Canada Attempts to Turn Up Heat on U.S. as Keystone Stalled
The Canadian government has moved to turn up the heat on President Obama’s administration regarding the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project. Canada’s Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird traveled to New York this week, arguing in media interviews that President Obama has unfairly complicated the $5.4 billion project with U.S. politics. Already in its sixth year of review, the proposed pipeline has become the biggest bilateral issue between the world’s two largest trading partners, fueling tensions between Obama and Harper and threatens Canada’s ability to develop its oil resources.
Gas Utilities Vow Methane Actions as U.S. Ponder on New Standards
The American Gas Association, a trade group that sends natural gas to homes and businesses, has drafted voluntary steps calling on utilities to remove old pipes, prevent venting during maintenance and do more to prevent contractors from incising gas pipes during work. The group has vowed to take steps to address methane leak concerns before the U.S. government can issue new rules. Methane emissions from natural gas processes are drawing increased attention as methane is said to be 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
2,750 MW HidroAysen Hydroelectric Project Rejected by Chile
The proposed 2,750 MW HidroAysen hydroelectric project was unanimously refused by the members of Chile’s ministry of agriculture, energy, mining, economy and health. The proposed plan, which would have included the 600 MW Baker 1 and 360 MW Bakers 2 on the Baker River, along with the 460 MW Pascua 1, 770MW Pascua 2.1 and 500MW Pascua 2.2 on the Pascua River would have helped the country meet its goal of tripling the current 18,000 MW of overall generating capacity, but the plant has been opposed by much of the Chilean population due to a number of unresolved environmental issues.
UK Energy Regulator Seeks Explanation on Lack of Power Bill Reduction
Ofgem, an energy regulator in Great Britain has written to the biggest energy suppliers asking them why household electricity bills have not been cut to reflect lower process for gas and electricity in wholesale markets. Wholesale prices for the coming winter are 16 percent lower for gas and 9 percent lower for electricity compared from last year’s prices and yet, the UK’s six largest utilities have not yet reduced their prices. A failure to explain the mismatch risks undermining public confidence in the energy market, says Ofgem.