Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: December 9

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

Canada’s Energy Industry Still Has Great Potential—That’s Good News for Emissions

The outgoing CEO of Imperial Oil, Rich Kruger, recently discussed how Canadians must decide whether they want to increase the country’s oil and natural gas production. As Kruger explained, the industry has great growth potential, but could be stymied by political considerations. Contrary to fears that fossil fuel industries will collapse, oil and natural gas demand is projected to rise through 2040, providing ample opportunity for Canada’s energy industry to grow.  As Kruger said:

“The potential is certainly there. So the question is, will it happen? …I think it will happen when we get alignment across the country, political and social, that what this industry does—and how they do it—is something that Canadians nationwide can and should be proud of. If we don’t get that, we won’t move toward that full potential and…I think that would be a sad loss for Canada.”

It would be a sad loss for Canada and for the world. According to Yale’s Environmental Performance Index, Canada is the top major oil and gas producing country in terms of environmental performance, and the country remains atop the Social Progress Index, due to its human rights record. Canada’s record for liquefied natural gas production is also among the best in the world—Canada’s LNG exports have fewer emissions than other foreign producers, and the proposed LNG Canada project will use hydroelectricity to power production.

LNG Continues to Reduce Emissions, Especially When Responsibly Produced

During a recent visit to Calgary, Maria van der Hoeven, the International Energy Agency’s former, discussed Canada’s opportunity to pursue more LNG projects, especially as countries across the world further increase their use of natural gas instead of coal for power generation—a move that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As van der Hoeven said:

“There is a window of opportunity. And that window of opportunity is also, for instance, (in) the coal-to-gas switching. If you really want to phase out all of the coal that still in the world in power production, well that’s a huge window of opportunity where gas can play an increasing role, next to the renewables.”

Writing for the Calgary Herald, Chris Varco explained how Canada’s resources and regulations provide opportunities and impediments for the Canadian energy industry to capitalize on this trend:

“It’s been a struggle to get the LNG sector off the ground in this country. Canada has several factors in its favour, with massive natural gas reserves in British Columbia and Alberta, and closer proximity to growing Asian markets than U.S. Gulf Coast plants … As the past decade has proven, these are no slam dunks when dealing with energy megaprojects in Canada.”

Canada can become a top producer of natural gas, but it must act fast, with reports that Russia is building a 3,000 km gas pipeline to China within the next five years.

Debating Carbon Taxes

The Canadian energy industry’s record for responsibly producing oil and natural gas should be taken into consideration while debating different tools for reducing global emissions.

Recently, the Globe and Mail published an editorial discussing why carbon taxes are one among many tools for reducing emissions. To its detriment, the Globe and Mail focuses almost exclusively on regulations that encourage using hydro and nuclear sources for energy, rather than coal, ignoring the great effects increased natural gas usage would have on Canada—and the world’s—energy supply.

 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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