(Advertorial) When it comes to energy, the business community must lead
by Jason Langrish
To foreigners, the at times schizophrenic public debate over Canada’s single greatest natural gift – energy resources – must seem perplexing. Most countries can only dream about possessing resources on this scale, surrounded by relative calm and with lucrative export opportunities in all directions.
Yet politicians and the public have differing, often conflicting views on how Canada should manage its resource bounty.
Businesses must lead on issues such as infrastructure, skills, sustainability, emissions and energy market access. This will be the key topic of discussion when two hundred executives from Canada and abroad meet on October 15th in Calgary for the annual Energy Roundtable conference on theme: Meeting tomorrow’s energy demand.
Against the backdrop of political calculation (the constant delay in approving Keystone XL despite numerous studies indicating that the project should proceed), and political disagreement (Alberta BC views on west coast oil exports) business leaders have to take a leading role in solving the challenges facing the energy sector.
This means developing inventive new ways in which to develop, refine and export Canada’s oil and gas resources.
It is in this spirit that a number of innovative private sector initiatives are moving forward, including:
- The Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance’s potentially game-changing collaboration to alter the way oilsands bitumen is extracted.
- Pacific Future Energy efforts to develop a zero emissions refinery on BC’s west coast in efforts to spur energy exports to Asia.
- West coast liquefied natural gas terminals to supply the East Asian market, where buyers will pay several times more than what is on offer in Canada.
- Numerous domestic projects to upgrade and refine oil and establish industrial users for gas, including power generation and vehicular transport.
Some quarters of society view the energy sector, notably oil and gas, as only focused on the bottom line and ignoring social and environmental concerns. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It has always been convenient for some to rail against the extractive industries in efforts to burnish their progressive credentials. Yet citizens across the country often do not recognize the importance of a vibrant energy sector and the degree to which todays lifestyles have become dependant on the economic benefit that it provides.
Public debate will continue trying to find the right balance between developing Canada’s energy resources, protecting the environment environmental and ensuring that all regionals of the country benefit from energy projects.
It is the people who work in the energy sector who will provide the solutions to the issues that stand in the way of Canada achieving its energy potential.
Jason Langrish is the President of The Energy Roundtable
About The Energy Roundtable
Canada has some of the world’s largest and most accessible energy reserves. Yet the country is forgoing billions a year in lost revenues as it struggles with a transition from locked-in continental producer to a global supplier of oil and gas.
The Energy Roundtable is a private sector forum that was launched in 2004 to help define Canada’s role in international energy markets. The annual conference series gathers leaders in Calgary, Toronto and London to share innovative ideas on the issues and opportunities that are presented by Canada’s emergence as an energy powerhouse. Our events include the participation of investors, producers, service providers, regulators and thought leaders from Canada and abroad.
For further information visit www.energyroundtable.org