Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: February 10, 2020

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

Activists’ Unrealistic Demands

Despite receiving support from 250 university professors in an open letter, Extinction Rebellion still has unrealistic goals for solving climate change. Among other demands, the open letter asks for Canada to create binding legislation for zero emissions by 2025. This request is radical, but it’s also unrealistic. Extinction Rebellion demanded the same from the United Kingdom, a country much smaller than Canada with a milder year-round climate:

“Researchers at Zero Carbon Britain suggested that if the UK wanted to get to net zero by 2030, Britain would need to get about 130 gigawatts of electricity from wind, meaning around 13,000 extra wind turbines off shore. This would take up an area twice the size of Wales. The UK would also need about 7 gigawatts of onshore wind, meaning another 3,500 turbines.”

Teck Frontier Awaits Federal Approval

In a recent interview, Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon said:

“Albertans are tired of being told they aren’t taking climate change seriously enough and view federal approval of [Teck Frontier oilsands mine] as a litmus test for federal good will.”

Unfortunately, the federal government still hasn’t decided whether the project may move forward, and the government is now reportedly creating an aid package for Alberta in the event that the project does not get approved. An aid package would be little consolation if Alberta loses out on this project—the Teck Frontier oilsands mine would create 7,000 jobs and has received support from Indigenous communities.

Suncor CEO Mark Little explained why investment in such projects in Canada’s oil sands can benefit energy consumers around the world:

“There are 700 million people on the face of the Earth, about 10 percent, that are struggling with extreme poverty and they need more energy to change their standard of living. That’s why this is a quandary because the world really needs more energy and less emissions and that whole mantra is actually caught up in this (Frontier)…approval.”

As he continued, discussing new Suncor oilsands projects’ ability to reduce emissions:

“I look at it and think, this could be one of the lowest emission sources of oil globally going forward and that’s the challenge that we’ve put to ourselves.”

Positive Pipeline News

Last week, the Federal Court of Appeal unanimously decided that Ottawa had appropriately consulted with Indigenous communities about the Trans Mountain Pipeline, ruling that “there is no basis for interfering with the [cabinet’s] second authorization of the project.”  Although more objections may arise, this decision is good news—a majority of Canadians support the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

In other good news for pipelines that would benefit the Canadian energy industry, Minnesota utility regulators approved Enbridge Energy’s plans for the Line 3 oil pipeline. This is a welcome development for Canada, where a majority of adults not only support pipelines in general but the construction of new pipelines, helping the country expand its takeaway capacity.

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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