Oil sands prepared to take greater role to tackle climate change

June 25, 2015 - Calgary, Alberta
Canada’s oil sands producers are prepared to take a greater leadership role on climate action as part of the growing global intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said today.

“Alberta has world-class energy resources and oil sands companies are committed to developing world-class solutions the world needs for a cleaner energy future,” said CAPP president Tim McMillan. 

“We developed the technology to get the oil out of the sand – and we are just as committed to getting our carbon out of the air.” 

The oil sands industry is already a committed leader in improvements to reduce emissions intensity. Since 1990, companies have reduced GHGs per barrel by 30 per cent and the industry is investing more than $1 billion into innovative technologies to produce oil with lower GHGs than other sources of oil.

Policies to increase the price on carbon must spur direct investments into GHG-reducing technologies to address climate change, a factor that Alberta’s new climate change panel should consider.

“Climate change is a global challenge that needs to be tackled with broad-based policies that consider production and consumption by everyone,” McMillan said. “We will lead on technology and policy, but climate change is greater than the oil sands, greater than Alberta. Everyone has a role to play.”

Industry’s balanced energy policy strategy is based on four objectives: environmental sustainability; fiscal competitiveness; regulatory efficiency; and enhanced market access.

The oil and natural gas industry appreciates the new rates under Alberta’s revised Specific Gas Emitters Regulations (SGER) will be phased-in over 18 months and money raised will continue to flow to the technology development fund.

Nevertheless, the revised rules for SGER and Alberta’s recently announced corporate tax increase have the potential to add almost $800 million to industry costs over the next two years. 

“We will continue to work with the Alberta government to protect jobs and investment to keep the industry healthy for all Albertans,” McMillan said. 

“The competitiveness of our industry on the world stage is important to keeping Albertans working.”