Teck withdraws application for approval of Frontier

Daniel Fowler
February 26, 2020

"It really just means that there's a lot of instability, and nobody wants to invest when they don't know what the risk is going to be", she told The Current's Matt Galloway.

Teck, in a Sunday letter to the federal environment minister, cited political discourse over climate change as a reason for withdrawing its application for Frontier. But pressure had been building on the Trudeau government to cancel the project, due to concerns that it would inhibit the federal government's ability to meet its 2030 and 2050 climate targets. After failing to find a resolution to the dispute, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that the barriers would have to come down.

The project was estimated to have cost 20.6 billion Canadian dollars, or $15.6 billion.

"We had meetings with Teck officials on and off for several months, probably dozens of meetings to communicate about their proposal".

First Nations in Alberta that supported the Frontier project expressed dismay over the project's cancellation.

"We had not arrived at a decision", Ahmad said.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney issued a scathing attack on the Trudeau government following Teck's announcement.

After a decade and $1.13 billion spent to satisfy all regulatory and legal requirements, and despite the fact that the Frontier project received the approval of the fourteen First Nations in the region, the company was still waiting on the federal government's blessing.

Teck stated Sunday it could write down the C$1.13 billion ($852.12 million) carrying value of the venture.

"We support strong actions to enable the transition to a low carbon future", Lindsay writes.

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Lindsay said his company found itself in in the middle of a debate over oil development and climate change and said his company supports carbon pricing and a cap on oil sands emissions.

Guests cross a emblem of Teck Assets Ltd mining firm in the course of the Prospectors and Builders Affiliation of Canada (PDAC) annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2019.

Give the project the green light, and he'll be labeled a hypocrite on climate change - again (his government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2018, and approved an expansion last year). "That's why we'll introduce our Blueprint for Jobs ... and stand up for our energy sector". Without clarity on this critical question, the situation that has faced Frontier will be faced by future projects and it will be very hard to attract future investment, either domestic or foreign.

This does not yet exist here today and, unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved.

"Actually over the previous few days, it has change into more and more clear that there is no such thing as a constructive path ahead", Lindsay informed traders in a speech.

And the CEO of the world's largest asset managers - BlackRock - recently warned of a "significant reallocation of capital" to avoid climate risk.

A number of environmental groups say Teck is simply acknowledging that fossil fuel investments are no longer a smart long-term investment.

"Now that it's off the table, hopefully we can focus on projects that will create real jobs solving the climate crisis", he said. With both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude prices in the $50-a-barrel range and the U.S.'s Permian Basin continuing to pump more oil, those prices may not return anytime soon.

Those fears prompted a flood of global investment as nations and worldwide producers rushed to secure supplies.

Environmental groups also cheered the decision as reflecting the economic challenges of the project and the realities of climate change, while the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said the decision shows the urgent need to figure out how to balance climate change and resource development. But regardless of yes or no, companies deserve to be treated fairly and deserve predictability when it comes to the decision-making process.

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