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A Conversation About Carbon Change, Dennis’ Latest Book

November 14, 2022

Dennis sat down to discuss his newest book, Carbon Change: Canada on the Brink of Decarbonization, available now online and in-store.

  • Dennis details his motivations to write this book
  • The major arguments he makes with regards to Canada’s current plan for decarbonization
  • The major conclusions he draws from these arguments
  • And most importantly, why this extremely timely book is a must-read for all Canadians.

Reaction to KXL Revocation

January 29, 2021

Dennis, since our last podcast we have had some momentous developments around Biden and KXL, can you give us your analysis of why the permit was revoked, and the implications?

  • Obviously, this is a difficult situation for the Alberta government, what do you see it doing over the rest of 2021?
  • And the Trudeau government?

End of 2020 on Climate and Energy

December 16, 2020

2020 is a year we all want behind us for many reasons. So much has unfolded since our last podcast this will be a very full year end to get through. Let’s begin:

  • US election implications – KXL most of all
  • Trudeau virtue signalling – zero net emissions and UNDRIP
  • The $170/tonne solution –  Liberals all in on Paris, Conservative response, Canadian business elites?
  • 2021 key indicators – Georgia run-offs, Covid vaccine roll out, crude demand restored



Learning from Energy East

October 29, 2020

Dialogue with Dennis McConaghy & his guest, Jean-François Thibault. Jean-François is a energy news commentator who appears frequently in various written and spoken media in Quebec.

  • Energy East is a symbol of different things to different parts of the country, what do you think its demise means to Quebec?
  • All projects have specific aspects of their development and implementation that become problematic, in the case of Energy East, there was the impact on gas consumers from taking existing gas transmission infrastructure out of service and convert to oil transport. How big a factor was this?
  • What is your opinion of how the Trudeau government handled this project?  It’s apparent willingness to extend a de facto veto to Quebec, notwithstanding federal jurisdiction. It’s changing of the rules on the regulatory process after literally billions has been spent.
  • Energy East was always a project that was a third best option in my view in terms of required infrastructure, but it did have real shipping agreements underpinning it commercially. It provided real optionality and benefits to Quebec and Eastern Canada. And with minimal engineering risks, compared to crossing the Coastal Mountains.  Why was this gift horse treated in such a hostile fashion?

Reactions to O'Toole and Biden

September 13, 2020

Conversation covered a few developments that have evolved over the last couple of weeks. Including: 

  • This week the new Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, clarified that he would be committed to have Canada meet its Paris emission reduction targets. What is your reaction to this?
  • Biden’s lead is holding in the US Presidential election. What does his election mean in respect of climate policy?

Post Onset of COVID in Canada – Taking Stock and the Path Forward

August 21, 2020

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Dennis, it has been almost six months since our last podcast, pre COVID, can you elaborate on what has unfolded over that time period as it has effected Canadian hydrocarbons and national climate policy?
  • What do you see as the likely scenarios unfolding in 2021 for Canadian hydrocarbons and climate policy, especially after recent events in Ottawa related to the Morneau resignation
  • Alberta, how bleak?

More Disfunction

February 25, 2020

Obviously some difficult circumstances have unfolded. Dennis can you provide an overview/understanding?


February Updates on TMX and Teck

February 10, 2020
  •  TMX developments
  •  Teck approval
  • The looming Federal Budget
  • And lastly, federal Conservative leadership and climate policy

Alberta’s Real Strategic Options

October 31, 2019
  • A lot of consternation in Alberta after the election, and the fate of its core industry, what is your view of what are Alberta’s real options?
  • What is the capacity of Alberta’s political leadership to make any substantive progress? Or will they make this worse?

Federal Election Postmortem

October 23, 2019
  • With the federal election over, what does this mean for Alberta and its hydrocarbon industry?
  • Specifically, for the Alberta government where is this going?
  • Does Trudeau build TMX within the next 2 years?

Things Can Get Worst Alberta

July 29, 2019

Dennis, close to 4 weeks to the beginning of the federal election, what will all that mean for Alberta, pipelines, national energy policy, etc?


“Marching With Your Feet” – Momentous Decisions

June 20, 2019

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Dennis, a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks, can you recap for us?
  • Second, the October election looms ahead, what other surprises could happen to create a fundamental change in this outlook?
  • How much consensus does Canada actually have on energy and climate issues?

