Canada, Alberta governments square off in court over carbon tax
Alberta's top court started hearing evidence in a dispute between the province and the Canadian government over a wide-ranging federal levy on emissions that has already been the subject of unsuccessful challenges in other provinces. The so-called reference case before the Alberta Court of Appeal got underway Dec. 16 in Edmonton, Alberta, with lawyers for the province arguing that the federal government has overstepped its constitutional authority in applying the levy at the consumer level, including home heating and motor fuels.
Pennsylvania pushing to regulate gas sector methane emissions
Pennsylvania is moving forward to regulate methane emissions from the state's shale gas industry, according to a Dec. 17 news release from Gov. Tom Wolf's office. Regulations under consideration would require oil and gas operators that produce at least a certain amount to use leak detection and repair equipment to find and fix leaks, among other requirements. The regulations would also reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from well sites, pipelines and other infrastructure, the news release said.
TC Energy files gas mainline toll agreement with Canadian regulator
TC Energy Corp. asked the Canada Energy Regulator to approve a six-year rate settlement for its Canadian natural gas mainline. If approved, the agreement would take effect Jan. 1, 2021, and stretch through 2026, the Calgary, Alberta-based company said in a statement. The agreement with shippers would see tolls drop on an important segment of the system and allow TC Energy a return on equity of 10.1% on 40% deemed common equity. Shippers unanimously endorsed the settlement, TC Energy said.
Enbridge seeks regulator OK for Canadian Mainline contracting plan
Enbridge Inc. is seeking approval from the Canada Energy Regulator to implement contracting on its Mainline pipeline system. Enbridge's plan to shift Canada's biggest oil-transportation system to long-term contracts had been halted by regulator, which ordered the company to first submit a plan for prior approval amid concerns that refiners and traders in the U.S. could monopolize the system and drive down Canadian crude prices.
Canada gives environmental nod to CNOOC offshore oil project
China National Offshore Oil Corp. was granted environmental approval by Canada's government to drill for oil in the Flemish Pass region off Newfoundland and Labrador. The project, approximately 400 kilometers offshore, does not pose a risk of significant adverse environmental effects if proper mitigation procedures are followed, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said. The government attached 101 conditions to its approval of the assessment. The project still requires approval from other federal and provincial regulators before it can proceed.