NEB is being asked to reject as unconstitutional recent federal legislative changes to the National Energy Board Act that limit public participation in hearings on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal. “As a result, NEB hearings have lost their essential purpose. If the public cannot be heard, the public interest cannot be assessed,” said David Martin, legal counsel to the applicants. 
 
NEB figures show oil exports by rail up 900 per cent
Publish Date: 06-MAY-2014 08:59 AM
New National Energy Board figures show that oil-by-rail exports have risen more than 900 per cent in less than two years, but that’s still far behind what’s moving by pipeline – and by what the stalled Keystone XL alone aims to carry. The Canadian energy regulator’s numbers, released Monday, show that more than 146,000 barrels a day were exported on trains to the United States in the past three months of 2013, compared with just under 16,000 in the first three months of 2012. But in all of 2013, less than 5 per cent of Canada’s 2.6 million barrels a day of crude oil exports moved by rail, according to a separate NEB report released in March. 
 
Rapport alarmant sur l'extraction du gaz de schiste (French)
Publish Date: 02-MAY-2014 09:05 AM
À la demande de l'ancien ministre de l'Environnement, Peter Kent, le Conseil des académies canadiennes s'est penché sur l'impact de l'extraction par fracturation hydraulique. Son rapport final, publié hier matin, conclut que les effets de cette technique sont, somme toute, méconnus. Ses auteurs appellent les autorités à mieux surveiller cette industrie. «Les affirmations de l'industrie concernant ses prouesses technologiques ou les affirmations du gouvernement selon lesquelles les effets environnementaux sont acceptables ne seront pas suffisantes pour obtenir l'acceptation du public, peut-on lire dans le document. Pour ce faire, il faudra assurer une surveillance transparente et crédible des incidences environnementales.» 
 
Politicians go on the attack after scientists call for more research into fracking
Publish Date: 01-MAY-2014 11:08 AM
OTTAWA — Deputy Premier Rich Coleman challenged Thursday the conclusions of a scientific panel into the environmental effect of shale gas development using fracking. The group of Canadian and U.S. scientists, appointed in 2011 by former federal environment minister Peter Kent to examine the sector’s potential and risks across Canada, urge a cautionary, go-slow approach until more research is done on a relatively new sector. Coleman, responsible for an industry that Victoria considers an economic linchpin for decades, said the B.C. industry is advanced and a model for the world.