Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
The dispute over Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline is entirely Michigan’s prerogative to deal with, according to a legal brief released by the state’s attorney general on Wednesday. Attorney General Dana Nessel rejected Canada’s depiction of a foreign-policy matter that Ottawa and the White House must resolve bilaterally.
She excoriated Enbridge’s arguments as “meritless” and “baseless,” and waved away the submissions of the federal Liberal government, neighbouring states and various industry stakeholders as little more than policy-based window-dressing.
Enbridge is trying to convince Michigan court Judge Janet Neff that the case needs to be heard by a federal judge because it raises “substantial federal questions” about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s effort to shut down the line for fear of an environmental disaster in the Great Lakes.
“This case is a state-law action through and through,” Nessel counters in her brief.
Michigan is “invoking powers that are unique to a state sovereign,” it says, and asserting claims under Michigan laws “over a strip of land that is owned by the state, located within the state, and held in trust by the state for the public benefit of its people.”
Enbridge and Michigan state officials continue to take part in court-ordered mediation talks in an effort to resolve the Line 5 dispute. The Canadian Press has more.
Exxon Mobil shareholders have ousted a third board member in their bid to force the oil giant to deal more aggressively with climate change. Each of the three new directors were nominated by Engine No. 1, a hedge fund that owns just a sliver of all Exxon shares, but gained widespread internal support for its argument that the company’s board was ill-equipped to handle the transformations reshaping the energy sector.
“We are grateful for shareholders’ careful consideration of our nominees and are excited that these three individuals will be working with the full board to help better position Exxon Mobil for the long-term benefit of all shareholders,” Engine No. 1 said in a statement. Reuters has more details.
New analysis from the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Development Institute found that G7 nations have collectively spent more on fossil fuels than clean energy since the start of the pandemic. The report revealed that the U.K., U.S., Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Japan committed $189 billion to support oil and gas between January 2020 and March 2021. In comparison, the same countries spent $147 billion on clean forms of energy over the same time period.
Meanwhile, Orsted, the world’s largest offshore-wind-farm developer, is increasing its investment in renewables to $57 billion by 2027. The Danish firm, which sold its oil and gas business in 2017, has installed more than a quarter of the world’s offshore-wind capacity and announced its plan to more than quadruple its installed renewable-energy capacity over the next decade to 50 gigawatts.
“Our aspiration is to become the world’s leading green energy major by 2030,” said CEO Mads Nipper on Wednesday.
On Friday morning at 9:02 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$68.94 and Brent Crude was going for US$71.50.
In response to Pembina’s $8.3 billion offer to buy Inter Pipeline, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners announced on Wednesday that it was increasing its hostile bid to $8.48 billion. Brookfield criticized Inter Pipeline’s board and management Wednesday, saying the target company privately snubbed an offer of $19.50 per share and instead accepted Pembina’s “inferior offer,” while also agreeing to pay Pembina a $350-million break fee if their deal doesn’t close.
The bidding war sent Inter Pipeline’s share price up close to 7.2 per cent to $20.27 per share by close Wednesday, an indication that Pembina and Brookfield may drive the purchase price up further. The Calgary Herald has the full story.
A new report by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices estimates that the impact of climate change on public health in Canada will add up to hundreds of billions of dollars, while drastically increasing hospitalizations and premature deaths due to weather-related issues.
Ian Culbert, who wrote the report’s foreword and is the executive director of the Canadian Public Health Association, says the report shows that the federal government’s push to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 will also bring health benefits for Canadians.
“It’s really part of that bigger picture of changing our societal expectations of governments, so that the necessary investments and policy changes can be made,” Culbert told CTV News.
Finally, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan launched a $964 million program to support renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies. The Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program will fund projects that focus on non-emitting, cleaner energy technologies, such as storage, and modernizing electricity system operations.
O’Regan is also set to make an announcement on Thursday regarding electric vehicle infrastructure.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$54.01 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$54.58 this morning at 9:02 a.m.