Federal budget regulatory plan supports responsible energy development

March 29, 2012 - Calgary, Alberta

The federal government's plan to improve Canada's regulatory process for natural resource projects will generate more jobs and a stronger Canadian economy while ensuring continued environmental performance, Canada's upstream oil and natural gas producers said today.

"Broad-based regulatory reform is fundamental to attracting investment that creates Canadian jobs, prosperity and economic growth," said Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers President Dave Collyer. "The government's plan will improve the timeliness and efficiency of the decision-making process while the regulatory scrutiny that Canadians expect remains intact."

The upstream petroleum industry is the largest single private sector investor in Canada - investing over $50 billion each year and employing more than 500,000 Canadians. Regulatory bottlenecks in the current system have often led to project delays or outright cancellations due to missed market opportunities, with a resultant reduction in economic benefits that would flow from these delayed or foregone investments.

"The changes broadly outlined in the federal budget will improve our business climate and competitiveness without compromising our commitment to responsible, sustainable development," Collyer said.

An efficient, effective regulatory system must maintain a high standard of environmental performance - all Canadians expect responsible environmental outcomes - while recognizing the critical importance of energy security, reliability and economic growth.

"We must move to more efficient processes, time-limited decision-making and better coordination both within and among governments to eliminate regulatory overlap. Today's announcement is a positive step and we look forward to the federal government continuing to advance its regulatory plan. We also encourage federal-provincial coordination of regulatory reform initiatives, and encourage both levels of government to clarify expectations regarding Aboriginal consultation," Collyer said.

CAPP continues to review the entire budget document. However, Collyer indicated that Canada's oil and gas industry is overall encouraged by the 2012 federal budget's strong focus on Canadian competitiveness, jobs and economic growth.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce more than 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $100 billion-a-year. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.