Climate change policy in Alberta will need a balanced approach: CAPP

August 14, 2015 - Calgary, Alberta

Oil and natural gas producers will continue to work with the Alberta government to tackle climate change with balanced and realistic solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while spurring investment and growth of the province’s top job-creating industry, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said today.

“Climate change is a complex challenge with no easy solutions for Alberta, where oil and gas is such an integral part of everyday life in every corner of the province that drives jobs, government revenues and the economic prosperity of Albertans,” said CAPP president and chief executive officer Tim McMillan.

“The Alberta government wants to do more to address climate change – but it wants to grow the oil and gas industry, too. I believe we can find a balanced approach that achieves both,” McMillan said. “Climate change is not a challenge just for our industry but for all Albertans.”

CAPP will participate fully in Alberta’s climate change panel process announced today and has confidence in the panel headed by Dr. Andrew Leach, a professor at the University of Alberta.

McMillan said CAPP will propose three key themes for the panel as it develops climate change considerations for the Alberta government this fall.

  1. Industries should work more collaboratively across Alberta, and Alberta should work more collaboratively across Canada, to find common ground and to make real progress.
  2. Industry should pursue more innovations in energy efficiency across industrial operations, such as greater use of cogeneration or renewable electricity.
  3. Government should encourage investments in new emission-reducing technologies to ensure a sustainable, long-term future for Alberta’s oil and gas assets.

“Technology is critical to getting Alberta’s oil and natural gas out of the ground responsibly in a lower-carbon future,” McMillan said. “We are committed to exploring more opportunities today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that build upon and enhance what we have done.”

The oil sands industry has invested nearly $1 billion to share 777 technologies and best practices through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance to find innovative solutions to reduce GHGs, minimize impact on land, reduce water use and improve the management of tailings. Environment Canada reports that since 1990, the emissions per barrel of oil sands oil have been reduced by 30 per cent.

The oil and gas industry’s balanced energy policy is based on four objectives: environmental sustainability, fiscal competitiveness, regulatory efficiency and enhanced market access.

“Balancing these objectives is critical to ensure Alberta’s new climate change approach is effective,” McMillan said. “We must be mindful of the cumulative cost of government policies, in light of royalties, climate and other policy changes, to keep this industry healthy and to protect the jobs of Albertans. When Alberta’s oil and gas industry is healthy that’s good for Alberta’s economy, that’s good for government revenues and that’s good for Alberta families.