Net Zero: Judge asks for second opinion in Fairy Creek case

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

In the latest development in the Fairy Creek saga, a judge hearing a request to stay proceedings against protesters of old-growth logging on Vancouver Island said the application has a reasonable chance of success, but he wants another judge to consider it with “fresh eyes.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson said he asked the chief justice to assign another judge to hear the protesters’ application, which alleges misconduct by the RCMP during arrests in which about 400 people were charged with criminal contempt.

More than 1,100 people have been arrested since the injunction against blockades in the Fairy Creek watershed northwest of Victoria was granted last year to logging company Teal Cedar Products.

Six protesters were part of the application, but the Crown has since stayed charges against two women who also alleged abuse of process by officers who, they said, used unlawful tactics to arrest them. The Canadian Press reports.


The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy held a first-of-its-kind roundtable with some of the nation’s leading scientists on Thursday to discuss the urgent need to fight both climate change and arguments against doing so. Seventeen climate scientists, social scientists, engineers, and economists from 11 states and the District of Columbia participated. The Washington Post has the story.

The U.K.’s Committee on Climate Change says oil and gas exploration in the North Sea must face “stringent tests,” but stopped short of saying new licences shouldn’t be issued. The Guardian has the details.

The U.S. administration’s sale on Thursday of development rights of wind energy off the shores of New York and New Jersey for more than $.3 billion has surpassed all expectations. Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said his country is on the “front lines” of the catastrophic effects of climate change and needs more help from rich nations. Within 20 years, unusual Category 5 hurricanes might become the norm, he said. “Such occurrences will have grave implications for the way we live.” Reuters also has that story.

On Friday morning at 9:37 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$92.16 and Brent Crude was going for US$97.63.

In Canada

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has released a statement on Russian’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We remain steadfast in our support of Ukraine, as Russia’s actions violate international law and threaten international peace and security,” he said. “Canada condemns recent efforts by Russia to use energy as a tool of influence and coercion, and we are working closely with our international partners to maintain stability of global energy markets.”

Wilkinson also promised to support Ukrainian energy security. The news release is here.

Vancouver’s Canfor Corp. has signed a letter of intent to sell its forest tenure in the Mackenzie region of British Columbia to the McLeod Lake Indian Band and Tsay Keh Dene Nations. The provincial government must approve the sale. The Canadian Press has the story.

New Brunswick’s auditor general says N.B. Power needs to help low- and middle-income residents make energy-efficient upgrades.

“Moderate-income households may have difficulty accessing N.B. Power’s energy-efficiency programs, due to lack of financing mechanisms,” said Paul Martin in a report released Thursday. CBC News has more.

Finally, Parks Canada says the Abbot Pass Refuge Cabin, built in 1922 by Swiss mountain guides in Banff National Park, will be taken apart this spring because of climate change. CTV News has the details.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$79.69 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$78.71 this morning at 9:37 a.m.


This post was copy-edited after publication.

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