/The Drilldown: Coldwater Indian Band questions CER changes to Trans Mountain hearings

The Drilldown: Coldwater Indian Band questions CER changes to Trans Mountain hearings

The Lead

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has made multiple changes to upcoming hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that are now being challenged by the Coldwater Indian Band. The CER received a letter from the Band’s legal counsel yesterday that points out problems they have with the lack of oral cross-examination, instead giving more strength to written concerns.

Due to public health concerns amid COVID-19, CER announced last week that it would no longer be hosting in-person hearings or participating in any more site visits to respect physical distancing measures. Photos, videos and written requests will be accepted instead, which according to the regulator, will allow the hearings to continue in a “fair and transparent manner.”

This has been questioned by Coldwater, who has said that getting rid of oral cross-examination is contrary to the ruling made by the Federal Court of Appeal back in February.

The National Observer reports.


Patagonia is home to the Vaca Muerta oil and gas fields, which is said to be the second largest shale deposit in the world, with the first being Texas’ Permian basin. While the development of this project has been but on hold as a result of the global lockdown caused by coronavirus, analysts have acknowledged that the fossil fuel operation is becoming increasingly financially unstable.

The project is contingent on decisions from both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Argentina. The IMF had originally supported Vaca Muerta to help the country become stronger economically and produce its own energy, but last year, the fund suggested that Argentina slash subsidies towards the project as fossil fuel energy has become less popular.

The Guardian has more.

On Wednesday morning at 9:42am, West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$15.64 and Brent Crude at US$23.08.

In Canada

Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, responded to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) with a critical letter last week after the energy organization requested that the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am writing to inform you that CAPP’s call for an immediate halt and indefinite delay to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples [UNDRIP] will not promote economic recovery or certainty,” said the letter, as was reported by The Globe and Mail.

According to CAPP’s CEO Tim McMillan, there has been direct communication between the organization and the AFN and clarified last Friday that they are in support of the enactment of UNDRIP. That being said, CAPP has discussed concerns that it has about being able to follow through without proper Indigenous consultation due to the “current and unprecedented health and economic crisis,” because of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Cenovus Energy announced a net loss of $1.8 billion in its first quarter, having earned $110 million in the same period last year, according to Reuters.

Similarly, Husky Energy Inc.’s first quarter saw a loss of $1.7 billion, whereas they saw earnings of $328 million at the same time last year, reports Reuters. As a response, the company will be cutting its dividends, and paying 1.25 cents per share, as opposed to 12.5 cents per share.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$10.25 and Western Canadian Select at -US3.06 this morning at 8:42am.


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