Over the past decade Canada’s energy sector has evolved to become one of the most collaborative industries globally when it comes to environmental performance. Companies are working together to develop and share technology to make our world a better place. This has not been easy but it has been successful, and it has made Canada a leader.
Unfortunately, the model the province has created doesn’t further break down barriers but encourages division from within. Its $440-million announcement for oil sands innovation pales in comparison to the $1.33 billion industry has already invested through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).
Over the past five years COSIA has developed 936 distinct technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize land impacts, and reduce water use. Instead of creating a divide, let’s work together to advance the 185 projects already underway.
In addition to COSIA, companies are today collaborating with groups such as the Petroleum Technology Association Canada and Clean Resource Innovation Network to develop environmental technology to change the face of our energy future.
The province’s climate plan undermines the spirit of industry collaboration – the same spirit that has enhanced Canada’s reputation as one of the world’s most responsible energy producers.
This plan doesn’t only pit companies against each other but communities, as well.
The model failed to make a distinction between the Athabasca, Peace River, and Cold Lake oil sands regions. Each is different – each with its own geology, therefore requiring its own technology and consideration.
Cumulative costs undermine our international competitiveness at a time when our energy industry is already cost-constrained, and faces intense competition for investment globally. This model makes doing business in Alberta more difficult.
There is a path forward. In the coming days, we can work with the Alberta government to make changes to its climate plan and find new ways to protect jobs, spur innovation, and attract the investment needed to make Alberta strong.
We can achieve environmental protection and economic benefits for Alberta with the right government policies that protect our province, our resources, and our jobs.