Canada: Teck Resources withdraws from oil sands mining project in Alberta, citing absence of a framework that reconciles resource development and climate change

- The project would have increased Canada’s oil production by about 5%, while destroying 24,000 acres of boreal forest and releasing millions of tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide every year

- Environmental think tank says, “there was never an economic pathway for this project under global demand scenarios consistent with the Paris climate agreement”

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Article
25 February 2020

Canada Oil-Sands Plan Collapses Over Politics and Economics

Author: Clifford Krauss, New York Times

24 Feb 2020

A major effort to expand development of Canada’s oil sands has collapsed shortly before a deadline for government approval, undone by investor concerns over oil’s future and the political fault lines between economic and environmental priorities.

Nine years in the planning, the project would have increased Canada’s oil production by roughly 5 percent. But it would have also slashed through 24,000 acres of boreal forest and released millions of tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide every year...

The chief executive of Teck Resources, Don Lindsay, said in a letter to federal officials that global capital markets, investors and consumers were looking to governments to put “a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change, in order to produce the cleanest products” — something that he said “does not yet exist here.”...

Reduced demand would focus production on places where it is cheapest, like Saudi Arabia.

“Companies like Teck are realizing that global capital markets are changing rapidly,” said Simon Dyer, executive director of the Pembina Institute, a leading Canadian environmental research organization. “There was never an economic pathway for this project under global demand scenarios consistent with the Paris climate agreement.”...

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Article
25 February 2020

‘Nail in the Coffin’: Era of Big Oil Sands Mines May Be Over

Author: Kevin Orland and Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg

24 Feb 2020

Canada’s oil sands industry may have already built its last big mine.

The cancellation of Teck Resources Ltd.’s Frontier project in northern Alberta -- which envisaged producing more crude than OPEC member Gabon -- epitomizes the struggles of an industry that has already seen most foreign investors flee. It’s not clear that any other proposed mine would be able to clear the hurdles that felled Frontier in the years to come, possibly spelling the end of an era of megaprojects that transformed North America’s energy landscape by turning Canada into the top foreign crude supplier to the U.S...

“This may be the nail in the coffin,” said Laura Lau, who helps manage C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) in assets at Brompton Corp. in Toronto. “I would expect some smaller projects would have a better chance going through.”

On top of middling oil prices, a pipeline capacity shortage in Canada and heightened competition from U.S. shale, the oil sands have become a particularly shunned industry in a world of rising concerns about climate change, leading some major funds to divest their holdings. And with speculation oil demand could peak in 10 years or so, companies are growing increasingly wary of committing to multibillion-dollar projects that require decades of operation to pay out...

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Article
24 February 2020

First Nations, Metis react to news of Teck Resources pulling out of Alberta mine project

Author: APTN National News

Vancouver’s Teck Resources announced Sunday that it is withdrawing its application for the multi-billion dollar Teck Frontier Mine project...

Fourteen First Nation and Metis communities signed onto the deal...

The group Indigenous Climate Action, however, said the decision is a win for Indigenous rights, sovereignty and the climate.

Chief Gerry Cheezie of Smith’s Landing First Nation, a downstream community that opposed the project and didn’t sign an agreement on it, welcomed the news.

“Our community’s survival is at stake. We are already feeling the impacts of the changing climate and the environmental degradation caused by the historical industrialization of our lands and territories. We can’t afford another tarsands project,” he said in a statement.

Environmental groups also cheered the decision as reflecting the economics of the project and the realities of climate change...

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