Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
The Keystone XL pipeline is officially dead, after TC Energy and the province of Alberta announced the official termination of the project on Wednesday. The government said its final costs for the abandoned project are expected to be $1.3 billion.
Construction on Keystone XL was suspended earlier this year after U.S. President Joe Biden revoked a presidential permit for the proposed pipeline. The project’s termination puts an official end to a decade-plus battle that pitted oilsands producers seeking to export Canadian crude against environmentalists and Indigenous groups fighting against the pipeline.
“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project,“ Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement, ”including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing.“
The pipeline was designed to carry 830,000 barrels crude oil every day from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. It would then connect with the company’s existing lines to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast — one of the world’s biggest oil refining hubs.
Approximately 200 kilometres of pipeline have already been laid, which TC Energy said will remain in the ground until further notice.
Environmentalists are celebrating the termination of the project that they have been fighting against since it was first announced in 2008.
“Good riddance to Keystone XL,” said Jared Margolis with the Center for Biological Diversity, one of many environmental groups that sued to stop it. CBC News has more details.
A week after a landmark Dutch court ruling last month, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the energy company will accelerate its energy transition efforts and work to expedite carbon emission cuts. In a post on LinkedIn, van Beurden reiterated that Shell will appeal the court’s ruling that forces the company to curb emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, but nonetheless will seek ways to further reduce its carbon emissions.
“I still feel disappointed that Shell is being singled out by a ruling that I believe does not help reduce global CO2 emissions,” said van Beurden, adding that the company was determined to rise to the challenge. The Wall Street Journal has more.
Poland released plans to close the Bełchatów power station, Europe’s most polluting coal-fired power plant, by 2036. The closure announcement is subject to public consultation and is part of the region’s application for support from the EU’s Just Transition Fund, which provides financial support to regions transitioning toward a carbon-neutral economy.
Poland generates the overwhelming majority of its electricity from coal, but increasing pressure from the EU and the rising costs of carbon emissions have caused the nation to invest in more low-emission sources. The Guardian has the full story.
Meanwhile, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), clean energy investment in developing countries needs to increase sevenfold equating to over $1 trillion per year by 2030, in order to put the world on track for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In a report conducted by the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, the IEA noted that, without increased action, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from developing economies, predominantly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, would grow by 5 billion tonnes over the next two decades.
On Thursday morning at 9:13 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$70.31 and Brent Crude was going for US$72.57.
The federal government and province of Alberta have reached an agreement with a private company that would lead to the construction of a $1.3 billion hydrogen plant near Edmonton. If built, the plant would produce hydrogen-fuelled electricity and liquid hydrogen for transportation. It could be operational as early as 2024 and would create about 2,500 jobs in the construction and engineering phase, according to Rachel Smith, the company’s Canadian general manager.
“This is a very concrete step toward one of the first facilities that will help make Canada, Alberta and Edmonton global leaders in growing the clean hydrogen sector,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, who appeared with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan. The Canadian Press has more.
The British Columbia government announced an order to defer old-growth logging at Fairy Creek and in the Central Walbran valley for at least two years. The order was announced in response to requests from the Pacheedaht, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht First Nations who asked for a two-year deferral to provide them with the adequate amount of time needed to prepare resource management plans in their territories.
The Fairy Creek watershed has been the site of numerous protests and blockades over the past year, which has resulted in 194 people being arrested since March. Premier John Horgan said he hopes the decision to defer will put an end to those protests. Horgan also added that companies that have logging rights in the contested areas, like Teal-Jones and Western Forest Products, will not be compensated for the deferral. The Vancouver Sun has that story.
Finally, Canada’s oilsands producers announced on Wednesday that they would form an alliance to reach net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050. The alliance includes companies like Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, and Suncor Energy, which will work with federal and provincial governments to help Canada meet its climate goals.
Canada’s oilsands are generating billions in free cash flow during an industry-wide rebound from the pandemic, but have taken a more cautious approach to spending it which is disappointing environmentalist investors. Reuters has more details.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$55.39 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$56.31 this morning at 9:13 a.m.