Awash in cash, Canadian oil patch braces for changes

CALGARY, EDMONTON — As Alberta’s oil sands reach a global scale, they are facing ever tougher environmental scrutiny and now, a new volley of federal legislation. Ottawa yesterday afternoon unveiled draft rules that would require projects starting operations in 2012 and beyond to reduce greenhouse gases, largely through carbon capture technology.

For oil producers, the bottom-line impact of the still sketchy draft legislation is difficult to assess.

Read the entire story here:

TransCanada pipeline clears key hurdle

TransCanada Corp. has secured a major boost to its plans for the long-awaited $5.2-billion Keystone oil pipeline, securing a U.S. presidential permit that allows the construction of the gargantuan infrastructure project.While TransCanada must still secure some approvals from U.S. states, getting the presidential permit was considered to be the largest regulatory hurdle to getting Keystone approved. The company expects the pipeline, which will be the most expensive yet built by TransCanada, to open up a vast, untapped market in the southern U.S. for Canadian producers, creating new buyers and improving price stability for crude from Alberta’s oil sands.

Read the entire story here: 

Canadian banks get credit for progress on climate change

Canada’s Big Five banks have woken up to the impact their financing has on climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by The Ethical Funds Company.

But some are doing better than others, says the report by the socially responsible mutual fund.

TD Bank and Royal Bank come out on top of the ratings, with policies and practices on lending that address climate change. Bank of Montreal is at the bottom, offering little evidence it considers the environment in its lending portfolio.

Read the entire story here: