September 07, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for September 7, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for September 7, 2017

Contractors picked for controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion: Canadian Press

The company behind the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion says it has picked contractors to work on the project extending between Alberta and British Columbia. Kinder Morgan Canada says it has selected or signed agreements with six firms that have experience in building pipelines and major infrastructure projects in both provinces. The company says contractors will directly hire individuals and sub contractors, and there will be employment opportunities for local, regional, and Aboriginal communities. - Chronicle Herald


First Nations will protest, but Trans Mountain pipeline a done deal, Liberals say: John Paul Tasker

While some Indigenous activists gear up to fight expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline on the streets and in court, federal Liberal cabinet ministers say there's no going back on their decision to approve the $7.4-billion project. Speaking to reporters at the national Liberal caucus meeting in Kelowna, B.C., Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said such groups are free to stand in opposition, but the decision to approve is final. "We know there are a variety of different views on this," Philpott said. "But this is something we've already done a tremendous [amount] of work on, recognizing the principles of consent, recognizing the rights of First Nations." - CBC News


Selling Energy East: editorial

For New Brunswick, the Energy east pipeline project is the most lucrative infrastructure proposal in a generation. Its construction would create thousands of jobs. Once made, Saint John could open a second oil refinery to process greater crude supply, again creating more jobs and wealth. Yet the political maze may well doom the project. In an interview with the Telegraph-Journal, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said he was “not convinced” on Energy East, and that even if the National Energy Board approves the project, this may not guarantee his support. While the federal government can make the ultimate decision, Quebec could put up all kinds of roadblocks to delay the pipeline’s construction. - Telegraph Journal


Proposed oilsands mine gets support from Fort McMurray Métis, four other Indigenous groups: David Thurton

Five Indigenous groups in the Fort McMurray region say they won't oppose the proposed construction of a $20.6-billion oilsands mine north of the city. The McMurray Métis signed an agreement Tuesday with the mine proponent, Teck Resources, that promises jobs, contracts and environmentally sensitive development, according to leaders of Métis Local 1935. The Fort McKay Métis, the Fort McKay First Nation and the Fort Chipewyan Métis have also signed similar agreements with Teck Resources. The Fort McMurray First Nation 468 has withdrawn its statement of concern. - CBC


Balls of bitumen: Calgary breakthrough will make oil pipelines unnecessary, researcher claims: John Gibson

A Calgary engineer thinks an invention he stumbled upon in the laboratory could transform the way Alberta gets its heavy oil to market. Ian Gates was researching ways to upgrade bitumen when he and his team accidentally found a way to degrade it, making it even more viscous — which, in turn, led to a discovery that they could envelope the oil in self-sealing pellets, with a liquid core and super-viscous skin. These tough little balls of bitumen could be a pipeline-free way of getting Alberta oil to markets cheaply, sustainably and with less risk of environmental harm, said a release from the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering, where Gates is a professor. - CBC


The carbon tax is supposed to incentivize low carbon alternatives: Kyle Carruthers

As the feds were in town last week sorting out some of the details of the upcoming carbon tax with the Yukon Government, we have further indications that no “exemption” for the North is in the cards. Seemingly resigned (finally) to the notion that this is coming one way or another, the opposition has embraced a new line of attack. A refusal by the government to promise that the tax it collected once in place would be “revenue neutral”, not for government, but for individual Yukoners paying it led to criticism that it would be picking winners and losers. - Yukon News


United States

For city economies to prosper, poor need clean power: Sophie Hares

Giving the poorest people in the world’s fast-growing cities access to affordable, clean energy supplies, while wiping out the use of hazardous solid fuels is essential for urban economies to grow on a warming planet, researchers said. Some half a billion people in urban areas still cook with traditional fuels like wood, said a report from the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI). It urged cities to boost access to solar power and other clean energy sources, and make buildings and domestic appliances more efficient. “Providing energy services for the under-served really will enhance the environment and the economy for the whole city. It’s only when everyone in the city has dependable energy that the city will thrive,” said the report. - Reuters



Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejects taking Goods and Services Tax off power: Phillip Coorey

The federal government has rejected calls to remove the GST from power bills, saying the states would either demand compensation from Canberra or raise other taxes to make up for the lost revenue. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison were quick out of the blocks on Thursday morning to hose down the suggestion. "That would cost states and territories $2-billion a year. Where are they going to make that up from? Are they going to put up land tax? Are they going to cut services? Or are they asking us to put up income tax?," Mr. Turnbull said. "We're all running very tight budgets here so it would just pass the tax burden onto some other part of the system." - Australian Financial Review  


Santos' Gladstone Liquid Natural Gas venture to sacrifice exports to free up gas for east coast: Angela MacDonald-Smith

Santos and its GLNG project partners have taken their most decisive step yet to head off damaging caps on gas exports, agreeing to divert 30 petajoules of gas away from export and into the domestic east coast market. The move comes as the federal government is due this month to decide whether to declare 2018 a "shortfall" year for gas on the east coast, which would cause it to slap restrictions on LNG shipments, specifically on GLNG. Santos said the gas, to be provided over 2018 and 2019, was being sold to east coast customers, including power companies, and would otherwise have been exported as LNG. - Australian Financial Review  



France to ban oil, gas output on home soil in symbolic step: Associated Press

France’s government is unveiling a law to ban all production and exploration of oil and natural gas by 2040 on the country’s mainland and overseas territories. The move is largely symbolic, however, as France’s oil and gas production represents just 1% of national consumption – the rest is imported. Current drilling permits will not be renewed, according to the draft bill obtained by The Associated Press. The bill is to be formally presented in a Cabinet meeting later Wednesday. It is part of a larger plan to wean the country’s economy from fossil fuels, to encourage clean energy and fulfil France’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to curb global warming. - National Post