Bankrupt energy companies await key Supreme Court ruling on old oil wells

The decision could have implications for banks, apart from junior and intermediate oil producers’ access to capital

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Pumpjacks, like this one near Calgary, are used to pump crude oil out of the ground after a well has been drilled. Thousands of oil wells have been abandoned across Alberta without proper remediation. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

Trustees for bankrupt energy companies will learn Thursday whether they can refuse to pay clean up costs for old and inactive oil and gas wells in Alberta.

The Supreme Court of Canada is set to rule on whether the trustee for bankrupt Redwater Energy Corp. can hand over the remediation responsibilities for old and inactive oil and gas wells to Alberta’s Orphan Well Association — while still keeping its more valuable wells and facilities, which can be sold to repay the company’s debt.

The case has been closely watched in the Calgary oilpatch and will have major implications across the country’s resource sectors as the Supreme Court will determine whether debt holders have a higher priority over environmental clean-up responsibilities in bankruptcy cases. MORE

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Albertans may face $8B bill for orphan wells unless rules change, lawyer says

 

Rights Recognition Framework” Delayed For Now

Russell Diabo (right), pictured here with Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde, is warning all First Nations in Canada about dealings with Ottawa. (Courtesy Russell Diabo)

During the 2015 federal campaign the Liberal party of Justin Trudeau made a number of big promises in their Indigenous Platform, notably that a Liberal government will:

  • establish a new Nation-to-Nation relationship;
  • establish a reconciliation process;
  • conduct a law and policy review to “de-colonize” Canada’s laws;
  • establish an inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG);
  • implement the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action;
  • implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and
  • remove the 2 percent cap (which has been in place since 1995) on First Nations programs.

Aside from the MMIWG inquiry, which has been handed off to a federally-appointed commission that, according to critics, seems to be floundering, the Trudeau government has operated in secret and in a top down unilateral approach to interpreting and implementing the Liberal 2015 Indigenous Platform promises by entering into agreements with the three National Indigenous organizations (First Nations, Metis, Inuit). 

The First Nation rights holders – the people – have been bypassed and misled in the process for the past three years by a Liberal public relations campaign of slogans and funding announcements. MORE

Unist’ot’en Demand Stop Work Order After Cultural and Indigenous Usage Sites Bulldozed

STATEMENT by Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory: Coastal GasLink and RCMP Violating Gidimt’en Sovereignty and Own Agreement.

Image result for Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory RCMP traplines

RCMP and miliary invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory. Photo courtesy: Michael Toledano / unistoten.camp

January 28, 2019 – Over the weekend Coastal GasLink willfully, illegally, and violently destroyed Gidimt’en cultural infrastructure and personal property on Gidimt’en territory without our consent.

This was our infrastructure to be on our land and exercise our land-based culture. Coastal GasLink’s attack on our cultural practices – with RCMP’s active complicity – is an attack on our sovereignty and an attack on our way of life.

In full: https://bit.ly/2FVoFDb

How climate change is behind this week’s extreme cold snap

The polar vortex is nothing new. It’s just that it typically encircles the north pole. However, in recent years, it seems to be meandering southward every so often.

A recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found the Arctic is warming two to three times faster than anywhere else on Earth. This temperature difference upsets the stability of the jet stream.

And that brings the cold Arctic air southward where it can linger, a result that meteorologists call a blocking pattern.

Climate change isn’t about what’s happening today, but what’s happening globally, over time.

SOURCE

RELATED:

If the Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold Outside?

Mark Your Calendars: 2035 Will Be Renewable Energy Tipping Point

renewable energy in Germany
Encavis hybrid solar and wind energy installation in Germany

Global  consulting firm Wood Mackenzie has released a new report with the snappy title “Thinking global energy transitions: The what, if, how and when.” It claims 2035 will be the year when the world’s transition to renewable energy reaches critical mass. That year will be the “point of singularity,” the time when the world moves away from oil and gas to enter the age of renewables.

In an interview with PV Magazine, Christian Breyer, professor of solar economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, puts the need for urgency in stark terms.

“We already have no other appropriate options than this 100% renewables pathway. This is not science fiction but a real world scenario that must be taken into serious consideration, unless we don’t want to commit a collective suicide. But this is not only a matter of survival, it is also the cheapest way to shape our energy future, as solar and renewables have the potential to reduce the LCOE of global power supply from €70/MWh in 2015 to between 50 and €55/MWh by 2050.

“The easiest part of this trajectory will be the switch to renewables of the power sector, while the hard job will have to be done for the transport, industry and chemical sectors. In the transport sector, marine and aviation will also have to go through electrification, as economically they only work with low-cost electricity, and this will come mainly from renewables in the future, particularly from solar.”

Professor Breyer concludes his interview with this thought. “A world energy system based exclusively on renewable energies and an almost fully electrified world are our only chances to avoid further disasters. This is absolutely doable, and at lower costs than today.”  MORE

COURTENAY COUNCIL TO DECIDE ON CLIMATE-CHANGE LETTER IN FUTURE: MAYOR


Courtenay city council listens to the Dogwood presentation on January 28th, 2019. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio

COURTENAY, B.C- The question of whether or not Courtenay city council will ask fossil fuel companies to pay for climate costs won’t be decided immediately.

That’s according to Courtenay mayor Bob Wells, speaking to the MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom after a presentation from the Dogwood Initiative, a non-profit based in British Columbia, which advocates for support for environmental causes.

The group sent a delegation to the council meeting on Monday evening, encouraging council to send a “climate accountability letter” to twenty of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. They included a draft letter, addressed to Chevron, talking about Courtenay’s flood costs.

Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), handled the bulk of the presentation. MORE

RELATED:

Why hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate costs?

Canadians act now’ on climate change: federal report


Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Canadian governments urgently need to collect and publish data showing how safe their citizens are from floods, fires and other hazards related to climate change, a federal advisory panel is recommending.

In a report released Tuesday, the panel says basic information such as the percentage of poor Canadians who are living in high-risk areas, or the readiness of infrastructure for the change in temperatures and rainfall, are inconsistent or simply not kept.

Panelists say 54 key indicators should be put in place by governments.

“It’s essential that Canadians act now to adapt and build their resilience to climate change,” the panel’s report says. “Climate change impacts occurring across the country pose significant risks to Canadians’ health, safety and well being.” MORE