Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: December 16

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape this week:

Canadians Support Fossil Fuel Development

A new poll from the University of Ottawa shows that Canadians may hold fragmented views on different policy issues, but a majority agree that “fossil fuel development and climate commitments are compatible.” Furthermore, the poll results show that Canadians’ views on energy policy overall are less polarized than previously thought. According to one of the researchers, Monica Gattinger, Chair of Positive Energy and a professor of political studies at the University of Ottawa:

“Our results reveal that Canadians don’t agree on a number of energy issues, but they are not always polarized. This finding is pivotal—it suggests there may be more room for compromise on contentious energy and climate issues than commonly believed.”

Public opinion on Canadian energy is important for the industry’s future to better ensure that the country can continue to build the infrastructure it needs for further energy production. Canada’s energy industry still has great growth potential, and the country’s oil and natural gas production is projected to increase steadily through 2040. This is good news not only for the country but for the world given Canada’s track record of producing LNG for export with fewer emissions than other foreign producers and its status as the top major oil and gas producing country in terms of environmental performance.

Foreign Funds Target Canadian Energy Industry

Although the University of Ottawa poll is consistent with past findings which show a majority of Canadians also support the Trans Mountain Pipeline, this project, along with others, has been targeted and delayed by foreign-funded campaigns against the energy industry. Recently, environmental activist organizations like the West Coast Environmental Law Association and Dogwood initiative demanded cost updates on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, a much-needed pipeline to help the Canadian energy industry grow that has suffered cost overruns due to legal challenges.

The groups demanding cost updates are among those that have received funding from American non-profit organizations which took particular aim at Alberta’s tar sands, devoting millions of dollars to stop development and ultimately costing the Canadian economy $80 million to $100 million per day.

Canada Can Still Lead Energy Production

Attacks from foreign-funded groups don’t just harm Canada’s economy, they make it more difficult for the Canadian energy industry to bring its emissions-reducing products and exploration and production expertise to the rest of the world. According to a new report from the Canadian Global Exploration Forum, Canada has a competitive advantage when it comes to exploring and developing oil and natural gas resources. Calgary alone has 60,000 engineers, 4,000 geologists and 1,300 geophysicists, making it home to one of the largest talent pools for exploration and development professionals.

Such a vast resource of expertise for the country can only help with proposals to further develop Canada’s supply of natural gas, which could lower emissions around the world as more countries adopt natural gas to replace coal. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney voiced his hope that the Canadian government would support the construction of additional LNG terminals, bringing Canadian natural gas around the world:

“This is the single biggest thing that Canada could do to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. We should not make the mistake of looking at Canada as though we live under a sealed biodome.”

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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