Archive | Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image

OPINION: Canada’s energy policy, and its increasingly fact-free discourse, demands a rethink – by Mac Van Wielingen (Globe and Mail – May 20, 2019)

Mac Van Wielingen is the Calgary-based founding partner of ARC Financial, the largest energy-focused private-equity firm in Canada, and the founder and chair of Viewpoint Group.

I am a committed, first-generation Canadian. I care deeply for this country that gave my parents a new start after Canada liberated the Netherlands in the Second World War. And, I should say, I accept the science of climate change; I believe we need solution-focused change on both the production and consumption of fossil fuels.

But I am deeply concerned about the future of the country, amid the alarming polarization in the discourse on energy development.

This debate – more specifically, the one around recent legislative initiatives such as Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 – is clear evidence that we’ve moved away from certain basic facts and this country’s energy policy needs a rethink. Continue Reading →

Senators defeat Ottawa’s oil tanker ban bill in rare move, putting legislation on life support – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – May 16, 2019)

OTTAWA — In a rare legislative move on Wednesday, the Senate transport committee voted to defeat the Liberal government’s moratorium on oil tankers in northern B.C., putting the controversial bill on life support after years of political wrangling.

A vote against the bill by Independent Sen. Paula Simons, along with the five other Conservative senators on the committee, swayed a final decision in favour of recommending that the senate nix Bill C-48, which effectively bars any oil tankers from entering northern B.C. waters.

The move does not immediately kill the oil tanker moratorium, but a vote by the senate to adopt the committee recommendations would stop the legislation in its tracks. A vote on the report is expected in coming days. Continue Reading →

Liberal tanker ban looks to be foundering in the choppy waters of the Senate – by John Ivison (National Post – May 15, 2019)

Garneau slipped up by acknowledging the real reason the Liberals are driving the bill through parliament, in the teeth of fierce opposition

Marc Garneau probably wished he were back on the space shuttle. The transport minister — the government’s point person on C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act that is currently being dismembered by uncooperative senators — was called upon to defend the bill before the Senate transport and communications committee Tuesday.

The committee is made up of Conservatives and Liberal-appointed independent senators, who are proving more non-aligned than the government might wish.

Paula Simons, a former journalist who is now an independent senator representing Alberta, suggested to Garneau that Bill C-69 (the government’s environmental assessment reform that is also bogged down in the Senate) is a robust piece of legislation that would subject any plans for a new port on the west coast to the same rigorous scrutiny as any new pipeline. “Isn’t C-48 superfluous and redundant?” she asked. Continue Reading →

This goofy clause in Bill C-69 will ensure resource development in Canada stops cold – by Diane Francis (Financial Post – May 14, 2019)

“Obviously, resource development will stop cold. This is a bill
written by economic ignoramuses who have no understanding as to
why Canada enjoys high living standards and supports a generous
social safety net. … This is not legislation. This is sabotage.”

The Liberals’ Bill C-69, a train wreck of politically correct nonsense, passed last year and is now in the Senate where dozens of amendments have been proposed.

Frankly, the Senate should reject the bill because it will impose onerous consultative and other burdens that will severely hobble all energy projects in future. It grants power to the environment minister — not the minister of natural resources — over fossil fuel, mining, nuclear, pipeline, and rail transportation projects.

The bill extends the Liberals’ anti-oil bias because other large-emissions industries such as chemicals, aluminum, fertilizer, cement, agricultural and waste treatment facilities are not included. Continue Reading →

B.C. is getting what it wanted, and it sure doesn’t like it – by Kelly McParland (National Post – May 3, 2019)

How rich is it that the province of British Columbia, which has done so much to prevent Alberta from shipping more oil, has gone to court to force that province to keep sending as much of the stuff as possible?

If B.C. Premier John Horgan has any grasp of irony at all — not to mention a sense of the truly ridiculous — he must look in the mirror and see Jim Carrey. It would take the sort of mind behind the creation of Ace Ventura to fully appreciate the absurdity of the position B.C. has manufactured for itself thanks to its determined posturing and preaching on the matter of oil pipelines and climate change.

