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Alberta

Danielle Smith slams Trudeau’s methane emissions rules as ‘unrealistic,’ ‘unconstitutional’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career,’ a joint statement read

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith condemned the Trudeau government’s methane emissions cap as “unrealistic” and “unconstitutional.”

On December 4, Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued a joint statement blasting Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s new draft methane regulations.

“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines,” the joint statement read.

“Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career,” it continued.

The proposed regulations, drafted December 4 after the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, restrict oil and gas methane emissions to allegedly reduce “climate change.”

“The proposed methane regulations are consistent with Canada’s commitment to cap and cut oil and gas emissions and with calls from the International Energy Agency for all oil- and gas-producing countries to reduce methane emissions from the sector by 75 percent by 2030,” the news release read.

Under the proposed plan, methane regulations must reduce by 217 megatonnes (carbon dioxide equivalent) from 2027 to 2040.

“Canada is on track to meet its 2025 methane reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels,” the statement asserted. “The draft regulations published today are amendments to the 2018 methane regulations.”

In response to the regulations, Smith pointed out that Alberta has the autonomy to determine its own climate regulations without the direction of the Liberal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets,” she revealed.

“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines,” Smith added. “Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production.”

“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province,” Smith concluded.

This is hardly the first time Smith has defended Alberta from Trudeau’s climate regulations. Smith has repeatedly asserted Alberta’s right to control power grid, promising the province will not be “transitioning away” from oil and natural gas.

Smith has warned that Canadians could freeze in the winter if the new “clean emissions” regulations are enforced, an assertion supported by Alberta’s electric grid operator, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which warned that Trudeau’s 2035 net-zero power grid goal will mean instability for the western province and are “not feasible.”

Two recent court rulings dealt a serious blow to the Trudeau government’s environmental activism via legislation. The most recent was in November when the Federal Court of Canada ruled in favor of Alberta and Saskatchewan and overturned the Trudeau government’s ban on single-use plastic, calling it “unreasonable and unconstitutional.”

The second victory for Alberta and Saskatchewan concerns a Supreme Court ruling that stated that Trudeau’s law, C-69, dubbed the “no-more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” The decision returned authority over the pipelines to provincial governments, meaning oil and gas projects headed up by the provinces should be allowed to proceed without federal intrusion.

In May, Guilbeault declared that violating environmental regulations banning the use of coal and gas-fired power after 2035 may even result in criminal sanctions, a statement that only increased the tension between the federal government and the provinces opposed to the proposed policies.

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Alberta

Male suspect involved in tragic incident between Beaumont and Edmonton sought by police; EPS release photos of suspect

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS)

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is assisting the RCMP with the investigation into a tragic incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman last night on 50 Street.

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:40 p.m. various EPS resources were deployed to the area of 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW at the request of the RCMP. It was reported to police that RCMP attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a suspicious U-Haul in Beaumont, when the vehicle fled. The U-Haul subsequently travelled north on 50 Street into Edmonton, where it struck and killed a woman inspecting the exterior of her vehicle. Moments later the U-Haul came to rest just outside a gas station off of 22 Avenue and 50 Street.

After crashing the U-Haul, the male suspect then reportedly stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station with a child inside. Police did consider an Alert to the public at the time, though thankfully the child was located unharmed in the area of 66 Street and 25 Avenue minutes later. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered outside of Edmonton.

The EPS and RCMP continue to actively seek the identity and whereabouts of the male suspect described as being approximately 5’11” who was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes. CCTV photos of the suspect are included below.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic death of the innocent woman who was killed on 50 Street,” says Det. Nigel Phillips with the EPS Investigative Response Team. “Our hearts are with her family and friends who will now have to carry on with this unfathomable loss.”

“We are doing everything we can to track down the suspect and we trust the public will help us identify and locate him as soon as possible.”

Assist to identify and locate: Male suspect running in area of 50 Street & 22 Avenue SW
While the RCMP is leading this investigation, the EPS is assisting and working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity and/or their whereabouts is asked to contact the EPS immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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Alberta

Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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