Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

Trudeau needs to get the Teck oilsands project built – by Diane Francis (Finacial Post – January 21, 2020)

The Teck project is in the national interest, and sorely needed, because it provides jobs, investment and opportunities in a remote, hostile region

A proposed $20.6-billion oilsands mining mega-project by Teck Corp. in northern Alberta is a litmus test as to whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau governs on behalf of Canadians or wants to continue government-by-Greta. Greta Thunberg is a Swedish teenager and poster girl for the global environmental movement.

A decision is expected next month and the usual battle lines have been drawn. “If this project does not proceed, it would be a clear indication that there is no way forward for this country’s largest natural resource,” warned Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

And that also means Alberta and Saskatchewan will have no way forward either. If denied the right to continue to responsibly develop their resources, they will have to “immigrate” or leave Canada. There will be little choice. Continue Reading →

Why Albertans are pondering the nuclear option of separation – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – January 21, 2020)

Alberta is a boiling cauldron about to blow its lid off

Last weekend I participated in the “The Value of Alberta” conference in Calgary. While most of the focus was on options for Alberta’s autonomy, what was most striking were the off-session comments of the 700 attendees. Albertans are running out of patience after five bad economic years.

Many told me about hardships: a friend recently losing a job, farmers unable to get credit, or a relative about to lose a house. They are upset with federal parties and media willing to play up a GM factory closing down or job losses at Bombardier or a corrupt SNC-Lavalin while ignoring the plight of tens of thousands of unemployed Albertans.

Many are angry at unsupportive and obstructionist federal regulatory policies that have dried up investment. They sense the lack of support from other parts of Canada despite Alberta’s huge $650-billion financial contribution over 60 years while other parts of Canada are pandered to buy votes in an election. Continue Reading →

How an Oil Boom in West Texas Is Reshaping the World – by Justine Worland (Time Magazine – January 3, 2019)

My view from the window seat of a small regional jet landing in Midland, Texas, is either a testament to the advances of human civilization or a sign of its impending demise, depending on your perspective. Countless oil wells, identified by their glowing red flames, dot the dark landscape.

We are descending into the Permian Basin, the heart of American oil country, where the massive oil and gas boom is changing not just Texas but also the nation and the world.

This year the region is expected to generate an average of 3.9 million barrels per day, roughly a third of total U.S. oil production, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s enough to make the U.S., as of late 2018, the world’s largest producer of crude. The windfall has turned a nation long reliant on foreign oil into a net exporter in a few short years. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court dismisses B.C. case against Trans Mountain pipeline – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 17, 2020)

Outcome resolves one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project

CALGARY – The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s move to regulate the flow of heavy oil across its borders, resolving one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

After all-day hearings Thursday, Supreme Court justices dismissed B.C.’s appeal of a lower court decision, which found that interprovincial trade is federal jurisdiction and the flow of commodities such as heavy oil and bitumen should be overseen by federal regulators.

“We are all of the view to dismiss the appeal for the unanimous reasons of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia,” Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner said from the bench after dozens of lawyers from across the country presented arguments. Continue Reading →

Mark Carney ‘absolutely’ opposes oil divestment – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 15, 2020)

One of Fink’s sentences is worth repeating: “The technology does not
yet exist to cost-effectively replace many of today’s essential uses
of hydrocarbons.” It may be even more complicated than lack of
technology. Some scientists say the physics and essential properties
of energy production make any known fossil fuel substitutes — such
as wind and solar — unrealistic alternatives.

I have some welcome news for Canada’s fossil fuel industry. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, soon to be the UN envoy on climate finance, will not be joining the fossil fuel divestment movement. “I absolutely disagree with divestment campaigns,” Carney said in an email to an FP Comment column reader in Calgary.

Carney’s categorical rejection of divestment clarifies what has appeared to some as the central banker’s ambiguous position on the global campaign to get investment firms, pension funds and other financial institutions to remove carbon-emitting energy corporations from their portfolios.

