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TransCanada to File Energy East Pipeline Application in August

Jun 11, 2014

TransCanada Corp, Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator, expects to file an application for its C$12 billion ($11.01 billion) Energy East pipeline with energy regulators in mid-August, the company's chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

That follows a preliminary project description submitted to the National Energy Board in March. The Energy East pipeline is expected to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude per day from Alberta's oil sands to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

"We would expect it sometime around mid-August, to be able to file with the National Energy Board for the conversion of the gas pipeline and the additional oil facilities that would be constructed," said Russ Girling, speaking on the sidelines of an economic forum in Montreal.

Union Theological Seminary in NY to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Jun 11, 2014
(Huffington Post)

Trustees of Union Theological Seminary in New York City voted on Tuesday to divest from fossil fuels, making Union the world's first seminary to take such action in the fight against climate change, according to a release sent to The Huffington Post.

The Board of Trustees agreed by unanimous vote to begin divesting fossil fuels from the schools $108.4 million endowment, the release said. As part of a larger green initiative the school will also work with students and environmental organizations to develop a sustainability policy for the campus and host a conference entitled Religions for the Earth leading up to the United Nations’ Climate Summit in September.

"Scripture tells us that all of the world is God's precious creation, and our place within it is to care for and respect the health of the whole," Union President Serene Jones said in the release. "As a seminary dedicated to social justice, we have a critical call to live out our values in the world. Climate change poses a catastrophic threat, and as stewards of God’s creation we simply must act."

Canadian Oil Industry Body Cuts Long-Term Production Forecast

Jun 11, 2014

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) cut its 2030 Canadian oil production forecast on Monday, citing growing uncertainty over the timing of development of some oil sands projects due to rising costs and lack of available capital.

In its annual forecast, the lobby group for the country's largest oil and gas companies, said total Canadian oil production would rise to 6.4 million barrels per day in 2030, compared with 3.5 million bpd in 2013.

That forecast was about 300,000 bpd, or 5 percent, lower than the one CAPP made last year.

Global Climate Action Dealt Blow as Australia and Canada Put Business First

Jun 10, 2014

The Australian and Canadian prime ministers have suggested that economic growth is more important than tackling climate change, playing down the prospects of strong coordinated global action.

Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper indicated during a joint media conference in Ottawa that they felt no additional pressure to address climate change as a result of the US president Barack Obama's new package to reduce emissions.

Reflecting pessimism about the likelihood of ambitious co-ordinated global action, Abbott said climate change was "not the only or even the most important problem" the world faced and argued each country "should take the action that it thinks is best to reduce emissions".

The Australian Greens accused Abbott and Harper of creating a "conservative climate deniers club" while the Australian Labor party said the surest way to destroy jobs and growth in the long term was to do nothing about climate change.

Abbott, who is due to meet Obama in the US this week, characterised the US president’s announcements as similar to the Australian government's "Direct Action measures" to reduce emissions.

"We should do what we reasonably can to limit emissions and avoid climate change – man-made climate change – but we shouldn’t clobber the economy," the Australian prime minister said.

"That’s why I’ve always been against a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment."

Harper said he did not feel any additional pressure "other than the pressure we all feel to make progress on this important issue".

The Canadian leader argued Obama's measures, aiming to cut power plant emissions by 30% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, did not go as far in the electricity sector as the actions Canada had already taken.

"It's not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth in our countries," Harper said.

Northern Gateway Pipeline: 10 Days Left for Decision

Jun 9, 2014
(The Canadian Press)

Some time in the next 10 days, the federal government is supposed to announce its final decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline — the multibillion-dollar political minefield dividing the West.

Even detractors expect the federal government to give the $7-billion project the go-ahead.

But the nod from Ottawa would not be the crest of the mountain Northern Gateway must climb before the oil — and the money — begin to flow. The path to the British Columbia coast has many hurdles left for Calgary-based Enbridge and its partners.

A joint review panel of the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency recommended approval of the project six months ago, subject to 209 conditions.

See Also

EU Proposal Scraps Mandatory 'Dirty' Fuel Label for Tar Sands

Jun 6, 2014
(The Globe and Mail)

The European Union appears to be backing away from a contentious fuel regulation that would hit oil sands producers, as governments there worry increasingly about their dependence on Russian energy imports.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper – in Europe this week – has won backing from key allies, including Britain, Poland and Italy, to deepen the Canada-EU energy relationship in order to enhance security of supply.

"There obviously has been some discussion here about energy security," Mr. Harper told reporters after G7 talks in Brussels Thursday. "Our energy ministers, Natural Resources Minister [Greg] Rickford among them, met within the last month to have a very in-depth discussion of how we can move forward to enhance our energy security for the Western world generally."

U.S. Hottest Spots of Global Warming: Northeast, Southwest

Jun 4, 2014

The United States is warming fastest at two of its corners, in the Northeast and the Southwest, an analysis of federal temperature records shows.

Northeastern states — led by Maine and Vermont — have gotten the hottest in the last 30 years in annual temperature, gaining 2.5 degrees on average. But Southwestern states have heated up the most in the hottest months: The average New Mexico summer is 3.4 degrees warmer now than in 1984; in Texas, the dog days are 2.8 degrees hotter.

The contiguous United States' annual average temperature has warmed by 1.2 degrees since 1984, with summers getting 1.6 degrees hotter. But that doesn't really tell you how hot it's gotten for most Americans. While man-made greenhouse gases warm the world as a whole, weather is supremely local. Some areas have gotten hotter than others because of atmospheric factors and randomness, climate scientists say.

China, World's Biggest Carbon Polluter, Plans Absolute CO2 Cap

Jun 3, 2014

China, the world's biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases, will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016, a top government adviser said on Tuesday.

The target will be written into China's next five-year plan, which comes into force in 2016, He Jiankun, chairman of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing.

"The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap," he said.

The move will be the first time China puts absolute limits on its CO2 emissions, which have soared 50 percent since 2005.

IEA: $50T Investment in Low-Carbon Energy Needed to Stave Off Dangerous Warming

Jun 3, 2014

Investment in low carbon sources of energy will fall well short of what is needed to stave off climate change unless a breakthrough is reached in stalled UN climate talks, the IEA said in a report on Tuesday.

In a major report highlighting trends in energy spending, the Paris-based agency said $53 trillion will need to be funnelled towards lower carbon energy and efficiency over the next two decades in order to limit a rise in global temperatures to below 2C.

A total of $1.6 trillion a year was spent on all types of energy last year, but just $250 billion, or 16%, of this was directed towards renewables and energy efficiency, the IEA said.

EPA to Propose Cutting Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Coal Plants 30% by 2030

Jun 1, 2014
(Washington Post)

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose a regulation Monday that would cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, according to individuals who have been briefed on the plan.

Under the draft rule, the EPA would analyze four options that states and utilities would have to meet the new standard, with different approaches to energy efficiency, shifting from coal to natural gas, investing in renewable energy and making power plant upgrades, according to those who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it has not been formally announced. Other compliance methods could include offering discounts to encourage consumers to shift electricity use to off-peak hours.

The rule represents one of the most significant steps the federal government has ever taken to curb the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are linked to climate change, and the draft is sure to spark a major political and legal battle. Conscious of that, President Obama called a group of Senate and House Democrats on Sunday afternoon to thank them for their support in advance of the proposed rule, according to a White House official who asked for anonymity to discuss private conversations with lawmakers