July 30, 2021

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Ottawa and Newfoundland have agreed to a $5.2 billion deal to complete construction on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.
  • TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Pipe) is going to spend billions to lower emissions by switching to renewable energy to run its pipelines vs natural gas. No timeline provided.
    • Also building a 1000 Megawatt pumped energy storage project on a military training ground north of Toronto.
  • President Biden is asking automakers to pledge that 40%+ of vehicles they sell in the US will be electric by the end of 2030.
  • Glenfiddich is converting its delivery trucks to run on low-emission biogas made from the waste products of its own whiskey distilling process.
  • BC’s extreme drought is endangering everything from tiny salmon fry (recently spawned) to farm crops.
  • Brazil’s Parana River Basin is experiencing its worst water crisis in 91 years.
    • June flows are 55% of historical average and are a record low
    • 2nd largest water system in Brazil, provides electricity and water
    • Navigation is difficult causing supply-chain disruptions of soy-meal, coffee, sugar, iron ore

COVID –RULES ARE CHANGING

  • Alberta is removing all COVID mandates (masking, testing, quarantine, contact testing) over the next few weeks.
  • BC reimposed mask mandate in Central Okanagan.
  • Quebec offered 3rd dose of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine to those who received AstraZeneca so they can travel abroad.
  • Australia has set a 70% dual vaccination target to start reopening…currently at about 23%.
  • US Federal workers are required to prove they have been vaccinated or they must wear masks and submit to frequent testing. Also encouraging private employers to do the same.
  • California state workers must either be vaccinated or submit to weekly tests.
  • Saudi Arabia is threatening a 3-year travel ban for citizens who visit “red list” countries.
  • Kuwait banned unvaccinated citizens from travelling abroad.
  • LinkedIn is now allowing employees to opt for full-time remote work or a hybrid option as the office gradually reopens.
  • Facebook and Uber have delayed return to office to October (from September) and require returning employees to be fully vaccinated.
  • Most Apple stores require masks again for both shoppers and staff.

TIDBITS

  • Hasbro and Mattel are expanding their shipping operations to improve supply chain logistics heading into the holiday season.
  • Jeff Bezos offered to invest up to $2 billion in NASA design costs if his company (Blue Origin) is awarded the contract to land astronauts back on the moon.