Two Fateful Months Ahead – Kenney and Trudeau

May 3, 2019

Discussion covers these topics:

  • The Alberta election has occurred, what do yo think is the biggest challenge for the new premier, what should he do?
  • How do you think this will play out in the short run, up until July 1st?
  • How will all of this unfold for the Federal Election in October?

Early April 2019 Update

April 5, 2019

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Dennis, some positive developments on KXL? Elaborate for us.
  • Status of C69 – where is this?
  • And the Alberta election, what hangs in the balance vis a vis Ottawa depending on a potential Kenney win.

Market Access Update

March 1, 2019

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Dennis, can put into context where we stand on market access for Alberta hydrocarbons? And touch on the recent NEB decision on TMX specifically.
  • Obviously, a lot has unfolded over the last month in Ottawa that impacts the future of the Liberal government and Justin Trudeau specifically. How do you see that impacting any of the dynamics on a re-approval of TMX?
  • And then the Alberta election, when? Does the advent of Kenney make re-approval more difficult?

Where Alberta Oil Sands Stands and How 2019 Could Play Out

December 10, 2018

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Lay out where Alberta stands on oil sands curtailments, rail cars, and discounts
  • How do you see 2019 playing out? For pipelines, carbon and Alberta?

November Big Developments

November 17, 2018

Discussion covers these topics:

  • Update on KXL developments
  • Alberta producers introduce a proposal that has created a lot of attention and controversy
  • plus, what is Ottawa doing?

TMX, Bill C-69, Carbon Taxes, and Looming Elections

November 7, 2018

Discussion covers these areas:

  • TMX developments
  • Bill C-69 and carbon taxes
  • plus, looming elections

Ottawa Starts to Remedy TMX

September 26, 2018
  • Dennis, it has been about a month since the FCA decision on TMX came down and nullified the project, what has occurred in the interim?
  • Can you elaborate on what will be involved in the two processes to remedy the FCA cited deficiencies – on whales and consultation?
  • What are the risks here of this consuming most of 2019?
  • What, if any, options does Alberta have? How satisfied is the federal government in terms of how this has played out?
  • Why has reaction to the FCA decision not been more extreme?
  • Bill C-69 regulation needing amendment

TMX Developments

August 31, 2018
  • Dennis, momentous day yesterday re TMX, can you elaborate on what occurred?
  • What is the path forward?
  • What are the deeper implications of all this?
  • Who cares?

Mid-summer Update

July 31, 2018

It has been a few weeks since the last podcast, what developments do you want to touch on?

  • Dennis provides a few comments on the TMX/KXL/Enbridge Line 3 status, and also overall developments on Canadian carbon policy.
  • Updates on these oil sands pipelines.
  • Canadian carbon policy, the biggest development is the advent of the Ford government in Ontario and its resistance to carbon pricing.
  • And the looming deadline on “carbon plans” from the provinces later this year.
  • In closing, C69 looms out there to be finally passed.

Update on Trans Mountain Acquisition

June 5, 2018

Over the past week, how do you see the reaction to the federal acquisition of TM unfolding?

  • From the ENGO perspective, where do they go next?
  • What was your view of the prospects of the government actually being able to sell this position in the short run?
  • Finally, where does bill C69 stand right now?

Canadian Government Buys Pipeline

May 30, 2018

The Trudeau government acted decisively yesterday on TransMountain. Dennis, can you first lay out the highlights of what came down yesterday.

  • What was your sense of the dynamic that played out in these negotiations?
  • How do you see this unfolding over the rest of the year?
  • Is this a real turning point for how this country is dealing with carbon and energy? Will we learn anything from it?

Update on Salvaging TMX

May 16, 2018

Dennis, important press conference today out of Ottawa from the Minister of Finance on salvaging TMX. Can you elaborate for us.

With that context, how do think this unfolds over the next two weeks?

Is there a viable Plan B for Trudeau and Notley if this breaks down with Kinder in the short run?


TMX Crisis Continues

April 19, 2018

Dennis, since the last podcast some important developments, we see that the federal government is going to take action to salvage TMX, can you elaborate?

What is your sense of this new legislation, this financial arrangement?

How difficult do you see this in coming together, in less than six weeks?


Kinder Crisis

April 11, 2018

Dennis, big news over the weekend on Trans Mountain, can you first just layout the facts of what has occurred?

  • So how do you see this play out for the four key players?: Kinder, Ottawa, Alberta and BC
  • If this project is lost, where does this all go?
  • Doe the NGO movement declare victory?
  • How difficult is this for Alberta?

