Net Zero: Manchin to vote against U.S. Build Back Better bill, EV tax credit

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

The Lead

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said on Sunday that he would vote against President Joe Biden’s $1.75-trillion Build Back Better package, which features a controversial electric vehicle tax credit that has angered trade partners, including Canada.

“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” Manchin said during an interview with the Fox News Sunday program, citing concerns about inflation. “I just can’t. I have tried everything humanly possible.”

Canada has participated in significant lobbying activities hoping to persuade U.S. senators to modify one provision in the package that favours electric vehicle assembly in the U.S., which Canada argues violates international trade agreements and would devastate the country’s auto sector.

The tax credit has been at the top of the agenda for several federal ministers and officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. However, considering the reprieve could prove only temporary, the Prime Minister’s Office made no comment following Manchin’s announcement. The Associated Press has that story.


Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce multinational, announced its intention to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Reuters has the details.

128 Russian miners were evacuated after sensors in a Siberian coal mine detected increased levels of carbon monoxide emissions.

The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a British government-backed pension scheme, has divested $68 million in investments from five fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil and Imperial Oil, after criticizing their management of climate change risks.

“These five companies have not done enough to convince us that we should remain shareholders,” said Katharina Lindmeier, an investment manager at NEST. “They will not return to our portfolio until they demonstrate clear progress in preparing for a low-carbon economy.” The Financial Times has the full story.

Meanwhile, after Germany’s government announced a targeted phase-out of coal-powered stoves by 2030, some people are already making the switch to more sustainable options. AFP has more.

On Monday morning at 10:56 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$66.68 and Brent Crude was going for US$69.88.

In Canada

New data from Quebec’s provincial government revealed that the province’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.5 per cent in 2019, moving Quebec further away from its climate goals.

“We have to tell the truth,” Environment Minister Benoit Charette told a news conference Wednesday. “The challenge is huge.” CBC News has more from la belle province.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Jerry Bellikka, Savage’s chief of staff, said the minister is isolating at home and following all COVID-19 protocols. CTV News has the details.

The City of Timmins is turning to community members for the development of the municipality’s climate change adaption plan.

Christina Beaton, the city’s environmental coordinator, said northern communities need to figure out how to better adapt to events like extreme heat and heavy rainfall caused by climate change.

Community consultation will be conducted through an online survey that will be open until Jan, 3, with the city targeting to have a drafted climate adaption plan by late 2022. CTV News also has that story.

Finally, Calgary-based Strathcona Resources has revealed it is the purchaser of Cenovus Energy’s Tucker thermal oilsands project in northeast Alberta, a deal worth $800 million.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$55.65 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$53.77 this morning at 10:56 a.m.


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