Canadian energy strategy key to realizing Canada's energy potential

July 19, 2011 - Calgary, Alberta

Canada's upstream oil and gas industry strongly supports efforts to develop a Canadian energy strategy. Such a strategy would enable us, as a country, to develop policies and take actions aligned with a collective vision of our energy future.

The just concluded Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference, which focused thematically on "Framing the Future of Energy and Mines", is a positive step in advancing a Canadian energy strategy over the period leading up to their next meeting in Prince Edward Island in 2012.

"Canadian energy is fundamental to our economy and jobs - it is the key to continental energy security and it is essential to our quality of life," said Dave Collyer, president, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "It only seems reasonable we should develop a collective view of our energy system and a strategy to realize our full energy potential."

Public awareness of the crucial role energy is playing in the Canadian, North American and global context is increasing. And there is a broad consensus that Canada needs a coherent public-policy framework that establishes a longer-term direction on energy.

CAPP's proposed Canadian energy vision is as follows:
Canada is a global leader in responsible, sustainable development and use of energy, benefitting all Canadians and contributing positively to Canada's international reputation and responsibilities.

CAPP recommends a strategy driven by prosperity arising from growth in both increasingly sustainable hydrocarbon production and renewable energy, along with concurrent shifts in energy demand arising largely from energy efficiency and conservation.

Governments have an important role to play in developing and implementing public policy to realize an effective Canadian energy strategy. The strategy must, however, be grounded in a fundamental view that market forces are the key determinant in decisions on energy supply, transportation and use, both domestically and in Canada's trading relationships.

A Canadian energy strategy would recognize fiscal and regulatory competitiveness as key factors in facilitating growth in energy production. It would emphasize the role of technology and innovation to improve environmental performance and cost competitiveness across the full spectrum of supply and use. And it would view hydrocarbon production with lower carbon intensity as a key requirement for Canada's future prosperity. The strategy would also drive concerted action on energy conservation and efficiency across the economy, recognizing that energy consumers play a key role in addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Responsible environmental performance, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, is an important element in the energy strategy, but it should not be the overriding driver," Collyer said. "A robust energy strategy must concurrently advance economic growth, environmental performance, and energy security and reliability - the 3Es."

Diversification of markets and supporting infrastructure development must be key elements of the Canadian energy strategy - for all forms of energy production and for energy technology and services.

A Canadian energy strategy comprised of these key elements would build on Canada's current strengths, keep options open for the future, and focus on the many areas of cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional alignment.

"Developing a Canadian energy strategy should be an inclusive process with broad participation, rather than a top-down process," Collyer said. "It should involve the full energy value-chain, from producers to consumers, as well as parties with direct interest in the energy system."

Canada's upstream oil and gas industry will be a constructive and solutions-oriented participant in the ongoing public policy dialogue regarding a Canadian energy strategy.

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.

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For additional information:
Chelsie Klassen, Manager of Media Relations
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(P): 403-267-1151
(M): 403-542-4115