Trans-Alaska Pipeline

The 525,000 barrel per day pipeline designed to transport diluted bitumen from Northern Alberta’s oil sands development projects to the Pacific Coast in Kitimat, British Columbia received federal government approval after the markets closed yesterday. There are many hurdles yet to negotiate before Enbridge – the pipeline company proposing the project – can reach a final investment decision to construct the line. Obstacles include environmental concerns and significant opposition from First Nations and local Kitimat residents. “The plan also faces opposition from some First Nations – native Canadians – who live along the proposed route. There are 40 different nations whose land would be crossed, with rights guaranteed by Canada’s constitution, and Enbridge will need approval from all of them if the plan is to go ahead.” [Financial Times] Additionally, the Toronto Star offers 5 things to know about the Northern Gateway oil pipeline decision.

The World Energy Council released a report – based on recent IPCC findings – that says climate change will negatively impact energy production facilities and infrastructure as droughts, extreme weather and sea level rise impede operations. “Energy companies are more often cited as part of the problem of climate change, generating the lion’s share of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, amounting to around 40% of the total. But they will also suffer as global warming picks up pace, as generators – from nuclear reactors to coal-fired power plants – feel the brunt of the weather changes.” [The Guardian]