September 29, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for September 29, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for September 29, 2017

Price of oil causing TransCanada to reconsider Energy East: Feds — Adam Huras

The federal Liberals say the price of oil is what’s causing TransCanada to reconsider building the proposed Energy East pipeline amid concerns from the company that uncertainty surrounding new environmental hurdles could kill the project. “TransCanada's request is a business decision,” said Kim Rudd, parliamentary secretary to the Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr inside the House of Commons last Friday. “The proponent develops its project application in a business environment where factors like the price of oil do change.” Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson delivered the exact same line citing oil prices during question period last week. “The proponent develops its project application in a business environment where factors like the price of oil do change,” Wilkinson said, while adding that the government very much believes in a competitive and sustainable energy sector. - Telegraph Journal


Wind turbine approval process unfair to public — Jim McPherson

Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has approved numerous wind energy projects across the province. But what if many of these approvals were improperly done, as determined by a court? Rural residents have appealed several wind projects to provincial tribunals, but most are denied because Ontario’s Green Energy Act permits these appeals only on very narrow grounds of irreparable harm to the environment or human health. For that reason, a citizen’s group in Prince Edward County recently filed for a judicial review of Ontario’s wind turbine approval process, in Superior Court in Ottawa. The appellant is a not-for-profit corporation composed of hundreds of Prince Edward County residents, who claim their Charter rights have been violated by Ontario’s Green Energy Act (GEA). They contend their rights have been violated by the “institutional bias” of the MOECC, and by its failure to properly consider matters of direct relevance to the wind energy project approval process. - Toronto Sun  


Kinder Morgan complies with NEB order to stop some pipeline work — Ethan Lau

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd has complied with an order by the country's National Energy Board (NEB) to stop some work on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the regulator said on Thursday. The company has told the NEB it will stop installing mats to stop fish from spawning along the $7.4-billion pipeline project – work that had "not yet been authorized," the regulator said in a statement on its website. Kinder Morgan Canada, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a letter last Friday, the NEB told Kinder Morgan that its installation of mats constituted construction along the pipeline portion of the project, for which the company has not yet received authorization. While the project has federal approval, work on the pipeline itself cannot begin until the NEB determines its precise route, a process that has no firm conclusion date. The regulator has so far granted permission only for work on a coastal marine terminal, whose capacity needs to be increased to handle the extra crude from the expansion. - Globe & Mail  


Public unfairly kept in dark on Site C's 'gory' details — Vaughn Palmer

The B.C. Utilities Commission moved quickly Wednesday to block public access to the uncensored version of an independent review it commissioned into Site C. At 8 a.m., the communications director for the commission, Erica Hamilton, called Robert McCullough, the Portland, Ore.-based energy expert who’d posted an unredacted copy of the report by Deloitte LLP on his website. - Vancouver Sun


2nd round of Alberta energy rebates offered after great response — CP

The Alberta government is launching a second round of discounts on energy efficient products after the initial round proved wildly successful. The instant rebates cover the same range of home products discounted in the first round of the program, including low-flow shower heads, LED lights, dimmer switches and smart power bars. Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the government decided to add a second round after the first round resulted in a 40,000% surge in low-flow shower head sales and between 8,000 and 14,500% increases in LED-type light sales. Phillips said sales of energy efficient products in the first round totalled 4.3 million, resulting in energy savings of 420,000 gigajoules, which is enough energy to heat about 3,500 homes a year. The government says the program, with each round costing about $14-million, discounts the products by about 25%, with consumers covering the rest. - Global News  


United States


U.S. Energy Secretary announces funding for carbon capture technology projects — Harleigh Hobbs

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has announced approximately US$36-million in federally-funded financial assistance to advance carbon capture technologies. Under the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the Design and Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies funding opportunity announcement will support cost-shared research and development projects that will continue the development of carbon capture technologies to either the engineering scale or to a commercial design. “Carbon capture technologies are one of the most effective ways we can continue to leverage the sustainability of our nation’s fossil fuel resources while advancing environmental stewardship,” said Secretary Perry. “This funding opportunity will provide for further innovation on methods for capturing carbon emissions for storage and other utilization efforts, as well as underscore this Administration’s commitment to both environmental and economic security.” - World Coal  


United Kingdom


Theresa May under pressure to introduce price cap on energy bills — Jessica Elgot

Theresa May has been urged to revive her election pledge to put a price cap on energy bills by more than 70 Conservative MPs who signed a cross-party letter to the prime minister before the party’s conference this weekend. In the letter to Prime Minister May and the business secretary, Greg Clark, MPs said the move would protect families on standard variable tariffs. Clark wrote to Ofgem in June after the general election asking it to safeguard “customers on the poorest value tariff,” appearing to water down the Conservative manifesto pledge to introduce a cap on standard variable tariffs used by millions of homes. Ofgem is planning a much narrower cap on bills for the 2 million people eligible for the warm home discount, an existing annual £140 payment for households on certain benefits. The regulator is expected to formally publish the plans within days, with the change taking effect in January so people would enjoy some savings this winter. - Guardian