Horgan’s government went to court Wednesday to shake its fist at Alberta, insisting that new Premier Jason Kenney has violated the constitution by proclaiming a new law enabling him to shut off the taps that send oil to B.C. Continue Reading →

Ahead of Trudeau meeting, Kenney warns of a constitutional crisis if Ottawa’s environmental-protection bill is not amended – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – May 2, 2019)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney warned of a constitutional crisis brewing over the Liberal government’s energy and environmental policies Thursday, saying Ottawa has no business regulating provincially owned resources.

At a Senate hearing, Mr. Kenney took aim at Bill C-69, Ottawa’s contentious bill to overhaul the assessment of major resource projects. He compared the legislation to the 1980s National Energy Program, which was condemned by then-Alberta premier Peter Lougheed as an unacceptable federal encroachment.

Mr. Lougheed once described the NEP as akin to the federal government “simply walking into our homes and occupying the living room,” Mr. Kenney recalled. “That is exactly how I would describe Bill C-69.” Continue Reading →

Canadian Catholics skeptical new oversight office will stop mining exploitation abroad – by Dean Dettloff (America: The Jesuit Review – April 29, 2019)

Sheri Meyerhoffer, a former lobbyist for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, has been tasked with overseeing the activities of Canadian companies abroad—most notably, extractive industries like gold mining and oil drilling—and many environmental and human rights advocates are not pleased.

On April 8, the Canadian international trade minister, Jim Carr, announced that Ms. Meyerhoffer would become the first ombudsperson of Canadian companies doing business in other nations, but Mr. Carr deferred questions about exactly what powers the ombudsperson would have.

Critics are disappointed that Ms. Meyerhoffer’s office will not be independent but will instead be budgeted by, and accountable to, Mr. Carr’s office. Continue Reading →

Canada banning oil, gas and mining from marine protected areas – by Mia Rabson (Canadian Press/National Post – April 26, 2019)

OTTAWA — The oil-and-gas industry has worn out its welcome in Canadian marine conservation areas, and Canada’s environmentalists are overjoyed.

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson unveiled new standards for marine protected areas in Canada on Thursday, fully prohibiting oil-and-gas activity, as well as mining, waste-dumping and bottom-trawling.

The change implements recommendations made to the government last year by an advisory panel, and brings Canada up to international standards set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Continue Reading →

I’m on the Bill C-69 committee — and I’m hearing a lot of angry Canadians – by Richard Neufeld (Financial Post – April 26, 2019)

Richard Neufeld is a Senator for British Columbia and is a member of the environment and natural resources committee. He was previously a B.C. MLA and cabinet minister.

What is Bill C-69? I bet many have heard about it, but few actually understand what it seeks to achieve and how it could have disastrous consequences on our country.

The Trudeau government claims C-69 will restore public trust in our environmental-assessment review process and energy regulator by creating two brand new agencies. The government defends its bill by repeating (over and over again) the same keywords and catchphrases you would expect from politicians.

As a former provincial cabinet minister in British Columbia, I’ve been in the game long enough to recognize when a bill does not pass the smell test. No government talking points can save this bill, which is why the Senate’s committee on energy, the environment and natural resources has taken the extraordinary step of taking this bill on the road to hear from you. Continue Reading →

Suncor CEO’s parting shot: Let the oil markets work again – by Chris Varcoe (Calgary Herald/Financial Post – April 26, 2019)

Suncor’s retiring CEO Steve Williams dissects carbon policy, curtailment and oilpatch investment woes

When Steve Williams took over the helm of Suncor Energy seven years ago, he described working in the oilsands as “the ultimate marathon.” The endurance race of heading up Canada’s largest oilsands producer is now winding down for Williams.

A dedicated long-distance runner, the 63-year-old chief executive will step down as Suncor’s leader next week, replaced by president Mark Little.