Many in Canada’s energy sector have expressed concerns about Carney’s views, which will play a key role in policy circles when he returns to Canada this year to take up his new UN role. Continue Reading →

Will B.C.’s new UNDRIP law block the province’s natural gas megaproject? Good question – Editorial (Globe and Mail – January 16, 2020)

In the Canadian Venn diagram of Indigenous reconciliation, resource development and climate change, British Columbia’s Coastal GasLink pipeline lands smack in the hot centre of three political issues.

After a long period of debate and negotiation, major construction on the pipeline is set to begin this summer. There may, however, be one final roadblock: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

B.C. last year became the first province to enshrine UNDRIP into law. At the federal level, the Trudeau government plans to do the same. That is even though it remains unclear exactly what UNDRIP means, and how it may change Canadian law. The document pledges governments to secure the “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous people in a number of situations, including before giving the green light to resource projects. Continue Reading →

Torn loyalties over the future of Wet’suwet’en amid blockade against GasLink – by Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – January 13, 2020)

Russell and Elsie Tiljoe have deep roots in the Wet’suwet’en Nation and worry about the growing divisions between hereditary chiefs who oppose Coastal GasLink’s $6.6-billion pipeline project and elected band councillors who support it.

Mr. Tiljoe, 83, and his 82-year-old wife, Elsie, say on-reserve residents stand to benefit from jobs created by construction of the natural-gas pipeline.

But the Indigenous elders also respect the Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary house groups, which claim authority in northern British Columbia over their traditional territory located outside federal reserves. Continue Reading →

OPINION: B.C.’s gas-pipeline protest will end in a whimper, not a bang – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 10, 2020)

While uncertainty surrounds the final outcome of a blockade that has halted construction of an important natural gas pipeline in northern B.C., be assured that the protest by a small group of Indigenous leaders and environmental activists has zero chance of jeopardizing completion of the project.

There is simply too much at stake, not the least of which is Canada’s international reputation for resource development – which is not great as it is.

The rest of Canada has become inured to environmental confrontations in British Columbia. There is a long, sharp history of them, one that continues to shape the nature and scope of the crusades we are witnessing today. They have become intertwined more recently with court decisions that have handed Indigenous groups more power than they’ve ever known. Continue Reading →

The burden of proof rests on Mark Carney, and he hasn’t made his case against fossil fuels – by John Constable (Financial Post – January 10, 2020)

Opinion: If any investments are likely to be stranded, it is those such as wind and solar, not fossil fuels

Mark Carney is using his final days as governor of the Bank of England to intimidate institutional financial managers by suggesting that investments in conventional energy are high-risk adventures requiring special justification.

However, consideration of the state of the global energy supply over the past 30 years suggests that if anyone has some explaining to do it is Carney himself.

Climate policy failure followed by distressed correction seems more probable than other outcomes, and if any investments are likely to be stranded, it is those such as wind and solar that are in effect wagers on the success of current carbon-reduction strategies. Continue Reading →

Mark Carney’s war against the fossil fuel industry is just the beginning – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – January 9, 2020)

The corporatist left is scheming to control the flow of money and cut off funding to business activities that may be contributing to the climate emergency

It is hard to imagine the global policy environment around climate change can get any wonkier through 2020 than it has been through 2019.

The Oxford Dictionary declared the two-word slogan “climate emergency” to be the 2019 Word of the Year, although that was before the crash-and-burnout of the 25th United Nations’ intergovernmental Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid. It’s a climate emergency, but let’s put the whole thing off until COP26 next November in Glasgow.

Propelled by Greta Thunberg, who attempts to live without consuming energy, the 2019 extremist policy options range from $250-a-tonne carbon levies to new climate taxes on ice cream, restaurant dining, meat and alcohol. Continue Reading →

Don’t shut in Canada’s oil yet: We just got a wake-up call on how important our oil actually is – by Maureen McCall (Financial Post – January 9, 2020)

Opinion: Canada’s wealth of natural resources now suddenly looks a lot more useful and valuable than it did just weeks ago

Just three days into a new decade Canadians woke up to a new geopolitical reality. The U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani has raised fears that an escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict could disrupt world oil supply.