Alberta Budget Post Mortem

March 26, 2018

The Alberta Budget was released last week and the carbon taxes figured prominently, Dennis fills us in.


Quick March Update

March 17, 2018

Crunch Time Looming

February 16, 2018

Many developments, let’s first start with the regulatory reform developments.

  • More urgently, how is the Kinder Morgan situation unfolding?
  • More broadly, how difficult is this going to get if BC does not stand? At what point, does Kinder lose its will to persevere?

BC intervenes. How does Alberta respond? How does Justin Trudeau respond?

February 1, 2018

Discussion of recent developments impacting progress on TMX and KXL with special emphasis on the recent BC intervention to thwart the project and the Alberta and federal response to that.


We Wait

January 24, 2018

We review the status of Canada’s three major oil pipeline projects, all apparently approved but each struggling for a final investment decision, especially for KXL and TMX.

If these projects are lost, then the long war on Canadian crude production and its role in global climate risk abatement will have been won by the enviros.


Output Allocation System

December 12, 2017

A quick pre-Christmas item, around how the carbon tax will be administered in Alberta.


The Nebraska Decision

November 23, 2017

Big news with the Nebraska decision. Dennis, can you put that into context for us?

  • Now what is the process going forward for the project?
  • And the Canadian political reaction to all of this?

Closing In On KXL Proceeding

November 15, 2017
  • Imminent Nebraska decision on KXL next week, put this into context.
  • Trudeau government and enforcing its TMX approval, just how conflicted is the Trudeau government?

Calm Before the Storm?

November 2, 2017

Dennis, it’s been seemingly quiet for the past few weeks, ever since the Energy East termination. Any developments? Calm before the storm?

  • KXL
  • Regulatory reform legislation
  • Advent of Kenney

Bad News, Energy East Lost

October 13, 2017

Dennis it’s been awhile and some momentous developments:

  • Can you explain what has unfolded on Energy East, and why?
  • How have various Canadian governments reacted?
  • Where does this put Canada’s oil sands business?
  • Looming Alberta Conservative leadership race,  how will that change the dynamic if at all?

Energy East Suspension and the Ongoing Struggles of Canadian Carbon and Hydrocarbon Development Policy

September 8, 2017

A lot has happened in the past month. As usual all interconnected.

Dennis responds to the following questions:

  • First, yesterday TransCanada announced a suspension of the Energy East project.  I know this is connected to the highly controversial re-scoping decision of the NEB. Can you put this into context for us?
  • Why would the Trudeau government not want to see this project proceed? Why would any Canadian government not want it to proceed?
  • Related to all of this, where is the Trudeau government going on regulatory reform?  And why?
  • Also, unfolding is the Alberta leadership race, where are those aspiring leaders stand on carbon and energy development?

Three Developments: Duty to Consult, Loss of LNG, and Carbon Policy in Alberta

July 27, 2017

Dennis, significant events keep unfolding on the carbon and energy scene this summer, vacations be dammed.

What are the key developments and can you elaborate on them?:

  • Two Supreme Court decisions on duty to consult
  • The loss of the Petronas LNG project
  • And Alberta politics and what it means for how market access and carbon policy play out

Trudeau Government Discussion Paper on Regulator Reform for Major Energy Projects

July 21, 2017
  • Dennis, although it’s summer time, some carbon and energy developments over the last month, most notably a Government of Canada discussion paper on regulatory reform. Can you first give us some context for this and why it is important?
  • What are the key elements of the discussion paper?
  • How different is this from what you had advocated in your submissions to the NEB Modernization Panel?
  • How does this regulatory reform, at least relating to major hydrocarbon infrastructure, really matter going forward?
  • Has Canada lost its window of opportunity?

Implications of the Alberta Oil Sands Emissions Cap

June 21, 2017
  • Dennis, a significant development last week in Alberta, the release of the Oil Sands Advisory Board report, can you first explain the background of it?
  • Why is the cap fundamentally problematic to oil sands investment?
  • How do the recommendations of the panel impact the investment process?
  • Where does this go into the future? Alberta politics, market access, and national climate strategy?

