David Collyer, President of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, spoke to a sold-out audience at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on March 17, 2009. His presentation was entitled Economic Recovery: A Leadership Role for Canada's Oil and Gas Sector.
The speech highlighted the role of the oil and gas industry in leading Canada out of recession, noting that global energy demand is projected to increase significantly. Forecasts suggest a 50% increase by 2030 and a doubling by 2050 - driven by population growth and aspirations for higher standards of living in the developing world. It also recognized the role of alternative energy sources, such as hydro, wind, solar, and geothermal in our future energy mix. This is not a case of "either/or." We will need all forms of energy developed responsibly in order to meet growing global demand.
The speech reinforced the necessity of a balanced approach to achieving Canada's potential environmental performance, economic growth and assured energy supply. Most Canadians think the right balance is achievable, and they understand resource development is a fundamental part of our nation's economic future, but they also want us to find cleaner methods of extraction and make real progress on greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of identifying specific challenges facing the industry today, the speech spoke to several key issues: communicating the role new technologies are playing in shaping the future of the oil sands; the importance of active engagement in North American climate change policy development; and the broader issue of competitiveness that includes not only fiscal considerations, such as royalties and taxes, but also international investment, regulatory certainty, labour and material costs, and carbon pricing.
The oil and gas industry approaches these challenges with a sense of urgency and a strong desire to emerge from this recession stronger and better positioned for the future. Today's speech spoke to that desire and to the desire to strike the right balance between environmental performance, assured energy supply and economic growth, in the interest of all Canadians.