Enbridge acquires Spectra Energy in $37-billion deal

A weekly roundup of news and views on energy, mining, forestry and more

Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest pipeline company, announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Spectra Energy Corp. of Houston in an all-stock deal valued at about $37 billion. The deal is being called the most significant energy deal since oil and natural gas prices crashed in mid-2014, and will create the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. Spectra, whose Canadian headquarters is located in Vancouver, ships natural gas to the U.S. east coast. (BNN)

Canada recommitted to stop subsidizing fossil fuel extraction, along with other G20 countries on Monday at the summit in Hangzhou, China. However, no timeline was attached to the promise, which was previously made by the Liberals in their 2015 election platform. The nine-page, 48-point report issued by the G20 economies stated that the countries “reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, recognizing the need to support the poor.” (Vancouver Sun)

Want equalization payments? Say yes to pipelines. A group that represents oil infrastructure companies asked Ottawa earlier this year to use equalization payments as leverage to get reluctant provinces to agree to pipeline projects. The pitch was made last February by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada as part of its federal budget submission, which was obtained by the Canadian Press through an access-to-information request. Mark Salkeld, president of the petroleum services group, said in an interview that the idea was to “push buttons and wake people up.” (CP/Global News)
The biggest wall of all? A visionary project to build a wall of trees across the width of Africa has reached about 15 per cent of its goal. Eleven countries have set out to build the Great Green Wall, a 7,000-kilometre belt of trees stretching from Senegal in West Africa to the coastal areas of Djibouti in East Africa. The project’s organisers hope it will trap the sands of the Sahara desert, restore 50 million hectares of land and absorb some 250 million tonnes of carbon. First proposed 60 years ago by Richard St. Barbe Baker, a British environmental scientist, the project has now been embraced by the African Union. (The Economist)