On the 45th floor of the company’s Calgary headquarters, Williams sat down Thursday to talk about his time at Suncor, the biggest decisions and deals during his tenure, and the future of Canada’s oil and gas industry. Continue Reading →

How Bill C-69 will end up punishing Indigenous Canadians most of all – by Brian Schmidt (Financial Post – April 25, 2019)

Opinion: The misconception that Indigenous communities are victims of the resource industry is paternalistic and out-dated

Across our country, workers, communities and businesses have been telling senators that Bill C-69, the proposed legislation on impact assessment, threatens to destroy the resource industry. Investment is fleeing, projects are being cancelled and jobs are being lost.

Often lost in the noise are the negative impacts C-69 will have on Indigenous peoples. I see those impacts firsthand as an energy CEO who works closely with First Nations. While the bill was drafted in part, as a response to Canada’s commitment to nation-to-nation partnership and reconciliation, it is First Nations who are being hurt first and foremost by C-69. Let me tell you how.

First, you need to understand that Indian Oil and Gas Canada, which regulates oil production on First Nations lands, has a policy of charging a higher royalty for oil produced on reserve lands than the royalties charged on Crown land in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Continue Reading →

‘Wounded bulls’ remain nervous as oil prices rally ahead of earnings season – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – April 23, 2019)

CALGARY — Despite a rapid spike in oil prices, investors are watching the rally from the sidelines as they ponder whether to jump in amid a broad rally in global energy stocks, led by the Canadian energy index.

“This is definitely not a crowded trade,” said Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets managing director, global energy strategy, about rising crude prices.

Unlike the latter half of 2018, when bets that global oil prices would rise outnumbered short contracts by nine to one, funds are being more conservative during the current oil price rally. Tran said the number of long contracts for crude currently outnumber the shorts by just four to one. Continue Reading →

How Bill C-69 could escalate regulatory costs until projects become unworkable – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – April 18, 2019)

As the Senate continues its hearings on Bill C-69, it might be useful to focus on what is claimed to be the objective of the new environmental and regulatory approval act: A fairer, faster regulatory system.

Calgary’s National Energy Board will become a less-powerful Canadian Energy Regulator while an Ottawa-based body, the Impact Assessment Agency, will provide final advice to the government to determine whether a project is in the “public interest.”

The new legislation is ostensibly intended to reduce delays for federal approval of resource projects while providing greater political acceptability. It is hard to see how that will be case. Continue Reading →

What Jason Kenney’s election in Alberta means for Justin Trudeau – by John Ivison (National Post – April 18, 2019)

I don’t think he [Trudeau] has the foggiest idea what’s
going on,” Kenney told a reporter in one particularly caustic
put-down. “This guy is an empty trust-fund millionaire who
has the political depth of a finger-bowl.”

Jason Kenney saved his vitriolic interventions in the Alberta election campaign for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rather than his opponent, NDP Premier Rachel Notley.

This made sense — political attacks rarely work when the target is more popular than source and many voters held Notley in greater esteem than Kenney.

But there was an edge to the United Conservative Party leader’s attacks on Trudeau that went beyond campaign strategy. The Liberal leader was citizenship and immigration critic while Kenney was the minister for the file in his early days in Stephen Harper’s government, and it would be fair to say Alberta’s premier-designate didn’t hold his counterpart in high regard. Continue Reading →

Kenney’s resoluteness won Alberta. Trudeau’s hypocrisy helped Notley lose – by Rex Murphy (National Post – April 17, 2019)

Anyone who’s surprised Jason Kenney won a majority government Tuesday night has either been asleep for a long while, or working in the Prime Minister’s Office. The indefatigable, persevering, and super-industrious Kenney is a miracle of political endurance. No ordinary politician could out-work Kenney even if supplied with a few spare clones.

There are many reasons why he won but let us establish right at the top that the first reason, and the one that fired all the rest of them, is that he works like the sun never sets, and that sunrise is just something that happens only long after he gets up.

Secondly, he knows what a job is. To be exactingly precise he knows what not having one means to normal everyday people. It is always annoying to listen to the bigheads who rabbit on about “transitioning to a non-carbon economy” of how glibly and disinterestedly they reference the tens and hundreds of thousands who will be displaced from their employment in oil, gas and coal industries. Continue Reading →