Policy discussions have suddenly pivoted from weaning the world from fossil fuels to hard questions about global and energy security. Some analysts argue ­­­­­Iran will back attacks on oil infrastructure in the Persian Gulf and the rest of the Middle East and maybe even on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure if tensions escalate sufficiently.

The political and even military disruption that could ensue could be considerable. The oil supplies and economies of almost every country could be affected, including Canada’s. Continue Reading →

London, New York mayors urge cities to divest from fossil fuels – by Rachel Savage (Reuters – January 8, 2020)

LONDON, Jan 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The mayors of New York City and London have urged other cities to divest their pension funds from fossil fuel producers, as they introduced a toolkit to help cities shift investments away from companies that drive climate change.

New York City said in January 2018 that over five years it would remove fossil fuel investments from its public pension funds, which then had $189 billion in assets under management. London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to do so in his 2016 election campaign.

Investors with $11 trillion in assets under management have pledged to divest from fossil fuels, campaign group said in a September report. Continue Reading →

RCMP seeking to resolve Coastal GasLink pipeline crisis without resorting to ‘police enforcement’ – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – January 8, 2020)

CALGARY – Senior RCMP officers are in contact with First Nations protestors opposed to the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, trying to negotiate a way for construction work on the natural gas pipeline to resume in north-central British Columbia.

“Or priority is to engage with CGL, Indigenous communities and government to facilitate a resolution without police enforcement,” RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said in an emailed statement, adding that the force’s senior commander “has already been in direct contact with representatives of all these stakeholder groups, including the Hereditary Chiefs.”

Over the weekend, a breakaway group of hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs that oppose the natural gas pipeline asked the RCMP to “refrain from interference” in the dispute over the project that will link gas fields near Dawson Creek to the $40-billion LNG Canada export project in the coastal community of Kitimat. Continue Reading →

The Trudeau Liberals will have to live with being in breach of a UN declaration they should never have adopted – by Terence Corcoran (National Post – January 8, 2020)

According to an ancient political proverb, governments that pander to the globalist sword fighters at the United Nations run a grave risk of getting their policy necks lopped off. And so, as prophesied, that object now rolling across the Canadian West toward Ottawa is the Trudeau government’s self-righteous 2016 decision to wrap its arms around UNDRIP — the 2007 United Nations United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

With Canada now signed on to the United Nations’ feel-good indigenous agenda, UN operatives are back and claiming, as is their practice, that Canada is failing to live up to the full meaning of the declaration, which among other things requires Ottawa and the provinces receive full agreement from Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development.

Through a subgroup called the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the UN has drafted a two-page decision calling on Canada to “immediately cease” construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, to “immediately suspend” construction on the Site C dam in British Columbia and to “immediately halt” all work on the Coastal Gas Link LNG pipeline. Continue Reading →

‘A huge opportunity’: Alberta oilfields could give rise to lithium industry fuelled by electric cars – by Amanda Stephenson (Calgary Herald/Financial Post – January 6, 2020)

It’s long been known that Alberta’s historic oil and gas-producing Leduc Reservoir is rich in lithium deposits

Calgary-based E3 Metals wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the work of Elon Musk. The natural resources company, which was founded in 2016, has developed a patented ion-exchange extraction technology that produces purified lithium concentrate from the light metal that occurs naturally within the province’s oilfield brines.

The company’s goal is to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide that can be used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries — the same type of batteries that power the electric cars made by Musk’s company, Tesla Inc.

“It wasn’t because of Tesla, but it was because of what Tesla did,” E3’s president and CEO Chris Doornbos said, on the inspiration for his company’s technology. “They took a concept, which was an electric vehicle, and turned it into something that could be a mainstream vehicle . . . and therein lies an opportunity.” Continue Reading →