Trump withdraws from Paris, and BC leftist coalition about to take over BC

June 9, 2017

Two major developments since our last podcast:

  • First on Paris, can you describe its major elements and how Canada chose to relate to them?
  • What does the US withdrawal actually mean to the world’s progress towards lower GHG emissions over time?
  • Does the Trump announcement change the challenge that Canada has in respect of meeting its Paris targets?
  • Do you believe that the Trump administration has any credibility on a genuine renegotiation of the basic terms of the Paris Accord?
  • Second, the BC leftist coalition – what does it mean potentially to Alberta?
  • Can you elaborate on the challenge this will create for the Prime Minister? If he has to defend the rights of the project proponents, even as  he tries to keep his credibility on his “Paris targets”?
  • How ugly could this get?
  • How much empathy if any does Alberta get from the rest of Canada, especially Ontario and Quebec?

Many Recent Developments Impacting Pipelines

May 19, 2017
  • NEB re-scoping of Energy East
  • BC election uncertainty
  • NEB Modernization Panel
  • Federal climate policy clarification

First Quarter 2017 Review and the Impact

May 3, 2017

Dennis, its been a while but what do you see has transpired over the first quarter on Canadian carbon and energy?

  • Following up on KXL, what is your prognosis for it over the remainder of the year?
  • On the US side, what could occur that may impact Canada?
  • What is the risk related to an NDP victory in BC to Alberta and its hydrocarbon industry?

Keystone XL Revived

January 27, 2017

Dennis, can you review the events of this week on KXL?

  • What are the challenges ahead for TC to get to construction?
  • What will be the reaction of opponents? What tactics will they resort to?
  • Why does incremental pipeline infrastructure matter so much to Canadian ENGOs?

First Minister's Climate Meeting Debrief

DECEMBER 13, 2016

Dennis, a lot happened last week on Canadian carbon policy. Can you review the main points?

  • What do you see as the significants of what occurred?
  • What are your concerns from what came out of last week?
  • What are “next steps” for the Trudeau government in all of this?
  • And for Rachel Notley?

Trudeau's Decisions on Pipelines

DECEMBER 1, 2016

Big week on pipeline decisions

  • Review what the Trudeau Government actually did?
  • Regarding the Kinder approval, do you have an explanation of how they came to this decision?

  • Why was Northern Gateway rejected?

  •  Do you give Trudeau credit here? What, if anything, do you take issue with him over?

  • What lies ahead? And is Trudeau up to dealing with it?

  • And Ms. Notley, is this a big victory for her personally?

  • Is Canada a little less dysfunctional after this week?

  • Does this change the thesis of your book, Dysfunction – Canada after Keystone XL?

The World has Changed on November 8th, or Not?

NOVEMBER 18, 2016

What does the election of Donald Trump mean to Canada’s energy and climate policy outlook?

  • The unexpected happened on November 8th. What does this mean for Canada, especially in its approach to energy and climate policy?
  • What do we actually know about Trump’s positions on climate and energy?
  • Is a revival of Keystone XL the most significant development in the short run for Canada?  How will Trudeau and Notley react to that?
  • Beyond that, can Canada sustain a carbon pricing standard if the US under Donald Trump is not?
  • How do you see this playing out in Canada for 2017?

The Approaching Kinder Pipeline Decision

NOVEMBER 3, 2016
  • Dennis, I know you have alluded to this is prior podcasts, but can you explain why the impending Kinder pipeline decision by the Trudeau government is so important?
  • Can you elaborate on the considerations that are in play with this decisions, political, technical and legal?
  • What recent developments have perhaps altered the likely decision?
  • So, ultimately w do you see the outcome coming out? What do you see as the outcome?
  • So, when is an approval not quite an approval? Expand on that?
  • Finally, if an approval occurs, what do you see as the major consequences?

National Carbon Standard Announced Oct 4, 2016

OCTOBER 4, 2016
  • Dennis, you believe the next 3 months are going to critical for Canada on climate and pipelines. Can you explain?
  • For those of us, that don’t know, can you clarify the major pipeline projects still in play in Canada?
  • For the Trudeau government, help us understand their climate “options” better right now.
  • And the Notley government, where are they? Hanging out on market access?
  • What is your prognosis over the next 3 months?
  • How difficult do you think it will be for the Trudeau government? And who will support them?
  • And what about industry and Canadian business? Where will they be on all of this?
  • Tell us more about your book, Dysfunction: Canada After Keystone XL due to be released January 2017.

Bio, Purpose and Major Themes for Podcast


This is the inaugural interview for Dialogues on Canadian Energy. Dennis McConaghy discusses the following items:

  • Biography
  • Vision for podcast
  • Format and frequency
  • Major issues
  • Why Canadians should relate to this podcast
  • Upcoming topics