A group of female Wet’suwet’en chiefs are calling for oil and gas work to be deemed non-essential, as they believe doing so will help protect their community members from the exposure to COVID-19.
The chiefs, who together represent the First Nation’s five clans, wrote an open letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer for British Columbia, outlining the “grave concern” they have with the continued operation of three Coastal GasLink work-camps in their territories, which consist of 22,000 square kilometres of land in the northern part of the province.
Although the province issued guidelines for industrial camps to follow back in March, the chiefs are worried the camps do not have the capacity to isolate workers who test positive, who instead are sent home.
The chiefs chose to write to Henry following reports that more than 40 cases of COVID were tied to the LNG Canada facility located in Kitimat, according to Sleydo’ Molly Wickham, spokesperson for the Gidimt’en checkpoint and one of the letter’s signatories.
“That’s when people started getting really scared and wanted something done — then we started getting cases within our own community. There’s too much at risk. Nobody wants to lose a family member or a loved one, or to have them in an ICU hundreds and hundreds of miles away,” Sleydo’ said, according to Vancouver Sun.
The final permit for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement was approved yesterday by Minnesota regulators, giving the company the green light to begin construction on the $2.6-billion project. A storm water permit, approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, was the last licence needed for the Calgary-based company to start construction.
“Line 3 is poised to provide significant economic benefits for counties, small businesses, Native American communities, and union members – bringing 4,200 family-sustaining, mostly local construction jobs, millions of dollars in local spending and additional tax revenues at a time when Northern Minnesota needs it most,” said Enbridge spokesperson Juli Kellner.
Earlier this month, the company notified landowners along the project route via letters that it expected construction to “start on approximately November 30,” but the company has yet to specify when construction will commence. The Associated Press has more.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate confirmed two of President Donald Trump’s choices for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday, which could help to secure a Republican majority on the panel until June.
Mark Christie, a Republican, and Allison Clements, a Democrat, were passed by the Senate to be a part of FERC, an independent panel of the Energy Department. The commission now has five members, and with three being Republicans. Reuters has more.
On Tuesday morning at 9:33 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$45.04 and Brent Crude was going for US$47.72.
Ecojustice has lost its bid to halt Alberta’s inquiry into where critics of the oil and gas sector get their funding. The environmental law group lost an injunction it filed this summer to suspend the inquiry until there’s a ruling on whether the process is legal.
“The court’s decisions, while disappointing, won’t stop Ecojustice from continuing to challenge the Kenney government’s inquiry into ‘anti-Alberta’ activities and expose it for the sham that it is,” said executive director Devon Page in a statement yesterday.
In 2019, the provincial government tapped Steve Allan, forensic accountant to lead a $2.5-million inquiry to determine whether foreign interests are financing anti-fossil fuel development campaigns in Canada. He’s expected to produce a final copy of his report by Jan. 31, after receiving two extensions and a $1-million budget increase, as the Canadian Press reports.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$33.00 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$34.84 this morning at 9:33 a.m.